Munich-born Andreas Nicolas Fischer is an artist who works in a quickly emerging field of visual arts: generative art. This computer-based form of art spans across all types of visual art, from stills to motion, or sculpture to architecture. The possibilities and boundaries of this type of work are simply unlimited, since they are based on autonomous systems, in Fischer’s case these are custom-made software or algorithms, allowing him not to do “one stroke with a pencil, but a couple thousands at the same time.
I sat down with the artist to discuss his creative process, where he finds inspiration, and his thoughts the web’s image-overload.
What attracts you to the field of generative art?
Generative art might look complex but isn’t necessarily – often it’s just a question of multiplicity. The interesting thing is that the rules creating these things are not that complicated – you just have a lot of it. So instead of doing one stroke with a pencil – you can do a couple thousand at the same time. And then depending on the parameters and variation, a shift in perception occurs.
The same goes for the sculptures [the Schwarm series] – on its own a toothpick doesn’t have much effect – but once you pass the couple thousands mark you reach a level of visual quality that wasn’t there before. It has to do with human pattern recognition, we’re just wired to see patterns in everything. So as soon as we have so many of these single items which seem to be moving together, a shift occurs and they become an entity.
A lot of this lends itself to the recreation of natural patterns. Up to a certain point this can be illustrated using the term “fractal”, coined by Benoit Mandelbrot, which is an attempt to mathematically deduct complex natural phenomena. The idea is that you can deduct patterns in nature from simple recurring mathematical formulas. Although the theory didn’t go as far as he envisioned it, generative art is frequently backed with the similar idea of recreating these natural phenomena through simple rules that get executed…