Art from code - Generator.x
Generator.x is a conference and exhibition examining the current role of software and generative strategies in art and design. [Read more...]
 
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Currently on display at the Espeis gallery in Williamsburg, Tropism is a collaboration between New York product design studio Commonwealth and generative artist Joshua Davis. Inspired by the endless variations of form in the plant world, they have worked together to create a series of computer-designed vases imprinted with generative graphics.

For his images, Joshua Davis first created a library of elements by sampling shapes from an old book on floral mechanics. He then recombined these into complex organic compositions using a generative algorithm. A selection of the resulting images were either printed or output digitally as ceramic paint transfers, ready for application to the physical objects.

Influenced by the perforated ceramics of Edmond Lachenal, Commonwealth used Maya to produce a curved and perforated model using surface subdivision. A stereolithographic (SLA) 3D print of the model was then output to create a mould for casting. The finished vases were produced by Boehm Porcelain, with Davis’ images being applied to the the vases during the firing process.

Tropism: Commonwealth vs. Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis w/ Zoe Coombes & David Francisco Boira of Commonwealth / Prints

The final result is a series of one-off objects that are at once high-tech and organic. Their smooth curves and unconventional form signal their origin in digital processes, but the tactility of the porcelain counteracts any sense of sterile techno-fetishism. Davis’ organic forms creep and crawl over the surface of the vases, reenforcing the link to natural processes.

The vases are available in a limited run of 21, each featuring a unique motif by Joshua Davis. The large-scale prints on paper shown in the exhibition are also for sale. Contact Maxalot for information about available works.

The "Vs." series is curated by Max Akkerman and Lotje Sodderland of Barcelona gallery Maxalot. The series has so far featured Commonwealth collaborations with Kenzo Minami and Michael C. Place of Build. Upcoming is an exhibiton of Commonwealth vs. Matt Pyke of Universal Everything.

Relevant links

 

The Austrian Abstracts
22.09.-15.10.2006, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam

The Austrian Abstracts is an exhibition of 27 Austrian-based artists, collected through their concerns with principles of abstraction while working in a wide range of media, from software to sculpture and painting. The show continues the investigation from the 2003 Abstraction Now at the Künstlerhaus in Vienna, with several of the artists appearing in both.

As the title implies, the Austrian art scene forms a nexus for the show. Even though the participating artists are from different countries, many of them are based in Vienna or have a special connection to Austria. However, the point of the exhibition is not to establish a patriotic position. Rather, it takes as its starting point a renewed interest in abstract art, which could be clearly observed in the Austrian scene of the last 10 years or more.

As the work in the exhibition demonstrates, the new interest in abstraction became evident in work with video and digital media. From the mid-1990’s artists like Dextro, Lia, Tina Frank etc. began experimenting with code, creating mostly web-based works that dealt with generative systems. These works became popular with net audiences at the time, and were loosely seen as related to net.art even though they essentially were formal investigations. Gradually these works became recognized as a coherent movement, and many of the artists involved have since expanded beyond the web to work with installations etc.

This movement has been given the de facto title “Austrian Abstracts”, deriving from a series of screening programs of digital experimental video that first gathered many of the artists in the current exhibition. Counting Abstraction Now, the show at Arti et Amicitiae is thus the third manifestation. Curator Norbert Pfaffenbichler has effectively become the chronicler of the movement, giving the works a framework in art history even as the artists themselves often refuse to comment on their conceptual aspirations.

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Some new calls for projects in the Nordic region, the first being the brain child of several people involved in the Generator.x conference in Oslo. Please note that these calls are also for international artists.

Call for artworks – INTERFACE and SOCIETY exhibition, Oslo.
Organized by Atelier Nord, to take place at Henie-Onstad Art Center. Curators: Atle Barcley, Erich Berger, Jana Winderen.

In our everyday life we constantly have to cope more or less successfully with interfaces. We use the mobile phone, the mp3 player, and our laptop, in order to gain access to the digital part of our life. In recent years this situation has lead to the creation of new interdisciplinary subjects like “Interaction Design” or “Physical Computing”.
[...]
The project INTERFACE and SOCIETY investigates how artists deal with the transformation of our everyday life through technical interfaces. With the rapid technological development a thoroughly critique of the
interface towards society is necessary.

The role of the artist is thereby crucial. S/he has the freedom to deal with technologies and interfaces beyond functionality and usability. The project INTERFACE and SOCIETY is looking at this development with a special focus on the artistic contribution.
Deadline: 1 July 2006
URL: Atelier Nord: Interface & Society

Call for entries. Electrohype 2006, the fourth Nordic biennial for computer based art.
Organized by Electrohype, to take place in Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden.

Electrohype has since the start in 1999 focused on what we choose to call computer based art. Art that runs of computers and utilizes the capacity of the computer to mix various media, allow interaction with the audience, or machines interacting with each others etc. in other words art that can not be transferred to “traditional” linear media. This might seem as a narrow approach but we have discovered that it gives us a better focus on a genre that in no way is narrow.

We are not looking for “straight” video art (even if it is edited on a computer) or still images rendered on computers and other material that refers to more “traditional” media forms. Forms were the traditional tools have been replaced with computers and software.
Deadline: 3 July 2006
URL: Electrohype 2006 call

The Electrohype call is exciting, since they had long ago announced the likely death of the Electrohype organization and thus also the biennial. With Electrohype resurrected, there are currently three major exhibitions of media art underways in Norway and Sweden (the third being Article). With Pixelache in Finland and various projects in Denmark completing the picture, that means the Nordic scene is still going strong.

 
OFFF BCN: Drawing / Painting / Sketching

OFFF BCN: Hansol Huh – TypeDrawing / James Tindall: Sketchpad

The OFFF festival in Barcelona is next week, with a busy schedule mixing new media design heros with computational designers and generative artists. The EXTEND: Advanced Processing workshop has been mentioned here before, now the organizers have finally released the full list of projects for the exhibition.

Entitled “Drawing / Painting / Sketching”, this year’s exhibition has a focus on software works that emulate drawing processes. It might seem ironic that digital artists should spend so much time trying to recapture the quality of traditional drawing, but this is not necessarily out of nostalgia. The goal is ultimately the creation of organic expressions within a deterministic medium, with a richness of gesture often lacking in digital work. The last few years has seen a definitive move away from the technology-inspired images of the turn of the millenium, with complex animated works created through the use of computational processes coming to the fore.

The resulting works are nevertheless quite different both in style and focus – from C.E.B. Reas’ complex process drawings, to Hansol Huh’s playful TypeDrawing, to Leonardo Solaas drawing machine Dreamlines. Joshua Davis will be doing a workshop in the museum using his drawing components for Flash, while Zach Lieberman’s Drawn and Hektor, the Graffiti Output Device provide interactive installations moving beyond the screen.

It looks like OFFF will be an interesting mix this year, be sure to have a look at the timetable for a full overview of the events, including the conferences which in true Barcelona fashion run until 21:00 in the evening.

 

Chris Robbins has posted a paper on the notion / nature of material in digital media. It was originally presented in Christiane Paul’s lecture series for Digital Media at Rhode Island School of Design. He describes the tendency to construct digital analogies of physical artifacts, and reflects on attempts to quantify digital material as semantic units.

Also enjoyable is a record of a chat between Robbins and his mother on the pseudo-science of morphogenetic fields.

 

The Bergen National Academy of the Arts is looking for a professor in Digital Fine Art, this could be someone’s mealticket. Bergen is a beautiful (if rainy) city on the west coast of Norway, with more gorgeous nature than you could shake a stick at. They’re also historically very open to international influences. The soundart scene is particularly active in Bergen, and the city is the home of BEK, organizers of the recent Piksel festival.

Here’s the official announcement, the application deadline is 1 December:

PROFESSOR/Associate professor iN FINE ART specialising iN DIGITAL AND ELECTRONIC ART, DEPARTMENT OF FINE ART.

Bergen National Academy of the Arts is looking for an artist with extensive experience of the area described as digital/electronic art. His/her experience should be in the field of video art, experimental film, audio art, or electronic multimedia art. Applicants should have both extensive artistic experience and a sound theoretical understanding of the area and its historical development.

At the Department of Fine Art, work in digital/electronic art forms an integrated part of the curriculum. A main field of focus for the department is the juxtaposition of digital/electronic media and the other areas of art practice such as painting, photography, sculpture, installation and conceptual art. The appointee will also be a tutor for students working in other media/forms of expression.

Bergen National Academy of the Arts (KHiB) is one of the two national institutions with a special responsibility within for higher art and design education in Norway. The Academy have has organised its activities in three Departments: Department of Design. Department of Fine Art and Department of Specialised Art (Ceramics, Printmaking, Photography and Textiles).

Complete information and application forms can be found at the Bergen Academy web site.

 

Via Core77: The product of Danish design brilliance, LEGO has dominated the minds and hearts of children of all ages since its introduction in 1949. And now, they have a nifty Lego CAD app they call LEGO Digital Designer, allowing you to manipulate all the bricks you could ever desire without getting your fingertips sore from handling too many hard plastic pieces.

The LEGO Digital Designer is freely available for download for MacOS and Windows. It allows you to build complex LEGO structures using any number of obscure bricks. When you’re done you can upload it to the LEGO Factory Online Gallery for a shot at those 15 minutes of LEGO fame. The best feature is that you can upload a model and order a custom delivery of all the bricks needed to build it. Handy for those without a storeroom full of spare bricks.

But honestly, doesn’t this just beg to be subverted into some form of art project? Jürg Lehni and the Vectorama boys have already created a LEGO Font Creator, but that only used square bricks.

 

The 2005 edition of the DAC - Digital Arts & Culture conference will take place in Copenhagen 30 November – 4 December. The submission deadline for papers is 8 August, so hurry up if you want to submit something.

The 6th DAC Conference invites critical examinations of the field of digital arts and culture, which challenge existing paradigms. We call for papers which examine both theoretical and hands-on approaches to digital experiences and experience design. Since the inaugural DAC in 1998 much has happened, and research has matured from early investigations into the problematic nature of new media towards questions of emergent dynamics, user centered design and various forms of interactivity. At the same time, the realization has grown that users of digital media not only are active participants, but also have to be taken into account at all stages of the design and production of digital experiences.

How do practitioners (programmers, artists, designers etc.) cater for this kind of active and demanding user? What kinds of experiences can we create? How can these experiences inform us? How do we as academics analyse and evaluate digital experiences? DAC has always been interested in exploring the ways in which digital media do things that traditional media cannot. We believe that the focus on ‘experience’ in DAC 2005 will illuminate the possibilities of digital media beyond the functional perspectives of ‘usability’. What are the aesthetic and cultural implications of digital design as experience?

 

The organizers of the Helsinki-based PixelACHE festival have published preliminary information about their 2006 event. PixelACHE 2006 will take place in Helsinki and Paris, continuing the 2005 theme of “DOT ORG BOOM / LE BOOM DOTORG”. There is a call for proposals, but it is open only to artists in Finland and France. For more information about PixelACHE, check out their blog.