Marfa, Subdivision and Runtime Patching

#037 - Creative Coding / Generative Arts Weekly

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"Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." - Wayne W. Dyer

So this weekend, I had the fantastic opportunity to make it to Marfa, Texas, for the inaugural Artblocks weekend, which was such a treat.

I was able to meet a bunch of genart inspirations; Caleb Ogg (iso.hedron), Aaron Penne (aaron_penne), Tyler Hobbs (tylerxhobbs), Kesean (keseantx), Stefan Contiero (stefan_contiero), Dimitri Cherniak (dmitricherniak), to name a few which was a special treat.

One of the things that I found exciting about the event is that it was one of the largest gatherings in recent years for generative artists. And the air was genuinely positive when talking to artists and collectors alike. It's also the first time for many to be around so many people since March 2020. It helped the atmosphere.

So a tiny run down on Marfa, TX...

Friday night was more of a social gather of like minds, getting to meet new people eat good food, and celebrate the rise of NFTs to have hyper popularized this artform in unexpected ways as it has piqued the interest of many.

During the Saturday morning Q&A sessions, several exciting topics came to play:

  • collector experiences

    • One collector's experience minting Aaron Penne x Boreta's IRL stamping with Bright Moments.

    • Collectors motives changing from incentive to art appreciation

    • The enjoyment of creating sets of similar pieces from various disciples.

  • the under-representation of female artists in the space

    • Here, unfortunately, the inevitable reality of the space and acknowledgment is the first step. Next, however, we need to take action and help provide the resources, encouragement, and genuine care to help skill or reskill. I am still working on writing a piece for the newsletter that will honor those in the field and how we might ensure that the representation continues to increase and how we might push it forward.

  • generative art and the contemporary art world

    • There is much to be said here. However, I think the consensus of this was that we don't know where the future lies. It could be that generative art and contemporary art coexist exclusively. Much of the criticism of the generative art movement in the past six months is skeptical of the lucrative income of artists. All these are fair concerns and should be carefully discussed and thought through.

    • Creating art as an artist will always occur if he is viewed as an artist by other artists. Well, that is nice. However, the actual drive to explore and express doesn't matter if there is approval. It still will occur.

  • Talking/discussing generative art outside of the crypto-centric context

    • From an artist's perspective, there is much talk about price points, the rarities of certain features, and the general profit margin. These probably aren't all that interesting in the context of the art itself.

    • There is much to be said to understand the intent or the journey that the artist was taking to understand better the work they have done.

    • Interestingly enough, there is an element of sophistication/technical skill that comes up in conversations. This is quite interesting to me, as it does show the emergence of the engineering mindset in which many generative artists have backgrounds. However, it can be challenging to rate sophistication as sophistication can gauge inventiveness, but not necessarily contextual validity, aesthetics, and the underlying meaning of any project (a.k.a. artist's search of the soul).

  • Art for art sake vs. collector flipping

    • There was a spectrum of attendees in Marfa, which ranged from those who love generative art with no intention of flipping to the proverbial "flipper. And it's a fair assessment that both are good for the art form. Without capital in the space, it is harder for the creators to create the content and would come from another avenue. Is that right or wrong? That is for you to decide.

    • But in regards to the lucrative nature of any "gold rush" event, a market quickly forms, becomes saturated, prices escalate at unhealthy rates which leads to a potential hyper bubble that can burst. When such a burst occurs, the collector knows that the art they might have purchased is now what they will need to enjoy.

    • However, this can be adequately mitigated when a slight risk aversion is used. So quick advice given was:

      • Don't spend money you don't have (save up or find honest ways to generate income)

      • Don't spend money you need to pay core expenses

      • Buy what you love...

  • the relationship of the DAO and artists

    • I think the model of the patron of the arts will start manifesting itself in the form of the DAO for digital artwork.

    • There are a lot of exciting models yet to be explored in this space. I think of it as similar to an artist guild or a group of artists who pool resources, provide funds for artist residencies, co-op timeshare for expensive tools. So much can be done in this space, and we have yet to scratch the surface.

    • There are also art collectors who have come together to create extensive collections of art. This will lead to the new museums of tomorrow, provide patronage to artists, and fund new and exciting ideas.

And many other things came up in conversation with artists and collectors alike, making it an exciting forum. So I believe that we are early in this emergence... and it is ok that the emotion is flying high. But let us remember that even the experiences we have been partaking in are more considerable artistic experiences that we all play a part in. Our role in playing that part will depend on us, and we can make this a particular thing or just financial assets.

🖌️ Unconventional Media

FUSE for vvvv - Runtime Patching on the GPU

FUSE is a library for visually programming on the GPU, built to enable rapid workflows and modular approaches to accelerated graphics, logic and computation.” Oh yeah, and it runs on vvvv gamma, the next-generation vvvv visual platform which got some major releases while the pandemic raged – see

https://visualprogramming.net/

. (Windows-only – hey time to build that box with a new NVIDIA GPU, huh? Pronounced “vee-four” or “v-fier” or sometimes a percussive “v! v! v! v!”)

📸 Generative Graphics

Using Text Network Graph Visualization as a Musical Instrument

In this case study, we will demonstrate how our text network graph visualization tool InfraNodus can be used in a live performance. We will show how its visual feedback system can serve as a generative tool for creating texts live. We will demonstrate how the visualization itself can be used as an interesting visual element during the show. Finally, we will show how InfraNodus can be connected to other musical devices through the MIDI interface. It can then be used to send/receive MIDI signals to a synth or a drum machine in order to trigger sounds and sequences in them. The user — or operator — becomes a binding link between the sound (the music) and the image (the visualization). And language — what we actually used to input data — becomes the medium that connects it all together.

🔖 Articles and Tutorials

Introduction to Generative Music

I first discovered Brian Eno when I began enjoying ambient music. Eno is credited with inventing the phrase “ambient music,” first using the term to describe his 1978 release Ambient 1: Music for Airports. I soon learned of the interesting methods Eno used to compose the tracks for the album. For example, track “2/1” was created using several loops of magnetic tape played simultaneously. Each tape loop contained a recording of a single note, and would repeat on an interval determined by the length of the loop.

The Art of Generative Thinking

In the series »The Art of...« ZKM invites artists from the collection to talk about topics of their choice. With Manfred Mohr (*1938, Pforzheim), an artist has accepted the invitation who left traditional painting at the end of the 1960s in order to investigate the essence of the creative process by means of computer and to thereby arrive at new, complex forms.

Manfred Mohr is one of the world's best-known pioneers of digital art, who made history with the solo exhibition »Computer Graphics. Une ésthétique programmée« at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in spring 1971.

So, you want to subdivide a rectangle

In my approach to rectangle subdivision, you take a rectangle (or a square) and then you split or subdivide it along its longest side. Then you take your two new shapes and you subdivide both of them along their longest sides again. With a rectangle subdivision, you can make the subdivision even or uneven and make the line of subdivision straight or angled.

A small exploration of an algorithm inspired by ants, and some little experiments into simulating some of the behaviour of ants and slime moulds. I hope you enjoy!

📚Books

History of Information Graphics

In the age of big data and digital distribution, when news travel ever further and faster and media outlets compete for a fleeting slice of online attention, information graphics have swept the center stage. At once nuanced and neat, they distill abstract ideas, complex statistics, and cutting-edge discoveries into succinct, compelling, and masterful designs. Cartographers, programmers, statisticians, designers, scientists, and journalists have developed a new field of expertise in visualizing knowledge.

Much inspiration from the real world can drive the creativity used in creating generative art. It’s a more comprehensive book, but it is chock full of great insights into the history of functional art.

Could you send me your inspirations?