Over the past few years, in the ever-changing cityscape and rising rents of east Austin, we’ve seen more galleries forced to pack up shop and leave than we’ve seen open. Just recently, Pump Project, Not Gallery, Mass Gallery, Flatbed Press, and many others have had to or are expecting to vacate their spaces due to landlords selling property, increased rent prices, and the influx of people and companies into the city’s quickly developing east side.
Just last month, however, art critic and curator Julia Morton and her husband James Pricer opened Generative Art Project, a new gallery space in east Austin just off of East 6th Street and Comal. Starting in September, the gallery will feature monthly shows of international artists creating works in new mediums, including “video, video frame prints, 3-D sculpture, virtual reality, interactive installations, projection mapping, digital imaging, robotics, mineral paintings, and more.” It’s clear from the kind of artwork Morton and Pricer are queueing up (and from the space’s name) that the gallery will focus on generative art: artworks that have been created, at least partly, through the use of autonomous systems.
If you’ve never heard of this term before, it has along history and is associated with some names you may be familiar with: Ellsworth Kelly’s paintings that relied chance to determine palette and Sol LeWitt’s use of geometric systems can be classified as generative art. Similarly, John Cage and Brian Eno created generative music: compositions created by systems.
Artsy even has a “generative art” category, and defines the term as such:
“Art created through the use of autonomous systems, such as natural language rules, algorithms, genetic sequences, machines, or procedural interventions. The various implementation of these “generative” processes yields a range of results, from works that are rigidly ordered to those that rely largely on elements of chance and randomization. Examples of Generative Art come from throughout art history, from the structured geometric tiling of Islamic Art to Minimalist and Conceptual artists who constructed works based on number systems and formal rules.”
In addition to showing works by artists, Morton and Pricer will exhibit pieces by individuals or teams who can be defined as designers or scientists. Morton explained in an email to Glasstire:
“To find the best creators/work we’ve erased the barriers that currently divide fine artists from designers, technologists, and scientists. Our selection standards are traditional – innovative first steps and long-term promise – but we use the term “artist” broadly allowing new voices to join the art world choir. Creativity is essential to our survival, and the making of art is generally considered uniquely human or at least belong to sapiens alone. The art we select clearly show humans did not make the work alone. The pieces we choose dive below our cultural impulses and provoke instinctive reactions. We want you to feel the throb of your animal brain while you rationally consider the merger of analog human and digital life forms.”
The first exhibition at Generative Art Project (1621 East 6th Street, Suite 1107) is a show of works by James Pricer. The show opens on July 20 and runs through July 31. For more information on the gallery, go here. Future shows that focus on generative art will come to the gallery this fall.