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Conway's Game of Life - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With my new V4.0 paintings (emergence series) if I redid one on a canvas with different dimensions but kept everything else the same I’d have a different painting. 
I need to read up on the ‘game of Life’ I have a very basic understanding of it. (not the board game). It’s a mad bit of programing.


Just a few rules about the nine squares, surrounding a square and with tweaking you get loops and definite forms that seem to grow and die back. Some times they go on infinitely. I fell in love with this idea way way back in my teens when I just started Uni.

I don’t know how to approach it. My gut says use a blend of digital and plastic media, where I make an animation of the art work as it grows from generation to generation. Or to do a series of works each one a new generation.

Procedural numbering and kittens

 I did promise to attempt to explain my Procedural painting number system. 

At the start of a set I roll dice to see how many will be in that particular version. So if I’m working on V1 and roll a 4, it mean that I have 4 paintings to do. The titles run V1.0.1 through to V1.0.4.

When the title changes to V1.1.4 say, that means an adaptation, or improvement has been added to the algorithm. Usually to make it run smoother or add interest. 
In this case I had not considered using fills on the first work but added them in after. So when I introduced the fills I changed from 1.0 to 1.1.
Is that clear or did I explain it badly?

Each new version i.e. V1 and V2 have major elements introduced. 
I V2 I began using coloured grounds to work on. V3 and V4 are going to deal with emergence. V4 is using circles (which I’m loving at the moment). V3 is still on lines but I haven’t worked out what the emergent properties will be just yet. They have to be line based other than that no idea just yet.

( I lied about the kittens. No kittens here.)

The algorithm and the Machine.

These procedural paintings are exciting and weird. The painting is precalculated to an algorithm I have designed. ( A video to clarify how this works is bubbling it’s way to the surface in my brain) This of course means that I have no idea what the final image will look like.

In the course of painting the algorithm will create areas of paint where the brush marks, consistency of paint and colour combine to become something beautiful. Then 3 steps later the algorithm says that the area needs a 2 thick solid lines through it destroying the harmony built into that section.

Its odd knowing for certain what to do to improve a painting but then, not doing it because the algorithm instructs otherwise.

Someone asked me what if the algorithm creates something you hate, well I guess if I was to not follow the algorithm it would for me at least destroy the integrity of the whole series. The risk that I create a piece of work that fails on all artistic merits, or that the whole series looks rubbish is there. The algorithm is the thing. It is the hidden process. I have become a slave, a machine, to the art algorithm. In my artistic bondage to the algorithm I may have found a freedom of sorts. 

I feel like I have upended the natural order of the work.  Using the algorithm to remove and absolve  myself of any decisions in the creation of an artwork. The algorithm is still evolving.

The main themes that this series plays with are the ideas of  emergence, generative art, the role of the artist and the nature of creativity.   

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