Event Studies

an introduction to generative art

This lecture is an introduction to the cultural and cognitive phenomenology of generative art. Generative art is a heterogeneous realm of artistic approaches based upon combining the predefined elements with different factors of unpredictability in conceptualizing, producing and presenting the artwork, thus formalizing the uncontrollability of the creative process, underlining and aestheticizing the contextual nature of art.

The first part provides an overview of generativeness as one of the key factors of art making, and outlines the characteristics of generative art such as planned inclusion of chance and indeterminacy, the cognitive tension between the banality of pre-planned systems and their surprising outcomes, the idea of the artwork in the form of research or study, and the idea of art as a ludic, proto-, or pseudo-scientific experiment.

The second part focuses on the specific topics in contemporary generative art through five exemplary sets of art projects and comments on the conceptual, technical and poetic qualities of their methodologies. The examples are in complex interrelations. The set Transcoding looks at the reflections of early Nam June Paik’s hacking and transmedia imagination in contemporary generative art. Crowdsourced Remix addresses combining the programmed regularity or randomness with the (un)predictability of human input. Distracted Computer Vision addresses the generative use and ‘abuse’ of CV, which opens a new perspective for the critical assessment of traditional visual skills such as selective observation and depiction. Selective Semantics addresses the applied quantification of phenomenological qualities as a theme in itself. Escalation addresses the engaging effects of infinitesimal accumulation and sporadic disruptions of the monotonous build-ups in generative art.

The lecture is based upon the materials of the lectures Get Lucky: Cognitive Aspects of Generative Art, I Cite (Very) Art: (Re)creativity in Contemporary Art and Generative Art in the lecture series 0 = 1: Digital Art.

The lecture was made on 25 December 2015 at the Applied Art Department of the Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac, Serbia.