by Celestino Soddu (1994)
Generative art is the idea realized as
genetic code of artificial objects.
The generative project is a concept-software that works producing three-dimensional unique and non-repeatable events as possible and manifold expressions of the generating idea identified by the designer as a subjective proposal of a possible world.
This Idea / human creative act renders explicit and realizes an unpredictable, amazing and endless expansion of human creativity. Computers are simply the tools for its storage in memory and execution.
This approach opens a new era in design and industrial production: the challenge of a new naturalness of the industrial object as a unique and unrepeatable event, mirror of the uniqueness and unrepeatability of man and nature. Once more man emulates nature, as in the act of making art.
Argenia is the term that I have coined for this genetic code of artificial ware that, like DNA in nature, identifies not only an object but a species of objects. Industrial design will no longer be the idea and realization of an object, but the idea of a species of objects and its industrial generation.
The three-dimensional models produced using Argenia soft, multiple results of the idea, can be directly utilized by industrial manufacturing equipment like numerically controlled machines and robots, which already represent the present technologies of industrial production. This generative and automatic reprogramming device of robots makes it possible to produce unique objects with the same equipment and with costs comparable to those of objects that are identical; like a printer that can produce pages that are all the same or all different, at precisely the same cost.
Designing this artificial genetic code was an enthusiastically creative operation. I have found myself returning to the Renaissance cultural approach, capable of combining science and art. I have created ideas formulating a code of the harmony that, as it is born of the history of man and his relationship with nature, identifies and represents my subjective vision of the possible, my imprinting as a designer. The code of harmony, like all codes, contains some rules that trace certain forms of behavior. Therefore it is not a sequence, a database of events, of forms, but a definition of behavior patterns: the transformations from what exists to to the complexity of contemporary objects in a state of becoming. The design act changes from forming to transforming, because each form is only one of possible parallel results of an idea.
I began this design challenge in 1987 and I have realized Generative Projects of architecture, cities, industrial design and visions of art. Today these Argenies have become extremely complex and directly operative as interfaces with productive systems. This has permitted, first of all, practical experimentation such as the realization of books that all have different covers, of unique and unrepeatable jewelry, and of different scenarios of spaces that are incessantly transformed. Other possibilities include computer-produced artworks that reproduce the unrepeatable uniqueness of an artistic event, or experimentation on generative industrial production of lamps, chairs, coffeepots.
This approach suddenly opened the possibility to rediscover possible fields of human creativity that would be unthinkable without computer tools. If these tools, at the beginning of the computer era, seemed to extinguish the human creativity, today, by allowing us to creatively, directly operate on codes of harmony, they become tools that open new fields and enhance our understanding of creativity as an indissoluble synthesis between art and science.
After two hundred years of the old industrial era of necessarily cloned objects, the one-of-a-kind object becomes an essential answer to the long-neglected human need to live a world in which each artificial object mirrors the uniqueness and unrepeatability of every person. In an epoch marked by repeated attempts at the cloning of natural beings, design returns in advanced technological fields such as non-linear dynamic systems to the notions of artificial life and artificial intelligence, the aesthetic and ethical pleasure of rediscovering the processes and characters of nature.
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