Generative art: creativity that taps into non-human systems

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In 1793, Mozart wrote Musikalisches Würfelspiel (“musical game with dice”), a simple game that associated the random numbers obtained from rolling dice to pre-written minuets displayed on a sort of chart. It’s probably one of the very first examples of generative art in history.

Generative art, which we can also understand as “art that generates art,” is a practice that results in veritable works of creativity through the use of autonomous non-human systems, whether they’re computer generated, robotic, mechanical or chemical.

In this art form, in general, the intervention of the artist is limited to the creation of a basic motif called a pattern (such as Mozart’s chart). In some cases, there isn’t even a pattern and the entire random-creative procedure is entrusted to an autonomous system (e.g., an algorithm).

This means that the intentionality of the artist or author is diminished, in some cases up to the point of being completely eliminated. Accordingly, spontaneity and randomness are the keywords behind any artwork of this type.

Creatives in visual arts, music, and literature began to experiment with generative art on and off in the 1980s. As far as the digital world is concerned, forms of generative art have always resulted in quite varied outcomes. Crypto art is no exception. For example, generative algorithms can be used to create a series of figures or characters, such as the CryptoPunks, some of which differ from one another by a single characteristic.

More interesting uses of this technology include generative art which takes advantage of artificial intelligence to create visual/sound installations that are the result of collaborations between artists, musicians, programmers and audio engineers.

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