Spanning more than two decades, the new media art project generation/mutation evolved from human made, crowd-sourced art to machine made, ai-generated art. When the project was launched in 1998, artists were simply asked to
- download the project’s seed image
- alter the image any way they like
- email the result back to be shown in an online exhibition.
Participation in the project was open to everyone and every contribution—provided it met a few simple technical requirements—was guaranteed a place in the planned online exhibition. No jury, no curator, no censorship.
The aim was to trigger a free and open-ended collaboration that would generate a series of contributions by artists from around the world, using the just emerging Internet as the only means of communication and exchange.
The resulting online exhibition was seen by more than 2,5 million visitors during its first three years online!
And that was just the first, crowd-sourced version of the project. Heine offers a fascinating account both of the technological evolution of the Internet and their creative uses in new media art. Combining art and philosophy in a novel form of expression and discourse, generation/mutation is required reading for anyone interested in new media art!
Chapter 1 - Crowds
Launched on digitalsouls.com in the early days of the Internet, before Google or Facebook or iPhones, generation/mutation explores the new possibilities of collaborative art production and distribution afforded by the evolution of digital technologies.
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