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Generative Art: A look at process

Once again I’m revisiting the process I use for creating generative art. I recently came across this comprehensive blog post on generative art from Artnome, and it’s really inspired me to look back at how my process has evolved, and why I am drawn to this type of image making.

On to the process. I start off with a simple object. In this case I photographed some ribbons, and made them into PNGs with a transparent background. I use the procreate app for all of my processing and design.

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A Process for Making Generative Art

I like to make images that fall somewhere between collage, generative art, and algorithmic art. My generative artistic process usually begins with either a photograph I have made, or an image from the public domain. Some favorite places to search for public domain images incude Flickr Commons, the vast collection of public domain images from the Metropolitan Museum of art, and also the Walters Art Gallery.

A Collection of Image from Flickr’s “The Commons.”

I then begin a collaborative process between me, my device (in this case a 12.9 inch iPad Pro), and series of Photo-editing apps.

After the images are arranged or combined in Procreate, I start generating new images, often with an app called decim8. I sometimes use an app called PicsArt for interesting filters, and then I go back to Procreate for further layering and collaging. I also use Brushstroke, which uses algorithmic filters to make an image look painterly.

The iterations of the generative art process

Is it purely algorithmic? Yes, because I always feed an image into decim8, which uses algorithmically generated filters. No, because I produce numerous iterations, and it takes my human eye to determine what is aesthetically pleasing. To take it to the next level, It would be interesting to use an app like decim8 and train it to randomly produce something that is aesthetically pleasing.

Glitch Aesthetic

Glitch Art Aesthetic

Glitch art is characterized by images that have been spliced, offset, de-interlaced, xeroxed, pixelated, or any number of filtered effects that makes the image look, for lack of a better word, glitched.

What is Glitch Art?

Glitch art is a continuous transaction between human and machine. You give the machine an image. It gives you back an altered image. You push, it pulls, you give, it takes. It’s an ongoing negotiation. The machine gives back infinite altered versions of that image. The beauty is in the curation of these iterations. The machine can glitch infinitely. It is up to the artist to choose the one that is compelling. Read more