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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathEditorial
Generative Tools
Editorial [1]
Tjark Ihmels, Julia Riedel


As the computer spreads ever more rapidly as a tool, IT procedures are increasingly featuring in artistic processes. Hence art production has a technology at its disposal that is otherwise known only from informatics, industrial working practices, robotics and research into artificial intelligence. All the basic creative decisions are broken down into individual steps and sent to the computer as digital procedures. The recipient gains new insights into the creative process and new access to the conceptual basis of a work of art. This means that the idea of the autonomous artistic personality is called into question and the artist's position in our modern media society reconsidered. The following terms can be found in the art context in the ‹generative tools› category: code art, software art, algorithmic art, programming art, generative art, generative design. This list does not claim to be complete. Clearly there are overlaps in terms of content, so that it is necessary to work out generally valid definitions and develop more approaches to differentiating content. Hence all the authors' texts give insight into fundamental questions within the thematic complex. [2] The essays on this key


topic are devoted to historical classification, aesthetic demands and using generative tools conceptually. We are interested exclusively in the artistic position. Key startingpoints are applying aesthetic selection criteria to a logic outside the artist's detailed control, and also connections between aesthetics/chance, aesthetics/logic and aesthetics/interaction. The novelty of the categories to be created derives among other things from the keywords non-repeatability, noncontrollability and non-human creativity. The introductory text «Generative art methodology» uses artistic standpoints from 1950s music history to show how different the aims can be, even though all the artists were using aleatory or serial methods. Leaving aside all considerations involving music theory, the only question to be addressed is what possibilities the use of such a method can offer in terms of form and content, and how this is reflected in current artistic practice—works by John Cage, Yannis (Iannis) Xenakis, Max Bense, Manfred Mohr, Harold Cohen, Brian Eno and others are discussed, as well as some current positions from recent years.

The differences between, as well as the very few

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