Generative Art

Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?

The role Rosalind Picard ascribes to emotion in limiting search in “Affective Computing” is played by ‘temperature’ in Douglas Hofstadter’s programs from “Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies”.



“There are now two conditions of the possibility of art: the address to the High Modernist spectator, and the satisfaction of the consumer of transparent images – however dressed up in the literal or the virtual.” – Art & Language, ‘Mother, Father Monday’.


Trip Hop Art (Poetics [A Decade On])

Blur (focus), uneven lighting, dust on the plane, dust in the volume, fading & yellowing of pigments due to ‘age’, creasing & scratching of the support, tearing & crumpling of the support, crak(l)ing/blooming/yellowing of varnish, fading of edges, photographic grain, canvas/paper texture, halftone, digital pixels & quantisation, compression artefacts, water stains, coffee cup rings, lens flare, video blurriness, video generation degredation, black&white reproduction, b&w halftone, bad colour halftoning, 50’s red, 70’s yellow, 80’s green & blue

The drum track has static and scratches. This is the lowest level of the music suffering the most basic ironisation. Static/scratches on vinyl are also inherently rhythmic.
Instruments are obvious samples retaining their recording (spatial and temporal) quality, or made too bright/bassy to ensure distance (ironisation).
The vocals are brought close, their raw qualities emphasised, the edges sent of the top of the meter.
Gavin Turk’s rusty mirrored cubes.
Fiona Rae (no noise, though?).

The noise becomes part of the signal.



Space, depth, perspective.
Colour, form.


Transparency and Shadow

“The quintessentially modernist ideal of a transparent, shadowless work” – ‘States of Secrecy’, Michael Gauthier in ”Too Dark To Read.

“…the replacement of ‘visual art’ by texts was being celebrated as the driving out of allusion and shadow by transparency – a direct channel thereby being opened to the ‘meanings’ and ‘intentions’ of the artist” – ‘Almost Too dark To See’, Charles Harrison ibid.

Generative Art


Most AI art producers begin from a model of child art.
Children’s art is knowledge-based, figure based, and emergent (unplanned).
In contrast, an “adult” (professional) figurative artist is observation-based, balances positive and negative space, and works on the composition before the content of the work.
A program that worked in this way would pre-scan the picture plane and tag its elements (pixels or pre-generated polygons) with relational information:
• close to the edge, centre, top, bottom, left, right
• on the edge of the picture plane
• proximity to other elements
• relative size
• formal qualities (jagged, smooth, triangular, square)
The next stage of the program can then work with a richer environment.
Embody compositional principles: golden sections, horizontal/vertical/diagonal, ground/sky line, etc.
Valence the plane, valence the compositional principles, then build the composition.
Give equal weight to figure and ground, to positive and negative space.
This is a technical exercise, but figure/ground relations are important in art. The boundary or distribution of shapes must be aesthetically interesting in some extra-aesthetic way. This sounds like “No Logo” or philosophy/business theory.

The Participant Renders

The beholder gazes at the artwork, disinterested, finding immanent and unmediated emotional experience contained within it.
The consumer views the artwork, their discourse unreflectingly illustrated by it.
The participant renders the artwork, engaging with it to generate the experience of it. Canvases are scene-graph scripts or interactors.

Richter, Photo, JPEG

Richter’s blurry photo paintings as critique.
JPEGs are a ‘green’ format, conserving limited resources (in bad conscience). They prioritise distribution over fidelity. Their participant’s gaze ignores loss. reconstituting it from expectation, glad to receive an approximation in less time.

‘JPEG is designed for compressing either full-color or gray-scale images
of natural, real-world scenes. It works well on photographs, naturalistic
artwork, and similar material; not so well on lettering, simple cartoons,
or line drawings. JPEG handles only still images, but there is a related
standard called MPEG for motion pictures.
JPEG is “lossy,” meaning that the decompressed image isn’t quite the same as
the one you started with. (There are lossless image compression algorithms,
but JPEG achieves much greater compression than is possible with lossless
methods.) JPEG is designed to exploit known limitations of the human eye,
notably the fact that small color changes are perceived less accurately than
small changes in brightness. Thus, JPEG is intended for compressing images
that will be looked at by humans. If you plan to machine-analyze your
images, the small errors introduced by JPEG may be a problem for you, even
if they are invisible to the eye.’ –


Light Paintings

Flecks of light cast by a glitterball.
Scanned by a laser.
Hit by a torch beam.
Glass under a spot light.
Lit by a photocopier or a scanner.
A camera flash.


Practice masking acrylic with adhesive vinyl.
Is it possible to photosensitise oil paint, or to dry oil by exposing it to UV through a negative and then wash off any unexposed areas with solvent?