Web Art History, Coding in Blender and Coding Raytracing on a Calculator
#041 - Creative Coding / Generative Arts Weekly
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." - Thomas Merton
Good Evening Readers!
It’s been a rather interesting couple of months adjusting to full-time work at home and trying to give a thorough think on what it means to make art and what does generative art stand for in the context of today. So many questions that have been on my mind are:
Is it alright to create work inspired by Rothko or Pollock? Were the abstractionists breaking the molds post-WWII as they foreshadowed a new age of conceptual art? Is it dishonest or uninteresting to continue in such veins even though it speaks to one’s soul? Or should one dig deeper still knowing that there is more to grapple with?
What are the generative functions from a technical context vs. the artistic context of the work?
Is there a theory of aesthetics that generative art should fall toward? Do we need to be able to categorize it?
Would not a theory of aesthetics be a suitable method for more profound analysis if we could objectively classify a body of work in the context of the concept and technical technique?
Since there is a technical feat culture independent of the aesthetic language, is it an extension of the conceptual practice or undefined? What makes them exciting or different from the latest graphic innovations in Hollywood or the gaming industry?
Much of these questions are yet for me to answer for myself, but it is always good to document them.
I am finding but losing myself all at the same time.
I hope you will find some interesting material in the following pieces!
I’ve watched the many different opportunities to connect with others in creative coding environments. I know many other local opportunities exist; reach out, and I’ll be happy to continue to add them to the list.
Eyeofestival - June 14 - 17, 2022
School of Poetic Computation - Multiple Courses
Anderson Ranch Art Center - Multiple Classes
MaxMSP Algorithmic Ambient
Found this algorithmic ambient music and found it relatively peaceful to listen to!
The software used here is MaxMSP.
📸 Generative Graphics
What follows is hopefully a semi-regular feature for this Substack; a flash exhibition intended to capture the state of space in the crypto art world frozen at a particularly interesting moment in time. This exhibition considers fxhash, a generative art site on the Tezos blockchain still in beta. Since the success of Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza, and the launch of the curated site artblocks, some big money bets on the Ethereum blockchain have focused on generative art by mostly well-known artists. But fxhash isn’t intrinsically about big money bets— although some of its pieces have incidentally exploded in monetary value, it’s inherently designed as an experimental space for generative crypto art that values the art itself not merely as a financial asset. Written by A. Marraccini
I enjoyed the writing and the tracing of style through art history.
NFTs, or tokens as I’ll refer to them, can be understood as unique digital objects that can be collected and transferred from one user to another in a cryptocurrency network. Under the umbrella label of crypto art, they often represent a media file, a piece of software, or some artistic concept. These can be released to collectors in a limited capacity, with a cryptographic signature and provenance that traces directly back to the artist.
🔖 Articles and Tutorials
Devised in concert with Rhizome's acclaimed digital preservation department, Net Art Anthology aims to address the shortage of historical perspectives on a field in which even the most prominent artworks are often inaccessible. The series takes on the complex task of identifying, preserving, and presenting 100 exemplary works in a field characterized by broad participation, diverse practices, promiscuous collaboration, and rapidly shifting formal and aesthetic standards, sketching a possible net art canon.
The following digital preservation of these art exhibitions on the web is far too quickly forgotten in the rise of the notorious NFT rage. However, sometimes one has to slow down and respect the projects before us.
Like it or not, we are all computer nerds now. All aspects of our lives are driven by computation and algorithms: how we learn, work, play, even date. Given this situation, one could argue that generative art—work created at least in part with autonomous, automated systems—is the art that best reflects our time.
This writeup by Jason Bailey, a.k.a Artnome, is a bit dated back in 2020 but provides a bit more of a historical context on the tools used by the artists at the turn of the century and how they have progressed into the mechanisms of today, which, if you have been reading this newsletter any you have seen a relatively bountiful supply of these tools.
A review of the state of the art in real-time graphics shading languages and compilers in both graphics and compute. What are some of the differences between HLSL, GLSL, MSL, and WGSL? What are some ways to transpile shaders?
For those of you who are curious about the various Shader Languages and their
A long time ago, I wrote a really slow ray-tracing program for a TI-84 calculator. I figured it's about time for an upgrade.
Blender is a very rich ecosystem and Grease-Pencil in version 2.8 is a powerful and versatile tool. Generative art is a captivating way to showcase the tool potential: if you love Python and don’t feel like learning Processing, or are still unsure about venturing with p5.js or Three.js, here you will find the perfect playground.
This tutorial’s aim is to encourage creative coders to try Blender as a platform for procedural artwork. Blender is free software in the sense that no payment is required to download and use it. Furthermore, its source code is available online.
What we make, makes us. This is the central tenet of Artful Design, a photorealistic comic book that examines the nature, purpose, and meaning of design. A call to action and a meditation on art, authenticity, and social connection in a world disrupted by technological change, this book articulates a fundamental principle for design: that we should design not just from practical needs but from the values that underlie those needs.
The author is Stanford Professor Ge Wang, who has done several interesting projects of instead a large magnitude at the intersection of Art and Technology.