1,359 days, 2,170 entries ...

Newsticker, link list, time machine: HOLO.mg/stream logs emerging trajectories in art, science, technology, and culture––every day

“GEN/GEN: Generative Generations,” a generative art survey linking practitioners past and present, opens at Gazelli Art House London. Artists including Sougwen Chung, Licia He, Tyler Hobbs, Rhea Myers, Piter Pasma, Melissa Wiederrecht, and Stephen Willats contribute prints, plots, screen-based works, and NFTs. Multi-generational, visitors can take in 1980s paintings by Harold Cohen’s prescient AARON program in one glance and Brendan Dawes’ sculpture You, Me And The Machine (2022), the next.

“Someone once told me that, with blacksmithing, if you want to know the quality of someone’s work you look at their tools (because blacksmiths make their own tools). Generative programming is the same thing.”
– Generative artist 0xDEAFBEEF, suggesting an alternative way to evaluate code-based art—beyond simply looking at the work. Drawing on his hands-on experience as a metalworker and jeweller, the Canadian artist further elaborates that it’s the artist’s toolkit (personal software libraries, subroutines, workflow) “that allows you to have your own style and work efficiently.”

Generative art NFT platform fxhash announces a $5 million seed raise with venture capital firms and angel investors including Tezos Foundation, PunkVenturesDAO, Casey Reas, and thefunnyguys (Le Random). The funds will be used to hire more team members, support development of a 2.0 release (integrating Ethereum) and tools for art institutions, and bolster the platform’s mission of “empowering anyone, anywhere, to artistically express themselves with code,” they tweet (image: Zancan Garden, Monoliths, 2021).

Showcasing work spanning video and print, Zach Lieberman’s solo exhibition “Studies in Color, Light and Geometry” opens at Cromwell Place in London. Organized by the Verse NFT platform alongside several digital editions, it presents a selection of the American artist’s polychromatic horizontal banding and reflection studies. Nodding to precedents László Moholy-Nagy and Abraham Palatnik, it encapsulates the “geometry, animation, gesture, and graphic forms” at play in Lieberman’s steady stream of daily code sketches.

In the wake of its new After AI issue, the Australian art magazine Artlink revisits its special issues on digital media art practice, beginning with Art & Technology (image), published in 1987 in collaboration with the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) and Apple. Writer Julianne Pierce attributes this “prescient commitment” to founding editor Stephanie Britton’s exposure to holographics, digital animation, and computer-generated video in Adelaide’s Experimental Art Foundation (EAF).

A computer art ‘deep cut,’ the likes of which only DAM Projects could present, Wolfgang Kiwus’ “Out of the Attic” opens in Berlin. Featuring a trove of 1990s stark noise field and monochromatic lattice plots from the musician and writer who took up computer art in 1987, the show honours Kiwus in the aftermath of his 2022 passing. Conceptually rigorous, he experimented with dot matrix printers before adopting plotters, and moved in the same circles as Max Bense, Frieder Nake, and Vera Molnar.


Spanish software engineer Inigo Quilez launches Human Shader, a web-project that aims to crowd-source the creation of “the first-ever brain-powered mathematical image.” Participants are invited to claim a random pixel, hand-compute its RGB values, and submit the results along with a photo of their pen-and-paper calculations. As a veteran demoscener, Quilez is no stranger to computer graphics wizardry: he’s behind the Shadertoy platform, the Quill VR painting tool, and Pixar’s Wonder Moss generator.

Against the backdrop of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) retrospective “Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, 1952-1982,” four artists gather to ‘fill’ Casey Reas’ software installation An Empty Room (2023) with intimate, evocative gestures. More happening than performance night, the program fittingly called “A Full Room” brings together Edgar Fabián Frías, Lauren Lee McCarthy (image), Romi Ron Morrison, and Reas himself who, through song, poetry, and prayer, ask a vexing question: “What is social software?”

“Unlike traditional artists, I think generative artists operate a lot more, structurally speaking, like musicians. When a musician releases new music, they have tour tickets, which are somewhat reasonably priced and fans can feel like they’re directly supporting the artist.”
– Digital artist Maya Man, on how NFT releases (in the hundreds or thousands) facilitate more “expansive” artist-collector relationships than limited editions aimed at a few wealthy collectors
“I gave credit to Mondrian, who inspired my investigation of the potential for digital art—this was not ‘copycat stuff.’ To some extent, the Mondrian experiment was a crude Turing test of machine intelligence.”
– Computer art pioneer A. Michael Noll, rebuffing critic Jed Perl’s dismissal of his 1964 experiment to algorithmically generate Mondrian-style compositions
“The Goose looks like nothing in the collection and however many times you would have run the algorithm before or afterwards, you would not expect to replicate it.”
– Pseudonymous digital art collector 6529, contextualizing his $6.2M purchase of Dmitri Cherniak‘s NFT Ringers #879 (The Goose) in a Sotheby’s auction

Ringers #879 (The Goose), from Canadian artist Dmitri Cherniak’s 2021 Art Blocks NFT series, is sold at a Sotheby’s London auction for $6.2M. The sale to collector 6529 completes an ‘only in crypto’ journey, as the NFT was amongst the liquidated assets of collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. ‘The Goose’ is perhaps Ringers most beloved output, for the avian neck, beak, and eye that serendipitously peeks out from an algorithmic exploration of the myriad ways to wrap pegs with string.

“We’ve been fixing the airplane while flying it for twenty years now—we’re really trying to make it more sustainable for the people involved.”
– Processing co-founder Casey Reas, summarizing two decades of open source software development. In conversation with kenconsumer, Reas and Raphaël de Courville reflect on the state of generative art, why NFTs took off during the pandemic, and recent Processing Foundation initiatives.
Christiane Paul
Digital Art (World of Art)
The forth edition of the digital art curator’s acclaimed 2003 survey includes recent developments like AI, augmented and mixed realities, and NFTs (and features pioneer Caudia Hart on the cover).
“We become fixated on the affordances of a software program or the politics of a database; we even classify works according to the tools with which they were made, unintentionally reviving largely outmoded notions of medium-specificity.”
– Buffalo AKG Art Museum curator Tina Rivers Ryan, on the “intersection of art and technology” where classics like Charles Csuri and James Shaffer’s 1967 Sine Curve Man are valued primarily for their technical traits. “I wonder if our focus on how these works are made tends to inhibit our ability to also fully experience them as art, pushing us away instead of drawing us closer.”
“The food banks in New York were in serious trouble due to food scarcity. And then all the while, people were focusing on this super rare digital object.”
– Automation artist Dmitri Cherniak, on the furor around Dead Ringers (2022), which sent NFTs to random Ethereum addresses rather than making them available to rabid collectors. Chatting with Jason Bailey, the Canadian artist shares that (some of) his works are a “a response to people treating me like an object or a way to make money.”

Completing the NFT-release-to-exhibition trajectory in just six months, Tyler Hobbs’ “QQL: Analogs” opens at Pace New York. The American artist describes his solo show as “an examination of ways to integrate the hand and the machine in painting,” and explores the texture and imperfections introduced when using oil and acrylic paint to plot selected outputs of his eponymous circle packing algorithm. Closing the loop, each of the 12 large paintings on sale are bundled with the NFT used to generate it (e.g.)

Named after a line of predictive text poetry, Travess Smalley’s solo exhibition “Number colors burn randomly” opens at Foxy Production, New York. Comprising new textile works (literal pixel rugs), plotter drawings, silk screen prints, and videos, the show expands upon the American artist’s use of code and scripts to plant “seeds of chance” for visual production. “It might not be the mark of my hand that is interesting,” notes Smalley, “but the exact inverse, the absence, the ghost, the memory.”

“Grids are emblematic of the array—the fundamental data structure around which all computer hardware and software is built. So, the grid is a natural visual form for computer–based digital art, and the aesthetic implications of this are far-reaching.”
– Generative artist Tyler Hobbs, on the enduring technological relevance of (the often grid-based works of) Agnes Martin. Reflecting on the late American painter in advance of his show “QQL: Analogs,” Hobbes enthuses “her work has taught me to take a closer look.”
To dive deeper into Stream, please or become a .

Daily discoveries at the nexus of art, science, technology, and culture: Get full access by becoming a HOLO Reader!
  • Perspective: research, long-form analysis, and critical commentary
  • Encounters: in-depth artist profiles and studio visits of pioneers and key innovators
  • Stream: a timeline and news archive with 1,200+ entries and counting
  • Edition: HOLO’s annual collector’s edition that captures the calendar year in print
$40 USD