Representation and Mimesis in Generative Art: Creating Fifty Sisters
Jon McCormack: Representation and Mimesis in Generative Art: Creating Fifty Sisters. In: Proceedings of xCoAx 2013, Bergamo, Italy 27-28 June 2013, pp. 71-79
Fifty Sisters is a generative artwork commissioned for the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz. The work consists of fifty 1m x 1m images of computer-synthesized plant-forms, algorithmically ‘grown’ from computer code using artificial evolution and generative grammars. Each plant-like form is derived from the primitive graphic elements of oil company logos.
The title of the work refers to the original ‘Seven Sisters’ — a cartel of seven oil companies that dominated the global petrochemical industry and Middle East oil production from the mid–1940s until the oil crisis of the 1970s.
In this paper I discuss the issue of representation in generative art and how dialogues in mimesis inform the production of a generative artwork, using Fifty Sisters as an example. I also provide information on how these concepts translate into the technical and how issues of representation necessarily pervade all computer-based generative art.
Ball, P. Bright earth: art and the invention of color. New York, Farrar Straus and Giroux. 2002.
Dennett, D. C. Real Patterns. Journal of Philosophy 88: 27–51. 1991.
Foster, H. The return of the real: the avant-garde at the end of the century. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.1996.
Kittler, F. Discourse Networks 1800/1900, with a Foreword by David E. Wellbery. Stanford. 1990.
McCormack, J. Aesthetic Evolution of L-systems Revisited. Applications of Evolutionary Computing (EvoWorkshops 2004). G. R. Raidl, S. Cagnnoni, J. Brankeet al. Berlin, Heidelberg, Springer-Verlag. LNCS 3005: 477–488. 2004.
McCormack, J. A Developmental Model for Generative Media. Advances in Artificial Life (8th European Conference, ECAL 2005). M. Capcarrere, A. A. Freitas, P. J. Bentley, C. G. Johnson and J. Timmis (eds). Berlin; Heidelberg, Springer-Verlag. LNAI 3630: 88–97. 2005.
McCormack, J., O. Bown, A. Dorin, J. McCabe, G. Monro and M. Whitelaw. Ten Questions Concerning Generative Computer Art. Leonardo (to appear, accepted July 2012).[preprint available at: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jonmc/research/ Papers/TenQuestionsLJ-Preprint.pdf] 2012.
McCormack, J. and A. Dorin. Art, Emergence and the Computational Sublime. Second Iteration: a conference on generative systems in the electronic arts, Melbourne, Australia, CEMA. 2001.
Scruton, R. Beauty. Oxford University Press, Oxford; New York. 2009.