Ben Kovach, A singe bluebird filies north for the winter, 2022
How did you first get into making art and in particular generative art?
I’ve been making art since I was a kid. I thought I was going to go into art school after high school, but after one semester decided it wasn’t for me and switched my focus to programming. I fell in love with the problem solving aspects of programming immediately and started a career building software. After several years of writing code professionally, I saw Tyler Hobbs speak about generative art at a conference. I got my generative art framework set up on the plane ride home and found that it married my two strongest creative interests perfectly. I haven’t looked back since.
Which artist inspires you the most in your practice?
I’m heavily inspired by traditional abstract painters and the abstract expressionist movement. Joan Mitchell, Pollock, Clyfford Still, De Kooning et al. I feel there’s so much overlap between our modes of creation. The process is front and center in their works. With generative artwork, the process is codified and automated by a computer rather than manually executed by hand, so there is a lot to learn from these pioneers.
Do you see the traditional art world and the NFT world connecting more and more in the future, or they will always be two different spaces?
I see them being more connected in the future. Automatic provenance on the blockchain is a legitimate revolution for art markets.
Tell us more about your series “A single bluebird flies north for the winter.” Where did you take inspiration?
This series is a conOnued exploraOon of using the principles of perspecOve drawings in my artwork. Each piece contains one or more vanishing points where the dots converge and draw the eye, giving the work a kind of “unfocused” op-art feel. The naming of the pieces together compose a poem that I wrote, which is a completely new thing for me. As for inspiraOon, I’d have to call out Yayoi Kusama, Bridget Riley, and MC Escher, for the ideas around dots, the “unfocused” illusion, and mulOple perspecOves, respecOvely.
Is there anything else you’d like to share to help people better understand your art?
I think it is important to note that this work is made entirely with code I wrote. The program generates one image each time it is run, and each one is different because it generates random variables which determine the outcome. I hand-selected this series of 5 out of a set of 1,000 total works generated in this way. That curation is itself important, as I felt these 5 best told the story of the poem behind the work.