My real favorite generative work so far is Forms by Quayola and Memo Akten, but since we looked at that in class, I’ll talk about another artist that I was impressed by instead: Markos Kay. I really like his work Insect Traps (2010), where he supposedly pits an insect and a bunch of microscopic things in mortal combat…? Regardless of what’s actually happening, the work generates really beautiful prints and raises odd questions. The geometric composition (mostly) controls the bounds of where the shapes can fall and bounce, and the insect is trapped inside while it tries to escape the onslaught. That’s as much as I can say about how his code might work, I’m really left guessing about how he handled lighting and colors and irregular physics and what-not (how do I do gaussian blur??).
Markos Kay is still able to show his artistic personality in his algorithms, however. He often creates these kinetic animations that have weird, organic motion, usually trying to emulate microscopic organisms. The chaos in this piece is from the microbial debris that is falling all over the place, sometimes even tumbling out of the box they’re contained in, but otherwise, the microbes are bound by this box, along with the insect. The box provides a reliable geometric composition that contrasts interestingly with the chaos going on inside. The effective complexity of this piece comes from this balance.