line ecologies by Wayne Madsen
June 7 – June 26, 2019
RECEPTION: Friday, June 7, 2019 @ 6 PM - 9 PM
Unlike many artists who have a design in their mind’s eye for how a work should be executed, most of the time I do not. Instead, I believe in establishing a system to create through various tactics (rules, instructions, forms, concepts, etc) and then in following the work through to its possible permutations. I am interested in creating objects of aesthetic beauty, but I am more concerned with the decisions made to create the object — not simply the end result.
Artists like Brian Eno, John Cage and Sol LeWitt have been exploring Charles Darwin’s culture-shifting notion of evolution: by following simple rules, entire ecologies of intelligence can emerge. I have always been fascinated by generating complexity through simplicity. My process for conceiving a work always begins with simple instructions. I test different rules which may or may not result in an interesting finished project. These rules can be conceptual in basis (an action performed by me in loop) or performed in conjunction with another party (e.g. writing computer randomized algorithms). Often the majority of my time is spent revising any algorithm I design until it generates an interesting result. The largest concern I have is how I can use simple and elegant solutions to devise emergent behavior.
Randomness is my way of bridging the gap between my personal authorship and a collaborative process with the computer — or more accurately with the individuals who designed the algorithms for creating random number generation. I’m much more interested in doing work that involves ‘non-artists’ in the process. In some ways I am using randomness as a decision-making process, similar to Jean Arp and the chance experiments from the Dadaists. I am searching for a way to access creativity outside of my own self. I am quick to acknowledge that I’m limited in my creative endeavors. I am restricted by my cultural background and experiential biases. Utilizing randomness is almost akin to using artificial intelligence — or at least artificial decision-making — to guide the process of generation. Randomness becomes my collaborator, my partner. I am able to author the system, but it is the behaviors programmed into the computer’s random variable assignment which makes the visual realization of the artwork itself.
This work was produced by a 6’ by 6’ CNC plotter machine – a drawing robot – I constructed expressly to create work on its own. I have been running several large-scale drawings based on some various input algorithms, 3D IR scans from life, and a few other chance decision algorithms I wrote. Currently the work being produced explores the ecologies of lines produced in collaboration with the computer and the hardware machine.