“Fish Are Friends“ by ComputerEveryday
Who are you?
I am computereveryday, a generative artist working with pixels in the abstract. I’m most known for my [Agar Plates] series on HEN, where I grow generative pseudo-organisms in a pixel petri dish.
When did you start making art?
Like most people, I started making art when I was young. I was the type of kid who would fill up their notebooks with doodles and not so much with notes. I really loved making stick figure animations, first in flip books and later in programs like Flash.
I put art away a number of times in favor of other interests, but always found myself coming back to it, often in different forms. I experimented with traditional animation, motion graphics and even 3D modeling, before going on to start a career as a graphic designer and animator. I was sure I had found the thing I wanted to do, until I finally discovered programming. I instantly fell in love with the discipline and would eventually find art within it, too.
What got you into generative art?
I was introduced to generative art around 2014 by a mentor at work. He showed me a processing sketch he created and how he could change a few parameters to instantly generate a new version of it. I was mesmerized by shapes that drew themselves and appeared in seemingly random positions.
I knew code could be used to create art making tools, but I was absolutely captured by the idea of code creating art directly. I love writing code without any particular application or use aside from creating something that is visually interesting. I started making generative art as a way to hone my programming, and later kept it up as a creative outlet.
What fascinates you the most about generative art?
The aspect I find most fascinating about generative art is the possibility space that any given piece can have. Layers of parameters can be changed and combined to create an unlimited number of variations. It’s also possible to write simple rules in a few lines of code and produce an outcome that will only ever occur once. This makes generative art infinite, yet fleeting at the same time.
What is your process for creating a piece?
I can arrive at a piece in one of two ways. Usually there’s an algorithm or technique that I’m exploring and iterating on, so I will start with a very minimal version of it and build from there. I’ll keep changing parameters and adding new ones until something inevitably pulls me in a direction. I know that I’m looking for a particular quality or feeling from the piece, but I’m not sure exactly what it is until I come across it.
On occasion I might have a clear concept for a piece and can code my way there directly, but those don’t usually turn out as exciting.
How do you know when you are finished with a piece of creative code?
I don’t think there’s ever a clear end to a piece of creative code. There are always other places to take it and variations that you can never anticipate. I usually keep exploring a piece’s possibility space until something novel or unexpected appears.
What got you into NFTs?
At the beginning of this year I decided to take a shot at making a generative piece every single day. That proved to be way harder and time-consuming than I initially thought, but I kept it up as best I could. I started sharing my work on Twitter and following artists of all kinds, eventually catching wind of NFTs.
I was confused at first, but eventually made some sense of it all and started following the work of artists like [XCOPY] and [Beeple]. I thought maybe one day, if I keep things up, I might be able to sell my work, too. Then I discovered the work of generative artists like [ix shells], [Nicolas Sassoon], [p1xelfool] and [Poppel]. They were already on their way, so I was inspired to follow.
Do you have any creations that are your favorite?
One of my favorite pieces is [Agar Plate 005]. It has a distinct strobing effect that came out in the final render completely by accident. It caught me by surprise and I just embraced it. I’m still not entirely sure what causes it, but I think it has to do with the .gif format having trouble distinguishing between colors with low contrast.
Where do you see yourself a year in the future?
In a year I see myself still exploring what’s possible through generative art and NFTs, hopefully with an enlightened perspective. I also hope my work reaches other artists and inspires them to take the plunge.
Is there anybody you’d like to shoutout?
My good friends [Darling Coils] and [SAVR Dave] of [SAVR Music] who inspire me to keep making art and stay creative. They’ve released some awesome albums in the last few years and some great music NFTs, too. I’d also like to shout out my loving wife who puts up with my whims and always keeps it real. And finally my beautiful baby boy for being the best.
Thanks for the interview! It was very rewarding to reflect on my journey so far.