Art Term

Generative art

Generative art is art made using a predetermined system that often includes an element of chance – is usually applied to computer based art

Harold Cohen, ‘Untitled Computer Drawing’ 1982
Harold Cohen
Untitled Computer Drawing 1982
Tate
© Harold Cohen

The practice has its roots in dada, yet it was the pioneering artist Harold Cohen who was considered one of the first practitioners of generative art when he used computer-controlled robots to generate paintings in the late 1960s. More recently the Turner Prize winner Keith Tyson built an ArtMachine, a complex recursive system that generated detailed propositions for artworks for Tyson to make.

The term generative art is predominantly used in reference to a certain kind of art made on the net, particularly because artists devise programs that can be accessed and controlled by the public. Generative art is also associated with process art

Related terms and concepts

Dada

Dada was an art movement formed during the First World War in Zurich in negative reaction to the horrors and ...