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Philip Galanter: Generative Art after Computers + artwork. Generative Art 2012, 271-282.



While most art theoretical discussions of generative art acknowledge that it is not a practice limited to digital means, in popular use the term is frequently used as a reference to a kind of computer art. From a broader view generative art as a systems-based practice can be found in ancient art exploiting symmetry, tiling, and patterns. In the mid-20th century stochastic systems were added to the mix, and in the late-20 th century systems found in complexity science came to dominate.

What ties all of these art practices together as generative art is not merely the use of generative systems, although that is the defining feature of generative art. All of these practices also suggest a number of common art theoretical questions. For example, if the artist gives up control to an external system, how does that problematize the issue of authorship? Can generative systems themselves be considered creative? And indeed is generative art really art at all?

If generative art is more than just a form of computer art then one would expect to not only find generative systems in use prior to the advent of the computer, it seems reasonable to expect that new technologies and systems will be brought into play after computers. This paper explores how technologies such as synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and smart materials may represent the future of generative art. This is given substance by demonstrating that the art theoretical questions one encounters up through computer-based generative art will apply equally well to these new generative systems.

Extended Abstract


Used References

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