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Curated Conversations: Emily Xie – SuperRare Magazine

Curated Conversations: Emily Xie – SuperRare Magazine

SL: How do you think the landscape of generative art within art history changed since NFTs? Where do you think generative art will go next? What are some trends within this genre that are becoming popular?

EX: The blockchain has certainly impacted generative art. For one, it brought awareness of the medium to a much larger audience. I don’t think there has ever been this much interest in generative art––for the longest time, I had to explain to people what the term meant. The increased awareness generally propelled generative art as a field; there is so much innovation and experimentation going on. The art that is coming out these days is incredible. On top of that, I feel that generative art is starting to get increasingly recognized by institutions.

In terms of trends, many practitioners in the past year have focused on trying to recreate static traditional media in a generative form. There’s always an appetite for this, but I do predict artists will start moving in the other direction and experimenting with works that take advantage of the specifics of the medium itself: so, perhaps we’ll see more interactivity or animation. Or maybe folks will veer in a different direction, and we’ll start seeing more pieces that are not purely generative art but instead incorporate aspects of it.

SL: Tell us about this piece you are releasing on SuperRare? Is this your first time experimenting with AI-generated assets?

EX: Yes, the piece is called “Synthetic Dialogue.” The work combines AI-generated assets with algorithmically-generated paper to create a collage. While I’ve played with AI before, this piece was exciting for me because it was the first time I’ve experimented with merging both AI and generative art into a single piece.

For the AI assets, I used DreamStudio to create a variety of abstract visuals inspired by Kandinsky and Klimt. I pulled some generative papers that my algorithms have produced. Once I had a set of interesting assets, I then cut all of the pieces digitally using Procreate, layering and combining each item into a composition that I felt was balanced and intriguing. It was a pretty rewarding experience as it let me work with my hands a bit more directly. This was a process that I had craved for a while given that my work is usually intermediated by code!

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SL: As you rightly pointed out in a previous interview, artists who use computational technologies as tools to create, one finds themselves constantly learning new things. You said “technology moves fast and relentlessly shapes the landscape around us, so there’s a constant pressure to keep up in the face of such rapid change.” Could you speak about finding or retaining your own style given that you are experimenting with new tools?

EX: For this piece, even though I was working with a different process and incorporating AI, I kept a thread of continuity by porting in the generative paper textures that people might be familiar with in my work. Beyond that, I think an artist’s style will tend to follow them regardless of what medium they are exploring. That might be evident in things like choice of color or sense of balance.

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