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June 21, 2005

Generator.x curated by Marius Watz is an exhibition and conference on software and generative strategies in current art and design practice to happen in September. He has also set up a blog on the topic that’s well worth reading. I’ve been invited to participate in the exhibition.


The Generator.x project is a conference exhibition and weblog examining the role of software and generative strategies in current digital art and design.

The computer has become an essential tool in all forms of cultural production and as such it has become the constant companion of creatives everywhere. Increasingly the computer is both the means of production and the architecture of presentation. In the case of meta-media like HTML and Flash the software is the medium.

Intrigued by the power of computation and the realization that all digital media are in fact software a new generation of artists and designers are turning to code as a means of new expression and a way to better control their medium. They have realized that software is not the transparent interface it has conventionally been thought to be. Instead software is a material that both limits and permits personal expression.

True literacy means being able to both read and write. If to use pre-existing software is to – read – digital media then programming is the equivalent to writing. The Generator.x project focuses on artists and designers who embrace this new literacy not as a technical obstacle but as a way to redefine the tools and the media they work in. Through a conference an exhibition and this blog we will explore the following topics:

  • Generative aesthetics: How can generative strategies be used to create dynamic systems with aesthetic parameters whether to give new solutions to specific problems (computational design) or as an end in itself (generative art)?
  • Designing processes: A computational approach to design changes static objects into dynamic processes. What implications does this have for design and architecture whether used for analysis aesthetic expression or information visualization?
  • Performative software: Musicians and visual performers are using generative systems to create complex instruments for live performance trying to overcome the convention of simply mimicking physical interface. How can a software instrument becomes as complex and expressive as a physical instrument that has been perfected over centuries?
  • Software by creatives for creatives: Artists and designers are increasingly creating their own software to meet special needs not covered by commercial packages sharing their results as Open Source.