Generative Art Beyond the Algorithm

The exhibition, curated by Brian Droitcour, features artists who measure the rules of digital technology against the natural physics of light and sound, who stage encounters between the logics of computation and representation, who explore the space where the real world crashes into simulated ones.

Generative art can be a pure expression of code; artists drawn to it find beauty in the structure of the machine’s discrete intelligence and the proliferation of randomized processes. But outside that niche, the use of computers for aesthetic ends—from amateur digital painting and photo editing to Hollywood CGI and big studio games—aims to simulate the flow of the natural world.

Jonathan Chomko’s new NFT series Natural Static identifies a tension between these approaches and condenses it in a deceptively simple gesture: each output minted renders a video of water as a churn of pixels, responsive to the screen on which it is displayed. Natural Static belongs to a growing canon of projects that muddy the distinctions among genres of digital art, drawing on practices of creative coding and simulation, documentary and generative form.

The artists who make these works recognize that digital technology has its own laws and logics, and bring those out by putting them in dialogue with analog tools and the physics of the natural world.

Exhibition Artists: