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      Working with Generative Systems: An Artistic Perspective

      proceedings-article

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017) (EVA)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      11 – 13 July 2017

      Generative art, Procedural modelling, L-systems, Evolution, Grammars, Computational sublime, Agency, Autonomy

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            Abstract

            Generative systems are unique in that they allow the artist to specify processes rather than outcomes. In this paper, I describe my creative approach to working with complex computational systems that I have designed and coded over several decades. These systems require certain ways of working that offer both liberation and restriction on creative practice. To illustrate how these systems work in a creative sense, I will give an overview of two recent works: Fifty Sisters (2012–2016) and The Unknowable (2015–2017). Fifty Sisters comprises of fifty 1m × 1m images of computer synthesised 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. The Unknowable is a three-channel 4k video triptych. The work depicts a series of virtual flora, evolved using computer programs based on biological evolution. In each sequence evolved plant species slowly disintegrate and then reform, breaking into their fundamental component – the polygon – then reforming anew in an endless cycle of destruction and reconstitution. Both works are mediations on our changed relationship to nature and the natural in a globalised, disconnected virtual world now effectively navigated through digital media.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Contributors
            Conference
            July 2017
            July 2017
            : 213-218
            Affiliations
            [0001]sensiLab, Monash University

            Caulfield East, Australia
            Article
            10.14236/ewic/EVA2017.47
            b7d1042b-fae6-43bb-852e-c8f38df44d11
            © McCormack. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2017, UK

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017)
            EVA
            London, UK
            11 – 13 July 2017
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
            Product
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Categories
            Electronic Workshops in Computing

            7. REFERENCES

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            4. 1993 Interactive Evolution of L-System Grammars for Computer Graphics Modelling Complex Systems: from Biology to Computation 118 130 Amsterdam ISO Press

            5. 2003 Art and the Mirror of Nature Digital Creativity 14 1 3 22

            6. 2005 A Developmental Model for Generative Media Advances in Artificial Life (8th European Conference, ECAL 2005). LNAI 3630 88 97 Berlin; Heidelberg Springer-Verlag

            7. 2013 Aesthetics, Art, Evolution. Paper presented at the EvoMUSART Vienna, Austria 3-5 April

            8. 2014 Ten Questions Concerning Generative Computer Art Leonardo 47 2 135 141

            9. 2001 Art, Emergence and the Computational Sublime. Paper presented at the Second Iteration: A Conference on Generative Systems in the Electronic Arts Melbourne, Australia 5-7 December

            10. 2008 Book review: The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music Leonardo Reviews http://www.leonardo.info/reviews/nov2008/parikkaart.html

            11. 1990 The algorithmic beauty of plants New York SpringerVerlag

            12. 1984 Plants, Fractals and Formal Languages Computer Graphics Minneapolis, Minnesota 18 1 10 New York ACM SIGGRAPH

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