Generative art – from AMG sound to sculpture.
Whether data from economic systems, simple codes or music – artist Andreas Nicolas Fischer transforms invisible phenomena into physical constructs. Among which now features the invisible but unmistakeable sound of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG engine, which he has transformed into an aesthetic work of art. The method that Andreas Nicolas Fischer uses to do this is called “generative art”. This approach is not new: back at the end of the 18th century, Mozart experimented with generative composition. By rolling a dice printed with predefined music sequences he let chance compose with him. Unlike Mozart, contemporary artists have more options. Complex algorithms and a software developed from them form an artistic framework in which data can “unfold”.
In an infinite process countless variants are created which, combined at random, form something unforeseeable. The resulting work is characterised by chance and infinity.
The data cosmos.
“What a lovely morning to go into the studio and see what the render farm fairies have come up with for me…” was one tweet by Berlin artist Andreas Nicolas Fischer. Endless variations, chance and an independent origination process are what make generative art so interesting for Fischer. First of all, Fischer programmes highly complex software which processes the data and turns it into works of art, leaving certain parameters up to chance. “You create the work and at the same time you are the audience. That’s what I find fascinating.” Fischer’s passion for generative systems and all their possibilities was aroused at an exhibition of works by artist Casey Reas in 2005. He learned programming in order to convert his ideas into generative systems.
“I was never much good at maths or physics,” admitted Fischer, who up until then had been working with classical methods such as painting. But this fact did not stop him from achieving his goal.
Making the invisible visible.
Fischer’s artistic career started without a specific plan, however. “It was just chance that I became an artist,” said Fischer. “As a child I went to a lot of art exhibitions. And my parents encouraged me in my passion.” Fischer, who was born in Munich, exhibited his first works while he was still studying graphic design and visual communication. Today, at 31, he is a professional artist and works in the studio of a Berlin factory. Now a Berlin resident, he lets many things inspire him: “It can be those little details which are invisible to most people that you record in a work of art as a sculpture or a picture,” said the data artist.
“Creating things that make art.”
In his work “Reflection” created in 2008, for example, Fischer transformed a sequence of the piece of music “Frans de Waard” by the composer of the same name into a three-dimensional sculpture. Oriented to electronic music, Fischer went for a metallic black appearance. Even if the final result of the artistic data processing procedure is uncertain, the artist can specify his aesthetic ideas in the software parameters, Fischer explained. The exciting question, however, is to what extent one can extract the artist from the work of art.
“I am personally always very present in my works because I shape the system that creates the pictures,” Fischer reported, true to his self-description on Twitter: “Making things that make art”.
SLS AMG sound landscape.
For the SLS AMG sound, Fischer also programmed an artistic framework in which the high and low frequency tones of the engine sound are processed into another state while the vehicle is accelerating. The frequencies of concentrated energy rise up powerfully in red and black. Defying gravity, the work of art conserves the acoustic acceleration, which stretches up like burning flames.
The optical “listener” feels the power of the engine which yearns for the road and simultaneously raises the viewer's adrenalin level to unseen heights.