Surrealism and automatic art techniques


paalen-fumage-1937.jpgWell in a fit of serendipitousness the universe showed me fumage, painting with smoke, (ok, it was really Stumble Upon that showed it to me or maybe it was a result of my reckless urges to websurf when i shouldn’t be.) Anyway that led to a wikipedia page on Surrealistic art techniques which all came back to generative art, albeit in a slightly different vein but with a similar philosophy.

It is odd how circular things are sometimes.

And in response to my friend Nan’s comment on the last post about the nature of generative art…

“i’m not sure how generative software art really is. it is programmed after all by humans who make the machine, etcetera, but the point i’m trying to get at and will probably have nightmares over, is that the controls are set in the creation of the tool and thus the tools have limits which exceed the limits of play doh.”

I think this is an interesting point. How random is random? In an interview with Golan Levin, an artist and MIT scholar, he brings up the fact that there are several models of “randomness” and yet many artists and animators stick to the model built into their particular software, Flash, for example. This would tend to make things feel considerably less “random”. But physical objects have limitations of randomness also. Whatever their particular physical nature is determines how many possible outcomes they can be manipulated into. So play-doh has one set of limitations and water has another. This is obviously not determined by humans, but it could be argued that it is determined by mathematical and physics principals similar to that of computer programs. Anyway, food for thought.

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One Response to “Surrealism and automatic art techniques”

  1. your pal n Says:

    so does this mean you have taken up smoking or buy cigs or are you using some other smoke generator tool, incense perhaps?

    there is a beautiful work in the lobby of Rocket, the postcard making place in san francisco. it is a grid of cigarette burns, circular, on a large paper substrate. formal, yet stunning. willy cole does some engaging images with irons. and certainly there are others. oh yeah, my colleague, robert herhusky, who is a glass artist, draws with hot glass, it leaves a smoky burn mark. very nice.

    this is not a smoky art mark, but rather a random directed truth: mettaverse.org

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