Q: What is generative art?
A: To me, generative art is any artifact created in whole or in part by a non-human autonomous agent, and then labeled as art by a human. In my practice, this means digital still or moving images that have been generated by a computer program of my own creation. I don’t point and click to draw an image directly with a cursor and software tools, but rather create rules through code for drawing images to a screen.
You can find an excellent introduction to generative art and its place in relation to art practices over the past 150 years written by Jason Bailey at his site, ArtNome: Why Love Generative Art.
Q: What is evolutionary art?
A: Evolutionary art is a form of art where changes to generated artifacts are driven by an iterated process of automated modification and selection. Much like human genes that contain unique DNA with instructions for our own creation, my work contains genetic material in the form of many dozens or hundreds of variables that can be modified to generate a different image. I use an iterative system where each variable is modified randomly according to a pre-determined rate and amount of variation. Like an animal or plant breeder, I then choose which images will be selected for continued iterative image production. Selective pressure can also come from the ecosystem of art buyers, viewers, critics, and artist peers that surround the work. Most evolutionary artwork is artist-bred and curated, but I’d like to explore a model where selection is determined more directly by market forces.
Q: What tools do you use?
A: I program custom software in C++, using the open source library OpenFrameworks to assist with the low-level building blocks of drawing shapes and colors on screen.
Q: Is your work available for purchase?
A: At this time, I am only selling my work in native digital formats online in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum Blockchain. You can find my work at the following marketplaces:
I may choose to offer 1/1 single edition prints in the future. Please inquire for more information.
Q: How do you edition your work?
A: Every image I publish is a unique edition of 1, but I use three additional descriptive parameters to help buyers gauge the relative scarcity of any given image style, given the unique nature of generative art.
The Series label refers to a unique code base. Images generated within the same Series will be similar in that they will all follow the same underlying rules for creation, although their individual genetic variables will all be slightly different. I loosely follow a three-letter series versioning system, where the first letter implies a major change to the code, the second letter implies a moderate change, and the third letter refers to a minor change. For example, Series EEA and Series EEB will share many characteristics, but Series AAG and Series HBA will be very different.
The Group label refers to a specific population of offspring that I’ve curated from a given set of output from a series and chosen to sell and/or display. Sometimes the group is formed as a result of actively breeding a specific image to generate similar offspring. Other times a group may be formed simply based on accidental shared characteristics like color or shape. The number of groups from a given series may be limited or unlimited. I currently plan to only publish limited groups per series.
The Iteration label refers to an individual image generated based on one unique set of genetic variables. The number of iterations per group can be either limited or unlimited. I currently plan to only publish limited iterations per group.
The Edition label refers to the number of copies available for purchase of any one given iteration. I currently plan to only publish unique 1/1 editions.
Q: What’s with the name OnlyGeneRated?
A: It’s an awkward attempt at a triple portmanteau:
- My artwork is “only generated” through computer code.
- I select genetic offspring based on my personal rating system, so my work is “gene rated”.
- So far my work is either fully abstract or non-offensive, so it is “only G rated”.