In rand() we trust!

events - February 27th, 2008 - Marloes de Valk - No Comments

‘hello process’ lectures: in rand() we trust!
13 March 2008, 20.00 – 22.30
Sign, Winschoterkade 10, Groningen
Guests: Florian Cramer, Arie Altena, Adger Stokvisch, Aymeric Mansoux, and Marloes de Valk

During this evening we will be questioning the nature and purpose of generative art. With 4 lectures and an open talk, we investigate whether or not generative art is indeed an art form or just a technique. Is it possible to make a distinction between generative processes, applications of generative processes and generative processes as a conceptual ground for software art? Does the term generative art apply to screen savers, alife, fractal art,, conceptual software/code art and poetry alike? Is it even important to make this distinction? The term generative art has been around for a while now, and is applied to extremely diverse works and opposite artistic approaches. No more! It’s time to fork! (again!)


The tactics of generative art – Florian Cramer
Despite frequent claims to the contrary, artistic employment of generative system is never simply a reflection of structures or issues formally inherent in them – such as self-organization or emergence -, but linked to artistic politics. In other words, even systems supposedly removed from intention are intentional depending on their programming and, most importantly, the context they get put in. The lecture will reconstruct this along a classical and more contemporary example, John Cage’s chance operations and Cornelia Sollfrank’s generators, reading the latter as a critique of the former, and question concepts like indeterminacy, chance, and unintentionality.

Florian Cramer, born 1969, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Course Director of the Media Design M.A. programme of the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, writer on (among others) experimental and computational arts.

Accidents, generative art and livecoding – Dave Griffiths
Livecoding is the practice of programming in front of an audience. This lectureformace will demo three livecoding systems which are designed to encourage a more playful interaction for live performances than traditional text based livecoding. Using a gamepad, these systems use metaphors borrowed from computer games to encourage playful accidents by the building up of emergent behaviours.

The first instrugame is called betablocker, and is programmed with a form of colourful assembler to make acid techno music. The second is called Al Jazari, and is a robot programming music game named after a 13th century inventor of musical robots. The third is a work in progress gamepad language called daisy chain, where the performer-coder builds network structures of flowers which give birth to new executable visual structures.

Dave has been writing programs to make noises, pictures and animations using a variety of languages for many years. He is the author of lots of free software projects exploring these areas, and uses much of it in performances and workshops around europe. He is part of the Openlab free software artists collective, the TOPLAP live coding community and slub, the live coding band. He lives in London where he makes film effects software and computer games.

Dave has performed at various events using his own software, including the Piksel festival in Bergen, Barcelona’s Sonar festival, the Linux Audio Conference in Karlsruhe, and at the READ_ME Software Art Festival/Dorkbot City Camp in Arhus, Denmark.

Generative Art, a subjective overview – Arie Altena
In my presentation I will give a subjective overview of generative art, including examples from music, literature, media art and the visual arts. If there is a subtext to this overview, it might be the attempt to discern the differences and similarities between the use (and status) of ‘the generative’ in these fields. Examples may include work from: John Cage, John Zorn, Frieder Nake, OULIPO, Karl Sims, Tom Ray, Casey Reas, Driessens & Verstappen, and Telcosystems.

Arie Altena (1966), studied Literary Theory, and writes about art and new media. Currently he is editor/researcher for the V2_Archive in Rotterdam and theory tutor at the department of Interactive Media and Environments of the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen. He also curates the Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam. In the past he worked for Mediamatic and Metropolis M. He co-edited the POD-book Pervasive Personal Participatory, Ubiscribe 0.9.0 (2006) and the Sonic Acts publications Unsorted, Thoughts on the Information Arts (2004), The Anthology of Computer Art (2006) and The Cinematic Experience (2008).

Algorithmic Art – Adger Stokvisch
A lecture on the different aspects of algorithmic art and the artists’ own art practice. A short overview on computational methods and techniques, investigating the possibilities and meaning of these techniques for art production, the integration of algorithmic art in location based work such as art in public space, collaborations with the high-tech sector and a view on the future of algorithmic art and interactive media.

Generative art is firmly rooted in the philosophy of process-based science, which lays the foundation for many artistic possibilities to create autonomously functioning, dynamic (interactive) artworks that can for instance learn, show infinite variations or show emergent behaviour.

Adger Stokvisch focusses on the use of computer technology and computer coding as a medium and works on the artistic research and development of interactive location based computer driven installations. Keywords that describe his practice: interactive computervisualisations, algorithmic art, mathematical modelling, location based computer driven installations, interaction devices and interaction design.

Hosts of the evening – Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk
Aymeric Mansoux has taken part in many artistic experiments based on the internet and the emergence of networks, and considers any form of data to be a new clay that can be used to develop software art. His most recent projects include the 0xA band, the digital artlife Metabiosis project, the pure:dyne GNU/Linux live distribution for media artists and ongoing theoretical research into tools, online communities and digital autonomous processes. Aymeric is editor of the FLOSS+Art book, scheduled for release mid 2008, as well as which was launched early 2008.

Marloes de Valk is a dutch digital artist, currently based in the UK. She is part of GOTO10, a collective of artists and programmers working in the field of digital art and Free/Libre Open Source Software. She studied Sound and Image at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, specializing in abstract compositional computer games, HCI and crashing computers. Her work consists of audiovisual performances and installations, investigating machine theater and narratives of digital processes. She is currently collaborating with French artist Aymeric Mansoux on Metabiosis, a project investigating the ups and downs of data packets living in a world of connected ecosystems. From August 2007 until January 2008 she was editor of and is currently working on the GOTO10 publication FLOSS+Art, to be published mid 2008.

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