GENERATIVE ART: What it is and why you should love it

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When asked about art of this generation, a good number of people will claim it is dead because it is obvious, we do not have greats like Picasso or Michelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci. We may be quick to claim that the young people of today are not as talented as the people of the previous generations and centuries. Over the last 50 years or so, art has greatly evolved, the young people today have embraced technology and have made great things out of it like art. There is a unique form of art that takes advantage of everything technology and computing has to offer and it is called Generative Art.

Generative Art can be a very complex topic because it has a lot of mathematics and coding involved. An overly simple way to define generative art is art programmed using a computer that intentionally introduces randomness as part of its creation process. Generative artists skillfully control both magnitude and the locations of randomness into their work to stimulate their creativity. It draws inspiration from pop art that heavily relies on orderly geometric patterns. The innovative art did not become famous until the 20th century, several artists derived ways of adding geometry into their craft. When computers emerged in the 1960s and 70s, generative artists began to experiment with this new technology, and mixed art with computer technology and as computers turned smarter and more accessible, artists used this advantage to code and make visual arts and recently, because of Artificial Intelligence, Generative Art has grown to greater milestones.

Generative Art involves literature, music, architecture, visual arts, and poetry. In Uganda, Generative Art does not get the necessary attention, so much so that the first ever video visual arts exhibition was recently held by the Creative Tribe at our home The Innovation Village in Jinja, with Scarlett Motiff as the exhibitor of the day. The world is currently past what we thought art would be in the future, we are currently witnessing the future of art which is Generative Art. “The digital generation is already light years ahead, the future we are planning for the young generation is already past and it is in our best interest to work with the youth today, because tomorrow maybe too late for us to matter in the future they are creating,”- CK Japheth, our Team Lead exclaimed in awe of the art displayed and exhibited.

The first ever digital art exhibition was held on Thursday, 3rd September 2020, under the theme, ‘The Rise in Technology Art’ inspired by fast paced technology. The exhibition was meant to skill different artists with the Generative Art skills, a new concept in Uganda and also at the same time expensive. “The goal of the exhibition was to inspire creatives who attended the event to try it out and explore the new concept. The first ever generative art exhibition was titled ‘Generative Dreams’ inspired by the artist – Nicole Apitta, also known as Scarlett Motiff said in an interview after the exhibition.

There are very many reasons why you should love Generative Art. First of all, it is easy to create for all the coding geniuses and software engineers out there, that little accident in your coding can turn into a great depiction of art, you may not be as great as Georg Nees (a German academic who was a pioneer of computer art and generative graphics) but you will have something to show off. Secondly, we all cannot deny the fact that it is very good to look at, the magic created by the artist and the computer can be very impressive. Finally, for the artists, they can easily incorporate randomness into their art, which is what every artist dreams of adding to their craft.

Generative Art is the peak of art in this generation even though it derived inspiration from early century ideas such as Cubism. Technology and advancements in Artificial Intelligence have created room for the potential growth of Generative Art that has expanded in unimaginable ways, as it continues to evolve today.

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