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Home is where the hut is

produced by: Group 11, 

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The research team acknowledged the unique challenge facing artists, collectors, curators and those who seek to archive generative, computational artefacts for the purpose of future exhibition and historical research.

This research was broken down in four sections to explore the creation of generative computational art and the processes involved in documenting the work for archiving and exhibition. Because of the range of new tools and mediums, the work of collecting, conserving and exhibiting a lot of artworks has become increasingly complex and challenging (Ryzik, 2018).

First hand research was undertaken at Goldsmiths University in a presentation by Dr Francesca Franco (Tate Modern) whose work served as a framework for our own research and project direction. Franco posed the challenges of archiving with for time-based media art, highlighting the necessity to care, preserve and exhibit work in their collection, and to identify key factors of any work, such as what technologies are used, risks in the preservation of work, the identification of key requirements in the display, and the displayed artwork presented in accordance to how the artist originally envisioned it.

The research team chose to study generative computational artefacts because of the challenges this medium presents in executing a software program and displaying it according to the artist’s documentation. Generative art is defined by Philip Galanter as ‘any art practice where the artist uses a system, such as a set of natural language rules, a computer program, a machine, or other procedural invention' Galanter, (2003).

For this research projection installations were created using the openFrameworks (c++) platform, inspired by the style of Morag Myerscough, Esther Mahlangu and Camille Walala. The influence of these three artists contributed to the research team’s engagement with questions about archiving cultural artefacts, with the documenting of projected exhibitions providing a useful mechanism for probing the recording of ephemeral traditions.

Research drawn from books, articles, lectures and reports discovered the solution to challenges for collecting, archiving and exhibiting might be to change the approach we use to think about preserving artworks – a tool like Variable Media Questionnaire (, 2018) invites us to sort artworks by behaviours instead of mediums. The research opened an interesting line of enquiry in which the role of the curator could be newly viewed as collaborative, working within set parameters, but with room for interpretation much like the director of a play. For example, the team were able to observe the influence of the curator in the different exhibitions, in the affordances offered by the software, as well as the positioning, size and material of the 3D shapes being projected onto. Collaborative interaction between archivists and creators will continue to transform the archiving of art. The research group propose the need for separate versions of the work  to be preserved and interpreted, indicating what the medium is now, what has changed and what it used to be.