Generative Unfoldings

A series of commissioned generative art works

Curated by poet and MIT professor of digital media, Nick Montfort, the Generative Unfoldings exhibition is a collection of 14 generative software artworks commissioned by CAST.

An open call for sketches and prototypes asked artists to respond to the following question: How can artist-programmers working in the field of computer-generated art make unique contributions to the current discussion of artificial intelligence (AI)? A jury of practicing creative coders and critical technologists—namely, Montfort, Sarah Rosalena Brady, D. Fox Harrell, Lauren Lee McCarthy, and Parag K. Mital—reviewed the sketches and awarded the commissions. The artists here release their works both as the Generative Unfoldings (Screen) exhibition of in-browser artworks (permanently hosted on CAST’s servers) and as a Generative Unfoldings (Code) GitHub repository (where all the works’ codes are available to the public as free software).

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 1, 2021 / 5:00–7:00pm EST

Image: Alexander Mordvintsev, detail .gif from Hexells, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist.

The Invisible College

A multi-part transmedia artwork exploring the many dimensions of MIT

The Invisible College, created by 2018–21 Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist Matthew Ritchie, incorporates the many dimensions of the university—social, material, intellectual, technological—from the informal conversations to the new technologies being developed in the labs. In exploring the Institute as both an information space and a physical one, Ritchie captures those states of turbulence, chaos, and indeterminacy—the rush between classes, or the blurry moment before a picture sharpens into legibility—sketchy zones that, as he says, create “the most generative space for the radical rethinking of reality.”

The Invisible College: Color Confinement was written and directed by Matthew Ritchie, with animation by Nick Roth and original music by Evan Ziporyn and Shara Nova. The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) provided production support. StyleGAN implementation by Sarah Schwettmann and Matthew Ritchie, and CycleGAN implementation by Chi-Hua Jonny Yu. Markus Buehler, Peter Fisher, Peter Galison, Caroline A. Jones, and Sarah Wolozin served as advisors on the project.

Breakout Room Discussion with Matthew Ritchie: Friday, April 9, 2021 / 11:00am EST

Image: Matthew Ritchie, screenshot from The Invisible College: Color Confinement, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.