medial 3. art biennial [2015]
Bogdan Soban. Slovenia

  

              

1.Reflection of Time 1, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00   2.Reflection of Time 2, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00    3.Reflection of Time 3, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00   4.Reflection of Time 4, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00    5.Reflection of Time 5, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00    6.Reflection of Time 6, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00   7.Reflection of Time 7, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00   8.Reflection of Time 8, 2014 digital print on canvas 80x60 cm, US$ 450.00
(click on thumbnail to enlarge)

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Short Biography
I was born in Vrtojba in Slovenia on 10th December 1949. After graduating from grammar school in Nova Gorica, I registered at the Faculty of mechanical engineering in Ljubljana and gained degree in 1974. It was in the faculty preparing my diploma that I came into contact with a computer and data processing for the first time. It was the time of punched cards and remote batch terminals. That was a turning point in my life and I entered in the world of computers leaving forever a field of mechanical engineering. My first job was in the domain of information science. In my informational technologies career in several companies in Slovenia I was engaged in developing and programming commercial and business applications. My last regular job was on the field of e-commerce in the Research and Development department of the Slovenian biggest casino company. Actually as a pensioner I work as a freelance artist on the area of digital art.

All those years being in contact with computer programming never disappear from my mind the crazy idea that a computer can do more than simply data processing. I had in mention the possibility to simulate the human creativity especially in the area of visual art. This challenge caused the development of a very interesting project that was my favourite occupation more than 30 years on my free time. I developed a lot of programs using generative approach to generate always new and unpredictable pieces of visual art. Each artwork created using my generative designed software is an absolute unique item and could be lost forever if not saved or printed. For more information about my work and generative art concept reflections see http://www.soban-art.com. Often I used to organize exhibitions and live presentation, to publish articles and papers with the intention to propagate the basic idea of generative art method. For detailed information see http://www.soban-art.com/slo-curriculum.asp (list of exhibitions, art critics, papers, presentations with live projections and mass media articles).


GENERATIVE ART Ė DESCRIPTION OF METHOD
Generative Art is a creative method, which simulates the human creative process using informational technology. The method is generally is known as a computer generated art approach. Images are created using special computer programs getting creative abilities during the run time. Created images are absolutely unpredictable and not repeatable. Generative programs are usually developed by artists and produce first of all abstract artworks with some exceptions which are similar to the objects of the real world.

There are two main groups of digital art and they depend of authorís methodological approach. The great part of them, use the computer as a very sophisticated tool and they create images using commercial graphics programs. The computer, screen and mouse are used instead of brush, oil colours and canvas. The authorship of such artworks belongs to the artist. The second group of authors develop their own programs which generate artworks without any human intervention during the run time and the authorship is not defined. In this case, the computer plays the role of creative partner and contributes to the final result. There are some differences between program used in the area of architecture or industrial design and programs which generate fine art. In the first case the result is predictable from the content point of view but there are an immense number of variants. In the case of fine art nothing is defined in advance. All typical characteristics of an artwork are defined by mathematical algorithms. In both cases, the time of program start plays important role.

Generative approach consists of four phases: basic idea, coding, process and selection of the results. Except the process which is the task of computer, all other phases belong to human. The selection of the results, need to be done because of huge quantity of images proposed by computer and a great part of them usually are not good. Selected images are saved on hard disc and the best of them printed on canvas, paper, silk or other materials. Artworks printed on canvas need to be mounted on under-frame. Self developed generative programs make possible to create images belongs to selected style or motifs and are very suitable for decorative support of an existed ambient (hotels, restaurants, public places etc).

The valuation of computer generated artworks causes a kind of confusion inside the art branch and theory. The opinion of professionals oscillates from enthusiasm to absolute unacceptableness. The main questions turn around the authorship, unpredictability, machine creation, original item and authorís emotions. Authorís emotions and authorship play very important role in a classical way of doing art. In the case of generated artworks all these elements are distributed between author of the program, the person who starts the process and the selector. All of them could be three different persons. For all that, the generative art approach is going on and it is taking step by step its position in the area of fine art.


Statement
Working for a long time in the area of informatics often I have been thought about the other possibilities of information technology having in mention the creative abilities of machine. It was a daring idea until I didn't begin with experiments developing my own programs that have created simple images. I started with geometric abstraction using pragmatic programming approach. Introducing algorithmic concept and Visual Basic programming language the pictures as the results of autonomous generative process were much more interesting and perfect from the artistic point of view. My basic concept is not to interfere with the machine creative process. My author's creation is program code where I apply a huge number of mathematical formula and expressions with not to know in advance neither the type nor the style of the image could be created. The first image appearance of the new algorithm could be the real surprise or disappointment. After different adaptation of the code I can improve the final result but all the same all images created with my programs are absolutely unpredictable and not repeatable. Naturally that all created images are not good from my personal aesthetic criteria. The selection of the created images is my second important role in the whole generative approach in digital art. I believe in the aesthetic abilities of mathematics. More complex formulas are used better are results. Combining fractal concept with my previous mathematical approach was very good idea to obtain more complex and harmonised pictures. From my personal point of view the pure digital art has to be created using proper program code. Using Photoshop or other graphic software is nearly the same as using colour palette, brush and canvas and the computer plays the role of the wonderful tool. I agree that could be a silly idea to treat a computer as a creative partner. It sounds unbelievable but it works. A good question is now where or when I feel the artist's emotion as the most important part of human creativity. I feel it in the magic moment when new image begin to appear on the screen. The experience is much more intensive in the case of the first run of the new algorithm. (Bogdan Soban)