Enter the maze

Body Art

by Jane Waite, Queen Mary University of London

A wire frame girl jumping: copyright www.istockphoto.com 97610843

Anyone can make computer art with a simple finger painting app, but artists go much further with Generative Art. Rather than making a one off piece, the artist creates a process that follows a set of rules (yes, those algorithms again), implemented on a computer or some other mechanical device, to make art. The artwork might be an onscreen emerging image with sound and movement, or printed: it can be as complex and creative as the artist wants.

Visuals artists, Memo Akten, from Goldsmiths University in London, and Quayola won animation awards for their collaboration ‘Forms’, for example. They used video recordings of athletes from the Commonwealth Games to create an interactive multi-screen installation. Divers, pole vaulters, gymnasts and high jumpers are represented through tendrils, sticks, shards of light and balls of colour with tinkling, sweeping mesmeric music to create a captivating view of abstract body ‘forms’. See them at www.memo.tv/forms/. Why not create your own Generative Art in Scratch?