PROJECT: Your task is to create and activate a generative system that relates to an environmental issue.
Note: Each of the previous art projects was designed to increase your familiarity with eco art mediums, with your command of expressive strategies for eco art, and with your connection with material and immaterial components of planet. The next series of art projects focus on communicating what you have learned to the public. The first conveys a concept. The second conveys information. The third evokes emotion. The fourth promotes reform.
Generative systems are capable of producing their own outcomes. This means the events that evolve from the system are unpredictable. In art, the term ‘generative’ is particularly significant because it indicates that the generative artist has chosen NOT to control the creative process. The term is commonly associated with computer algorithms that direct outcomes without the artist’s intervention. In this instance, the artist relinquishes control to the software program. In contrast, the generative systems that engage eco artists are often directed by non-human living entities. In both instances, the artist takes credit for designing the generative system, but not for the resulting outcome which, intentionally, was not predictable.
READ TO LIFE! Read any three chapters by the artists mentioned below.
Biological reproduction provides a model of generative systems. Eco artists’ varied approaches to living generative systems include breeding (Ballengee); gardening (Fournier, Sherk); algae (Franceschini); plants (Haacke, Ngo, Saraceno); food production (Harrison, Critical Art Ensemble), mold (Hundertwasser); compost (Gelitin); fungi (Lee); trees (Jeremijenko); microbes (Kac, Haapoja), fungi (Lee), forest (Sonfist), tissues (Tissue Culture & Art). In addition, the following categories might be considered generative: human creativity (Ant Farm, Beuys, Chin, Potrc, Reyes, Yeh); communication (Dory, Gracie); the Fibonacci series (Merz); crystallization (Steiner & Lenzlinger).
PROJECT: Convey a Concept.
Your task is to create and activate a generative system that relates to an environmental issue. You may work digitally or biologically, or you may model your system on the examples that follow:
THESAURUS SYSTEM: Using a thesaurus, look for synonyms for one of the following words commonly used in environmental texts: contaminated, endangered, waste, equilibrium, recycle, restore, or choose your own.
-Make a record of two synonyms of the word you chose.
-Look up these two words.
-Keep a record of two synonyms for each of these words.
-Look up each of these four words.
-Continue this process at least five times.
-Create a visualization of the synonyms generated from a single word.
COLOR CODING SYSTEM: Create a visualization of statistics describing some environmental component of your region or state over time. For example, gather statistics on population growth, tons of municipal waste, species classified as endangered, number of toxic waste sites, acres of wetlands, etc. You should have at least ten numbers. Assign each increase or decrease from the original number a color and use that color to write the sequence of numbers.
+ 0-5% = black
+ 6-10% = grey
+ 11-15% = yellow
+ 16-20 %= orange
+ 21-25 = red
– 0-5 % = grey
– 6-10% = purple
– 11-15% = blue
– 16-20% = turquoise
– 21-25 % = green