Tyler Hobbs is an Austin-based leading generative artist who is on show at the moment at Unit London and will be heading to Pace Gallery in New York later in the month.
Hobbs has a straightforward, systematic way of making artwork. It involves processes, procedures and algorithms. His generative art combines abstraction with information and communication technologies – perhaps two of the most exciting movements of the last century in art and science. Hobbs may write code to develop programmes that generate artwork, knowing the programmes will lead to a distinct creation. Or he may give in to chance – something that I wasn’t quite expecting on seeing his work.
And it’s been fascinating hearing his approach to involving technology so seamlessly in his work so the human and machine creation feels collaborative – almost natural
He tells me: “Randomness plays a large role. I try to find a balance between order and disorder or between structure and chaos. I want to give the programs the freedom and ability to surprise me and to escape the limitations of my imagination. Randomness is the ingredient that creates that opportunity.”
Artists, of course, have long been fascinated by new techniques and technology. Think of Joshua Reynolds’ camera obscura, or Andy Warhol’s polaroid artworks, and David Hockney’s current embrace of immersive art.
The artist Kazimir Malevich write in his ‘On New Systems in Art’ in 1919: “Art advances inexorably … Life develops with new forms; a new art, medium and experience are necessary for every epoch. Not seeing the modern world and its achievements means not participating in the triumph of modern transformations.”