The company is highlighting people who are pushing the boundaries of aesthetics using technology.
Today’s coding artists have a rich variety of languages, designs and scales to use. Google hopes to give them a leg up with the launch this week of DevArt, a broad new initiative that highlights artists using technology, especially code, in their work. The first DevArt initiative will place four installations in London’s Barbican performing arts center. Though three projects have already been chosen and only one spot remains to be commissioned, this opening phase is more aspirational than anything else, with these projects serving as inspirational models for future submitters. Google created interview videos with the first three, documenting their artistic process already gives us a glimpse of the possible range of the project.
Zach Lieberman finds the idea of bringing objects to life to be the most compelling part of his work. His project, Play The World, teaches a computer some music appreciation in order to give visitors a musical catalog organized by key. By pressing a key on a keyboard, visitors set off a search for harmonious songs being played on web radio stations around the world.
Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet’s Wishing Wall transforms the wishes of passerby into a flock of butterflies. They are currently working on making them vary in color, size and behavior based on the moods and sentiments of the wishes.
Karsten Schmidt‘s love of nature walks influenced his project, which will use generative design processes to allow people to collaboratively design an object. The object will then be fabricated at the exhibit with a 3D printer. Looking at trees and nature as a programmer, he says, you see them as more than what their surface appearance betrays; “you just start de-composing everything around you.” His ethos about the authorship of his project’s output also seems to originate in the natural world. “Authorship is actually not that important; it is the outcomes that count,” he said.
There are also hundreds of other submissions, coming from remote parts of the world, that are no less compelling just because they didn’t get a video feature. Some of them are clearly suited to the personal computer screen, making them easy to enjoy even if you live nowhere near the Barbican Centre. Afra Noubarzadeh‘s CSS Art project, for example, uses CSS circle/ellipse objects to create an intricate and flexible visual language for code-based drawings.
For those looking to prove their mettle alongside these fabulous concepts, the call for entries remains open until March 28th at 6 PM GMT.