It is not easy to give a definition of generative art if you do not want to be limited, moreover some aspects of this expressive form can create misunderstandings and doubts on the comprehension of this phenomenon.

An explanation clarifying some essential outlines is given by Philip Galanter : “The term generative art refers to any kind of artistic practice in which the artist creates a process, such as a group of rules of a natural language, a program or a machine or a mechanism of different type which is then started with a certain level of autonomy helping in creating, or having as en effect, an ended work”.

Starting from these preliminary remarks it can be affirmed that it is not exactly adequate to describe generative art as a stylistic current or as an artistic movement, but it should be looked at in terms of strategy giving birth to a work. Generative art is an attitude traceable to different tendencies.


The artist operating in this field organises a cluster of rules starting processes with conclusions which aren’t always predictable, allowing the creation of, or creating autonomously, abstract forms starting from algorithms. The formal care doesn’t focus on the artistic object, but especially on the procedures leading to determinate results.

The concrete outcomes of this series of operations can even be very different among them: graphic images fixed or in motion, musical compositions and performing software. The styles characterising single works can vary widely, but the building methods are similar. The programming code, organized according to formal rules, is the material the creation is made up of, and the computer, thanks to its enormous possibilities of calculation, is meant to be an instrument able to extend expressive chances, multiplying almost infinitely the results obtained.


Productive processes often follow random logics making the single compositions unrepeatable. Generative art is a work methodology structuring complex and autonomous systems, within which the control on the final product is not essential. We could talk about a poetic where chance is its co-producer of artistic forms. Anyway this concept can create some doubts and lead spontaneously to ask you about the actual paternity of the work: whether this is to ascribe to the artist as the builder of a mechanism, which isn’t however totally in his power, or whether it is possible to conceive the software as an autonomous producer of creativity.

The concept of chance and the subjects correlated with it, are by full rights part of the artistic debate ever since last century, and some reflections, proposed by historical vanguards, can be a good starting point in order to delineate some outlines of the contemporaneous experimental research. In a passage of one of the founders of Dadaism, Hans Arp, it is said: “The law of chance, which embraces all other laws and is as unfathomable to us as the depths from which all life arises, can only be comprehended by complete surrender to the Unconscious. Maintain that whoever submits to the law attains perfect life.”


Pursuing the aim of making more visible this practice in course of definition, that is to say generative art, Thursday the 1 st of June C.STEM opens in Turin : the first Italian show describing this panorama; a project conceived by the Cultural Association 32 Dicembre.

There will be shown works of the Norwegian Marius Watz , and of the Italians Alessandro Capozzo, Limiteazero, and Fabio Franchino . The poetics characterizing each invited artist’s research are dissimilar and represent the various artistic sensitiveness, the aesthetic differences emerging represent an interesting cross-section, concerning the expressive possibilities offered by procedural systems. You might linger on Watz’s colourful graphic experimentations or on the more ethereal compositions of Capozzo, or on the geometrical suggestions proposed by Limiteazero or on the ambiguous and mysterious visualisations of Franchino.


The fact that the works are shown as prints- and not, as usual, through a computer screen- makes the show even more particular. It makes you wonder whether this type of fitting, conceived as it is, wants to create a confrontation between the products of generative art and the aesthetic models of more traditional artistic disciplines or whether the exposition implies a slight provocation at the system art, so reluctant to get rid of its canons and to become interested in experimental art forms.

C.STEM wants to be a moment of cultural diffusion of these methodologies and, besides, wants to be a drive of reflection concerning artistic research. Friday the 2 nd of June will take place a round table with the invited artists, chaired by Domenico Quaranta.