Elizabeth Fuller

Adventures in ITP

Living Art

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Living Art combines Physical Computing and Generative Art techniques, providing an environment for students interested in pursuing an artistic outlet for their physical computing skills. Generative Art creates a process of evolution. Where most art imitates life, generative art has a life of its own. Generative methods have been chained to the personal computer for too long. What would happen if we took the algorithms employed in software art and applied them to the physical world through sensors and reactive elements? Or like Ned Kahn's piece "wind," apply laws of nature to physical works? In this class we apply simple rules to dictate the shape or function of a work and add to it an inherent complexity that is both beautiful and intelligent. By combining the simple rules, or a system, with physical computing, we are marrying the work to the intention of the artist. This helps us define what we are doing when we create; it takes the assignments beyond exercises in executing basic electronics and drives it to an intention. Living Art extracts the generative approach from the personal computer and applies it to the physical world. In some cases it is very clear how we can apply the Generative methods in the use of motors or light grids, but how do we apply fuzzy logic? This class is for students who have completed Introduction to Physical Computing.