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Generative Art Summit Berlin

“Creating artwork, for me, involves pulling something unspoken into existence so it may connect with someone else. When successful, this kind of mediated communication fosters a resonance between two different perspectives, embodying the true beauty in a shared understanding between artist and viewer.

A more profound beauty lies in the shared understanding between artists, especially those exploring similar paths. There is comfort in knowing there is someone else awake with you in the night, thinking through the impact of randomness on a carefully constructed system, attempting to illuminate the forest at the edge of your meadow. Artists inherently share this connection, whether they realize it or not. Frieder Nake, in the foreword to Casey Reas’s “CENTURY” catalog (2012), articulated this idea, saying artists “engage in virtual discourse with those before them, decades ago or even centuries.” The work of such artists “was part and parcel of wonderfully silent conversations they had been engaged in without knowing. 

The Generative Art Summit, graciously hosted by art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke, transforms the virtual discourse into real discussion. Where before “their conversation was via their paintings only,” this conference will allow artists from several generations and geographies to gather, sharing ideas directly, unmediated by screen or paper. It’s one thing to stand on the shoulder of giants. It’s quite another to share a coffee.

Working with code means much of the artist’s methods and decisions remain visible within the artwork. Reading their code allows one to become familiar with the artist’s approach, their logic, their mistakes, and moments of elegance. There is some personality evident in the code, but that is speculation and incomplete. Having the opportunity to discuss these details would be a milestone in any artist’s life. The artists who have spent decades working through these ideas, the same ideas that come to us now, have much to share and artists from my generation have much to learn.”

I am deeply grateful to Herbert Franke and Dr. Susanne Päch for making such a gathering possible. This summit has the potential to forge new lines of inquiry, to reinforce the importance of explorations in this field, and to ultimately bring new beauty into the world.”

Aaron Penne (b. 1988) is an artist and engineer working with systems in Seattle, Washington, USA.
He has been making generative artwork with code since 2018 and is the Director of Engineering at Art Blocks. He founded the Generative Artists Club in 2018 as a way to connect people from across the globe who share the same passion for the medium.
In 2022 he was awarded the inaugural Lumen Prize for Art and Technology NFT Award with his collaborator Boreta for their audiovisual project Rituals-Venice.

His artwork is collected by ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and the Seattle NFT Museum, and has been shown at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the Seattle Art Museum. He has exhibited in Lisbon, Berlin, London, New York City, and Los Angeles.