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...]
Tag: installation

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abstrakt Abstrakt: Zimoun

Zimoun: 150 prepared dc-motors, filler wire 1.0 mm
2009/2010, 730×120cm

Zimoun creates complex kinetic sound sculptures by arranging industrially produced parts according to seemingly simple rules. Using motors, wires, ventilators etc., he creates closed systems that develop their own behavior and rules similarly to artificial creatures. Once running, they are left to themselves and go through an indeterminable process of (de)generation.

These quasi autonomous creatures exist in an absolutely synthetic sphere of lifeless matter. However, within the precise, determinist systems creative categories suddenly reappear, such as deviation, refusal and transcience out of which complex patterns of behavior evolve.

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abstrakt Abstrakt: SOFTlab

SOFTlab: (n)arcissus, 2010
Site-specific installation, laser cut mylar & acrylic

“(n)arcissus” is a site-specific spatial intervention in the stairwell of the Frankfurter Kunstverein, an artificial skin that drops down through the vertical space using gravity as a principle. By designing the form as a parametric model SOFTlab are able to manipulate the formal qualities of the final output while simultaneously optimizing it for physical construction. Their script breaks the surface down into individual surfaces for laser cutting, producing the unique modules needed to produce the larger structure.

Digital tools are not new to the field of architecture, but the last few years have seen an explosion in the use of generative systems combined with digital manufacturing processes. This new style of computational architecture explores the creation of complex forms based on parametric processes, giving rise to a new range of architectural expression while eliminating the economy of mass-produced form. Positioned at the heart of this movement, SOFTlab is an emerging architectural practice whose work combines scripted processes with knowledge of materials and principles of construction.

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Lab[au]: PixFlow #2

Lab[au]: PixFlow #2

Our friends at Lab[au] have sent us an update on a recent project called PixFlow #2. This multi-screen piece explores emergent behaviors in particles moving through a constantly morphing vector field, producing complex behaviors over time. Particles migrate from screen to screen, hypnotically forming lines, eddies and vortices.

PixFlow was originally developed as an permanent 11-screen installation for the Grand Casino Brussels, but this new 4-screen version is slightly more portable. Designed as a modular system, it encloses the stripped hardware used in an elegant T-shaped perspex casing. The piece is run off flash memory so that it’s stable for long-term use. The architecture even allows switching to new software at a later date.

Based in Brussels, Lab[au] are veterans of media art and experimental architecture. They’ve made a mark in the past with their Mediaruimte showroom for electronic art and their collaborations with the Cimatics festival. They have also produced and curated several light pieces for the spectacular Dexia Tower media facade in downtown Brussels.

Jun 27/06

Following up on the post about David Dessen, here is some more VVVV news:

The busy boys at Meso have launched a new version of the VVVV wiki, improving considerably on the previous design. Important new functions include the Galeria (where Meso can show off VVVV projects like the Football Globe Germany) and News blog sections, as well as improved Reference and Documentation sections. The main access for users is now the Fan club page, which gathers access to the forums, blogs and shoutbox in one place.

All in all, this redesign sharply reduces the geek factor which marked the previous VVVV site. It should also make it easier for would-be users to find information about the tool. Like Processing, VVVV might be in eternal beta, but that doesn’t mean there is no maturing of the tool and its community.

Italian generative art: Franchino, Capozzo, Limiteazero

Franchino: Petals #1 / Capozzo: Code.specific / Limiteazero: Laptop orchestra

C.STEM | Art Electronic Systems and Software-Art practices
1-2 June 2006, Sede 32 Dicembre, Turin

An upcoming exhibition / conference / club event in Turin looks set to blow the lid on the Italian generative art scene. C.STEM is organized by artist Fabio Franchino, and is possibly the first Italian event dedicated to generative and software-based procedural art. In a traditionally conservative Italian art scene this should prove an interesting event.

C.STEM will show the work of 3 Italians and one Norwegian, with myself (Marius Watz) representing the Nordic contingent. The remaining three are Fabio Franchino, Alessandro Capozzo and Limiteazero, all significant Italian artists or artist groups working with code. Their work has long been seen on blogs and web sites, and despite individual differences shows a tendency towards poetic, self-contained works. Aesthetics is a clear focus for all three, with a warm organic feel given to even the most abstract visuals. Whether this is an Italian specialization is hard to say, but it is interesting to note local differences in style and expression. Compare for instance to the Austrian scene with its focus on hard-edged abstraction.

Fabio Franchino shows an interest in autonomous virtual drawing machines, and has an at times painterly approach to his images. At home in print media, he creates sumptious compositions like City on sea, Suff and Petals. Other works like Homo and Blow are carefully exposed chaotic systems, in what is practically a kind of generative photography. Yet others (Silus, Toys) explore permutations of algorithmic form systems.

Alessandro Capozzo is more concerned with structure and topologies than with surface. His online works often deal with organic growth processes, but recently he has been branching out into installations and more complex interactive projects. One example is RGB, “an interactive musical installation for 2-9 users” where colored flash lights are used by the audience to influence the live music. Code Specfic is a new Processing application which interactively visualizes the structure of its own source code.

Limiteazero is an architecture, media design and media art studio based in Milan. Together, Paolo Rigamonti and Silvio Mondino create installations that are elegant not just in their simplicity, but also in their pureness of concept. Their Laptop orchestra sees the user “conducting” the sound and visuals on 15 laptops, turning them off and on to create a variety of soundscapes. The glass of a_mirror mirrors the world around it, but not without adding its own visual modifications, tracing the outlines of what it “sees”.

As for myself, I will be showing a new series of 4 prints called C/M/Y/K, produced as offset-print posters to be given away in the gallery. This project marks a welcome experiment with a medium I have not worked with for a long time, and it’s exciting to be able to exploit the sheer detail and scale of large prints.

For the purpose of stimulating discourse, C.STEM will feature a short panel of presentations moderated by theorist Domenico Quaranta. See the event program for details. The panel will then be followed by a C.STEM club event, with projections by the artists in many different locations. C.STEM is organized by Fabio Franchino and produced by Associazione Culturale 32 Dicembre with the support of

For the record, I generally try not to blog exhibitions I am participating in. But this show is too interesting not too, purely by virtue of the quality of the work shown by the Italian contingent. I hope it will prove a fruitful platform for future C.STEM events.

Zachary Lieberman: Drawn installation

Zachary Lieberman: Drawn (installation)

Zach Lieberman has released documentation of the installation version of his “Drawn” performance piece (previously blogged here.) “Drawn” uses computer vision techniques to allow a user to paint with ink on canvas, with the resulting drawings coming to life through computer intervention. Ink blots are “erased” from the page and are free to move around the canvas in reaction to user interaction.

Drawn is a perfect instance of “augmented reality” used to create a poetic space between the real and the virtual, with plenty of playfulness and generosity thrown in. The installation came about as a result of the obvious interest shown by audiences after each concert, wanting see the drawing table and possibly try it out for themselves. The installation provides an intuitive software interface, and the projected results become both a work screen for the user and a perfomative space for observers. A delightful side product of the installation is the buildup of completed sketches left behind by users and displayed on the walls in the gallery as a document both of the work’s intention and of its users.

Lieberman’s work is concerned with interactivity, frequently appying sophisticated technological solutions to the creation of playful and poetic spaces. Drawn is an attempt at creating pure magic, as opposed to a dry augmented reality application. Be sure to explore Lieberman’s Thesystemis site, and for a small bonus see his lovely 2006 New Year's greeting card.

The Drawn installation will be on display at the OFFF Festival in Barcelona in May, where Lieberman will be taking part in leading the EXTEND workshop.

Tara Donovan: Untitled

Tara Donovan: Untitled

Tara Donovan: Haze

Tara Donovan: Haze

Tara Donovan creates her work from large amounts of everyday materials. Paper plates, drinking straws and plastic cups become organic forms through repetetive addition and transformation.

In her Untitled she uses Styrofoam Cups and hot glue to produce forms blobby enough to make the most avid Computer Graphics fan envious. Haze sees drinking straws (2 million of them) stacked up against the wall, a subtle topology created through offsetting the straws. The resulting work have a poetic fragility, and must be amazing to see up close.

From a press release for the Ace Gallery:

Donovan is known for her commitment to process, unusual material choices, ability to transform familiar objects or substances into challenging new forms, and sensitivity to architecture. Using large quantities of readily available consumables such as paper plates, pencils, straight pins, Scotch Tape, fishing line, or adding machine paper, she exploits their flexibility to make highly tactile works with a strong element of surprise.

References to Minimalism and architecture are inevitable. For more images, see the Ace Gallery.

Lia, Carvalhais, Tudela: 30x1

Lia, Carvalhais, Tudela: 30x1

Lia and @c (Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela) are premiering the installation 30x1 at Solar, Cinematic Art Gallery in Vila do Conde, Portugal.

In the present setup 30×1 is built of a circuit of 15 screens along which 5 series of one minute audiovisual pieces are distributed. Each series is presented at least twice in the space and although different screens have limited visible coexistence, the sound projected by each screen flows through the space, mixes and shifts, along the walk through the gallery’s different rooms.

30×1 is an audiovisual composition, mechanically articulated by the shuffling of the DVD players and constructed by each visitor’s trajectory in the gallery. The installation is created using synchretic audiovisual pairs, juxtaposing audio and visual objects with diverse origins but a common integration. The tools of the trade were Processing, Max/MSP and Reaktor.

Solar is a gallery programmed by the organizers of the International Short Film Festival of Vila do Conde, a festival that yearly programs a generous selection of experimental film and video. Previous exhibitions featured Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller, Manon de Boer and Siegfried Fruhauf.

30×1 will be showed from the 10th September to the 23rd October 2005.