All Things Digital

Thursday 05, March 2015

Generative Art & Creative Campaigning


Is computer-generated art really considered “art” and how does this new artistic era affect Digital Marketing?  


Rob Mitreski, Director at OnQue Digital, believes immersive responsive experiences created through generative art “expands the basic human senses to give the person a heightened experience instead of the traditional visual only experience.”

Dada artist Marcel Duchamp was best known for his conception of the ready-made object being considered “art” (this included everything from bicycle wheels to urinals) which decisively altered our understanding of just what it is that actually constitutes art. In Duchamp’s words, “I don't believe in art. I believe in artists.” 

But what happens when the artist is a computer? Covering mediums such as interactive generative art and algorithmic art? Art critics such as Lucy Lippard describe this new era as the “dematerialization of art”. Academics are now questioning how these changes will affect human behaviour, as artist Jon Mccormack believes, If the future is to be home to autonomous machine agents capable of participating in a society as artists, we cannot at present know what form they will take, because that will depend on the emerging state of technology—and of art itself—and how this in turn affects human behavior”. 

These conceptual shifts make for quite the dinner table conversation. To stimulate fluid debates we’ve supplied a few insights into some generative art lingo. 


What is Generative Art?

To break it down, generative art refers to any art practice where the artist uses a system, such as a set of natural language rules, a computer program, a machine, or other procedural invention, which ultimately results in an artwork.


What is Algorithmic Art?   

Remko Jan Hendrik Scha is a professor of computational linguistics at the faculty of humanities and Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a composer and performer of algorithmic art. Remko defines algorithmic art as “autonomous algorithms that produce visual art (or, perhaps equivalently, algorithms that themselves may be viewed as (meta-) artworks)”. In Remko’s art making, “we are not concerned with software-tools that facilitate the production of artworks by human artists”.


Interactive Generative Art

If you want to leave the conceptual debate behind for a moment have a go at interactive generative art apps like Silk described by creator Yuri Vishnevsky as “a magical interactive artwork”. 

Vishnevsky originally founded the app on fund raising website Kick-starter and has now sold the app to Itunes and boasts a global fan base. 


The Generative Artist   

Michelle Packwood is a Sydney based generative artist and founder of Dolcy and Duke. I asked Michelle a few questions regarding generative art and its relation to Digital Marketing. 

“Generative art and digital marketing go hand in hand. Welcome to the future. We are continuously seeing a fresh turnover of ideas being explored by the academic, creative and commercial sectors. This would indicate that generative art has a capability beyond traditional notions of art that often stagnate.” 

What about generative art in today’s marketplace? Is it becoming more prominent? Michelle believes so… 

“Technology is giving artists a complete new landscape to showcase their creative expressions. Generative art, or the digitalisation of art allows artists the freedom to determine the canvas it is showcased on weather it is physical or digital. From fabrics, products, digital and physical spaces. We can now print in three dimensions. We are on the frontier of seeing the fusion of art and science, which marries the natural world with the digital. The possibilities are endless."


Above is one of Michelle's amazing artworks. She designed the image first as a stand alone artwork and then collaborated with Sydney based band Ginger & The Ghost to create the band's single cover, Michelle also designed the branding and logo for the band.   


Generative Art and Branding 

Brands such as Breville and Dior are now jumping on the generative art bandwagon. To promote Breville’s new BES900 espresso machine the brands marketing team deployed a live activation of ‘The Naked Espresso’ a creative campaign strategy whereby 100,000 passers-by at Sydney’s Aroma Festival were given a live demonstration of the espresso machine, and watched on as the science from the machine was displayed in real time. 

Using live data from the BES900 espresso installation allowed for one-of-a-kind generative artwork to be generated that represented the individual characteristics of each espresso made live at the Breville stand.

Each of these unique pieces of art created through data visualization were then printed immediately onto the individual’s espresso cup accompanied with information printed onto it covering the science of the machine prompting the consumer to download their artwork and sign up for more information about the BES900 espresso machine. 

The campaign received outstanding results. 

Dior is another brand that has integrated generative art into their marketing plan. Digital designer Jonathan Da Costa curated ‘Grand Bal’, described by Costa as an “interactive window experience of generative art”, the installation being “part of a global Christmas campaign for the French luxury brand, the window was designed to create an immersive visual experience in the street, outside one of the most visited department stores in Paris. Based on the kinect motion sensor, the canvases were generated with visitor’s moves around the store." 

Art director and OnQue collaborator Adam Fine recently activated a unique interactive generative art installation with Bang & Olufsen at Maserati’s new Sydney showroom launch.  Guests were invited to rev the engine of the new Maserati Ghibli with in built B&O audio features. The engine sound wave was recorded and processed into a visual soundwave, which was then printed in 3D, becoming a functional part of the exhibition and take home gift. 


Generative Art Events and Sponsors

Generative Art is also infiltrating its way into international events like the Ghost Peloton Project. The event involves hundreds of cyclists in custom-built LED suits riding bikes adorned with lights illuminating the Tour de France route for two nights in May of this year, which sparked a continuing world tour responding to hillsides in Scotland, docklands in Japan; reformed urban sites in England and the vast industrial landscapes of the Ruhr in Germany. The event was sponsored by UK Charity Group Sustrans who work on enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for daily travel and NVA an organisation based in Glasgow who’s mission is to make powerful public art that reconnects people to their built and natural heritage.  


OnQue finds all of this fascinating and we are very interested to see where this is all heading. Let us know your perspectives on generative art in the comment section below. 



Generative Art & Creative Campaigning

Is computer-generated art really considered “art” and how does this new artistic era affect Digital Marketing?