Representation and Mimesis in Generative Art: Creating Fifty Sisters

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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.

Extended Abstract


Used References

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