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New Work: Algorithmic, Procedural and Generative Art Sketches – Mark Gould, 2013

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I’ve been working for the last few years using a combination of “creative coding” applications like Processing, thanks in part to the very large community that supports each other in the development and sharing of open source code and new media creation tools. Max/MSP, Quartz Composer and openFrameworks. Although I wrote HTML as a web designer for awhile, I’m not a coder or a programmer and have made a start in part thanks to this wonderul, sharing community and the ability to cut and paste code, tweak it until I’ve gotten satisfactory results, and combined this with more widely used and sophisticated user-interface driven generative and procedural painting applications like Studio Artist 4.

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I didn’t originally expect this to be a quick or short learning curve, and therefore I consider the work so far to be more like digital sketching, works in progress and exploratory in nature. Given that I’m not a coder and so much of the beautiful generative art shown at museums and major exhibitions is produced by so many talented coders, I see the process and form of my work continually being refined over time.

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This work combines a number of generative, procedural drawing and algorithmic brush based painting, which means that the the code underlying a brush style modifies and changes in real time depending on variables, such as pen angle, pressure, and mathematical changes that vary “under the hood” while you draw. One could say my work does not fall within the generally supported definition of “generative,” which is to say that it is not done entirely in writing source code using programming languages, databases, data mapping, fractals, chaos theory and an overall aesthetic approach based on concepts of breeding, automatic selection rules and many other factors relating to computational aesthetics. Some of it is, and that work is then merged and layered in with UI-driven computer art software with other work that has been created “manually” with the artist intentionally interceding in the computer’s decision making process, which in many ways would make these images quasi-generative in nature.

 

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Sometime soon I’ll be writing to elaborate on the work going on to give generative software more artist-friendly user interfaces, and what’s available.

And so, part of my exploration here is not just the work itself, much of my intention is to raise questions about exactly what can or can’t be considered generative art, whether the genre can evolve to perhaps include this kind of hybrid work or whether it belongs in a genre of it’s own. At the same time I and other artists are exploring what could be considered processes in digital abstract expressionism, a metaphor that it seems to me fits nicely with the often chaotic, immersive, ever changing nature of generative art. What I often think about is opposed to paint drips, while the medium is digital the process is random, playful and the underlying code creates “algorithm drips.” It may be presumptuous for me to define it as anything, and let others be the judge.

 

 

 

New Work: Mark Gould Photography – San Francisco Stratford Hotel

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o.k. back to tending to the blog after a break. Doing a lot of photography and getting some great new shots in SF. Here’s an edit of one taken downtown last week. All images are for sale as large format prints on archival art papers at this gallery store:

 

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Memes As Art: Media Installation Artist Dave Greber

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by Mark Gould,
Editor – Photosynthesis Media Arts and Theory Journal (republished from my other blog)

For a while now, I’ve wanted to write and introduce you to the work of media installation artist Dave Greber, part of the New Orleans based artist collective The Front. David belongs to a group of video artists, experimental cinema producers, writers and other artists who are exploring popular culture and it’s media conduit, exposing the often subliminal propaganda-style messages we are all confronted by every day, and in doing so invites all of us to examine media memes and the roles they play in social communications.

More than 30 years ago, long before the concept of an internet meme became so popular and commonplace, media theorists and activists were studying the cultural effects of a meme, most usually defined as “an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture,” often passed along on a personal, family or neighborhood level but on a grander scale through the mass media, including television and the internet.

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Adbusters and many other similarly motivated groups have long used the concept of “culture jamming” to both explore and reveal how commercial, corporate, government and other media channels transmit messages through means of mass communications networks that operate on any number of different levels and in dong so, help deconstruct media messages. Neither media messages or internet memes are inherently subversive or deceptive, but the fact that they can be and often are have led to the comparing of these messages to similar processes in what is more narrowly considered to be usually dramatic, commercial or political “propaganda.” But more broadly defined, propaganda is the spreading of ideas, information to further a cause and/or influence public opinion or perception in many ways, through many channels.

These ideas have been explored by media studies scholars, activists and artists (“artivists”) across the cultural spectrum for a long time. What media artists such as Greber employ are devices studied in the field of semiotics, a general philosophical theory of signs, symbols and cultural codes that deals especially with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, and semantics. From the Merriam Webster Dictionary (online)

Semiotics – Study of signs and sign-using behaviour, especially in language. In the late 19th and early 20th century the work of Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Sanders Peirce led to the emergence of semiotics as a method for examining phenomena in different fields, including aesthetics, anthropology, communications, psychology, and semantics. Interest in the structure behind the use of particular signs links semiotics with the methods of structuralism.

Having recently seen some of Dave Greber’s work on Vimeo, I think the inspiration for much of his work takes place as part of this exploration into, as he says, “the constant attack on our biological and cultural environments by commercial forces.”

I have been researching and exposing tactics of corporate television advertising that are, for the most part, culturally degenerative memes overlooked by the general public. I create a skeleton commercial built from the tone, cadence, verbal and graphic illusions that comprise a corporate propaganda campaign. I then fill the shell with my own agenda, which is to reveal that the form itself is psychologically manipulative. I infuse them with my own contemporary style and present them as a seamless loop, which translates them from a parasitic corporate language to one of viewer empowerment.

And along with the artistic and cultural exploration inherent in his work, Dave Greber also combines a very healthy sense of humor. He says, “I have a great time making and showing these. They make me laugh and they are intended to make the viewer laugh when they have a realization of their own.” I hope you will enjoy them too, while you’re also “getting the message.”

Dave Greber’s website
Dave Greber on Vimeo

Primer (2010)
a video installation
by Dave Greber, TV Boxes. Roel Miranda
Starring
Camilla Bergin, Andy Cook, Tessa Corthell, Stephen Kennedy, Roel Miranda, JJ Smith, Robert Ries, Jen DeGregorio, Valorie Polmer, Lea Downing, Alden Eagle, Katie Gelfand, Matthew Holdren, Brandon Meginley, Phil Rached
Asst. Director, Katie Gelfand
Camera , Dave Greber, Phil Rached
Music: Peter Leonard, Kevin MacLeod

At the Asian Art Museum – In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art during the Joseon Dynasty

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In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art

The Asian Art Museum – In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art during the Joseon Dynasty

 

In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art during the Joseon Dynasty (via PR Newswire)

Download image Download image King Jeongjo’s Procession to His Father’s Tomb in Hwaseong, 1795 (det). Korea. Handscroll; ink and colors on paper. H. 18 3/8 in. x W. 150 ft. 11 in. National Museum of Korea. (PRNewsFoto/Asian Art Museum) In an unprecedented…

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The EFF Guide to San Diego Comic-Con

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The EFF Guide to San Diego Comic-Con (via EFF)

With the arrival of summer at EFF, you can hear the excitement in the stuffing of luggage and locking of office doors as our team prepares for some of the most important conventions in the world. Black Hat starts on July 27, with DEF CON immediately…

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Google May Spend $500 Million Marketing Moto X

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Google May Spend $500 Million Marketing Moto X (via slashdot)

Google reportedly plans to spend $500 million promoting its upcoming Moto X smartphone, according to The Wall Street Journal (paywall). That’s big money, to be sure, but can it help the device—or any device, for that matter—succeed in a crowded…

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Reflections on The Armory Show At 100 and The Cubists Vs. The Fauves

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Came across an interesting bit of art history after finding myself on the New York Historical Society’s website in celebration of  the 100th anniversary of the seminal 1913 Armory Show. For one month in New York City, The Armory Show introduced Americans to the European avant-garde artists of the day including Duchamp, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Picasso, and in doing so became what is has been called the most important art exhibition ever held in the U.S.

What Kim Orcutt writes for the Historical Society anniversary about the Cubists versus The Fauves is fascinating. It’s pointed out that The Armory Show is best remembered for Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2), and so today, it’s easy to think that the Cubists “were the ‘big news’ of 1913.” Orcutt points out that there was a lot of media attention to “find the nude,” and some critics had no taste for these “puzzle pictures.”

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Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)

Henri Matisse, Le Luxe II

Henri Matisse, Le Luxe II

But The Historical Society piece reminds us that the most important space at the show was reserved for Henri Matisse and other artists in his circle, known as the Fauves. Interestingly enough the Fauvist exhibit included a work by George Braque, who to many would become known for his work in Cubism.

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Georges Braque, The Port of Antwerp (Le Port d’Anvers), 1906.

Many critics were to become outraged at the Fauves’ primitivist style, which as the article points out, because to them it abandonded technical mastery at the dawn of the modern era and was called art for children. The article itself is brief, but you’ll enjoy seeing all of the art that was at the show by so many artists that we now know, and whose work we love. Hope you enjoy it.

Read more about The Armory Show at 100, The Cubists versus the Fauves ->

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