Drawing in code

Algorithmic Beauty: 10 Artists Pushing the Boundaries of Code

Call To Art — Nov 2019

The following is a compilation of artists whose medium happens to be code. They are artists first and technologists second.

Technology is used in the service of the art and not the other way around. Zach Lieberman summarizes this perspective succinctly. “When I create work, I don’t want people to point at it and say, “That’s dope software.” I want them to say, “That’s a beautiful idea.” With that here’s a list of 10 artists doing amazing things with code. They make me want to improve my technical prowess in the hopes that I can make better art.

  1. GMUNK aka Bradley G. Munkowitz is a bit of Renaissance man when it comes integrating art and technology. His roots are in computer graphics and visual effects, but his body of work had grown beyond the screen. GMUNK creates dark and mystical immersive experiences that center on the themes of metaphysics and our connection to technology.
  2. Zach Lieberman’s work through his daily sketches. What I forgot is I’ve found him once before through the EyeWriter project. The EyeWriter project was a fantastic way to use code to enable the creativity of a street artist who lost all mobility in his limbs.
  3. The German-born, Brooklyn based designer/artist Philip Schmitt’s focus is on the use of technology to question the nature of work. Specifically creative work in the digital age. His explorations illustrate potential future implications of technology.
  4. Mark Dorf explores the dualities between natural and urban landscapes, the physical and the virtual. He combines photography, digital media, and sculpture to examine the influence of the information age on our sense of place whether urban or natural. His aesthetic is what lured me into his work.
  5. Joshua David - A way to describe his work best is developing algorithmic systems that create art. In other words generative visuals. David considers himself to be more of a designer since he takes on client work.
  6. The New York-based Dutch-Brazilian Net Artist Rafael Rozendaal’s mantra is the accessibility of art. Each of his net art pieces lives on their own domain to make them feel like completed works. If they don’t live as distinct entities as Rozendaal puts it, “they just become a series of files no one ever looks at.”
  7. Los Angeles based Kyle McDonald’s interactive pieces revolve around relationships and relationships as mediated through technology. He’s an educator at heart so all of his work is available via GitHub. McDonald is also a key contributor to the openFrameworks creative programming language.
  8. Casey Reas along with Ben Fry created the open source programming language called Processing, which a large portion of digital artists use. Reas’ primary focus is generative art, and codes to create installations, prints, static objects and motion graphics. Reas is an artist and educator who currently teaches at the UCLA Design Media Arts Lab in Los Angeles
  9. The Oslo/New York-based Marius Watz, exploits code to create unintentional beauty that arises from randomness and glitch. Watz believes accidents are sometimes more interesting than the first intended consequences. He’s a big proponent of staying away from standard algorithms in producing his visual works. He feels that leveraging algorithms that have already been used by others create familiar and generic visual tropes.
  10. Tim Rodenbroeker - He created a custom app that allowed a record label, Tonboutique Records to generate an infinite number of covers without ever having to leave their corporate design system. The number of digital releases increased rapidly, and the need to produce an exponential amount of album cover designs did as well.

Read the full article, here.