When you can produce an image or an effect with the push of a button, it usually gets old quick. So it is not hard to imagine that we will see something akin to the tsunami of images with Photoshop filters we were inundated with in the early ‘90s. In fact, Valenzuela is building a tool suite not unlike Photoshop, but leveraging AI to democratize the new tools for artists and designers. I’m not going to lie, I want to be first in line to play with it.
As AI technology becomes increasingly available, artistry and technical advancement will only become more important in separating the remarkable AI artists from those repurposing old tools built by others or simply pushing a button to achieve an overused visual paradigm. I remain fascinated by the space and will continue to watch artists like Robbie Barrat, Mario Klingman, Tom White, Helena Sarin, Memo Atken, Gene Kogan, and others closely as their work evolves. I should also note at the time of this writing the traditional art world has started to take notice.
Summary and Conclusion
This post stems from me hearing too many people say they “do not like digital art.” Saying this is like saying “I do not like paintings,” as digital art is so broad a field with generative art just being one part of it. I thought surely if people better understood the genre, they would have a better appreciation for the skill of the artists and the art they produce.
My goal was to help you fall in love with generative art – or at least give you a better understanding of it – without having to talk about code and math. Your appreciation of this genre will only improve if you explore the algorithms and programming behind the work. But same as you do not need to know how to paint to appreciate paintings, I believe you can appreciate generative art without understanding programming.
Though it became quite lengthy, this post was also not intended as a comprehensive history of generative art. Many amazing artists and key practitioners were not included. This article is simply one path through the history of generative art that highlights many of the artists I admire. I’d be thrilled to write the full story if given a book advance (hint, hint).
In summary, let’s take a look back at what we have learned:
Generative art is an extension of central themes from 20th Century art
The artists play a major role in the outcome of the work
The process is very similar to traditional artmaking
Generative art has its own rich history going back to 1960
Women have played and continue to play major roles in this genre
MIT has been an incubator for brilliant generative artists
In the last two decades the genre has exploded as a result of the open source movement, improved tools like Processing, and a supportive community
AI art using GANs, Pix to Pix, and DensePose is a subgenre of generative art
As with all generative art, AI art is largely driven by human guidance
I studied art history in undergrad and earned an MFA in digital media, so I feel I have some qualifications to write a blog post like this. But in many ways it is not my story to tell. There is a strong chance I have made mistakes, and if I have referenced your work here and have gotten anything wrong, please know that I included your work in this post out of great appreciation and respect for what you do. Feel free to email me any corrections at Jason@artnome.com.
Finally, some of you may have noticed that the feature image for this article is by artist Manolo (Manuel Gamboa Naon), but I did not mention him in the text. This was intentional, and his work is included as a teaser. Along with Jared Tarbell, Robbie Barrat, and Mario Klingemann, Manolo is one of my favorite generative artists. I was lucky enough to interview him a few months back for feature piece that is now available. I could not limit myself to just a few paragraphs and one or two of his works – I’m hope you enjoy the interview!
Originally published on https://www.artnome.com/news/2018/8/8/why-love-generative-art