DevArt - Art Made With Code
Written by David Conrad   
Monday, 10 February 2014

The search has begun for a large-scale work of digital art to be part of a major exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London.  Google has already commissioned three artists to create innovative installations and to be judges of submissions made to its DevArt website between now and March 28th to select the fourth and final one.

Google's DevArt is to be included is an exhibition that runs from July 3rd to September 14th at London's Barbican Centre and will subsequently visit other cities around the world.

Called Digital Revolution, it will explore the impact of technology on art over the past 40 years and display works from artists, designers, musicians, architects, and developers. Intended to be the finale of the exhibition DevArt will showcase four installation, three from established artists, and one that is being selected through a competition, sponsored by Google, that is currently underway.

The contest winner will be awarded a £25,000 commission to create a digital art installation for the DevArt section of the exhibition. It is open to individuals and "duos" on an almost global basis and entering is a matter of signing up to the DevArt website and submitting a proposal with a minimum of five posts before the deadline of March 28th.

DevArt uses GitHub and you’ll need to fork the DevArt template to start your project. You also need to include at least one Google technology in your project.

This competition is a bit different to most others. The site states

DevArt is as much about the process as it is about the finished piece. The judges will be taking your updates into consideration during the judging process. Remember to get started early and post often. 

It also states:

The Commissioned Interactive Artists will be using the same template so be sure to follow their ‘open process’ as their projects unfold.

Even if you don't want to enter the competition the DevArt site is fascinating. For a start it has this short video explaining what DevArt is:



So DevArt can mean different things to different artists and the artists that Google has already commissioned take three distinct approaches as their short videos demonstrate with the unifying concept being code.

In his video New York based Zach Lieberman states "this idea that you could write code and breathe life into things for me was really fascinating" and talks about "poetic computation" saying:

"For me, poetry is the right words in the right order. Code is also the right words in the right order. It is a very economical amount of words and very specific words that tell the computer to do specific things."



Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet are collaborating on a DevArt installation in which speech is the user interface. Vavara opens their video stating "We use technology and code as artistic material" likening this to a sculptor and clay while later in the clip Mar claims that "Code is the soul of the machine".



The final commissioned artist is Karsten Schmidt who comments in his video:

Thinking about the world through the lens of a programmer, you start decomposing everything around you

He concludes it saying:

the computer is the most powerful mind-expanding technology we've ever created.



The DevArt Gallery already has  submissions and thanks to the open process the visitor can view the proposals and prototypes and explore the code.



Each week one submission will be selected by one of the commissioned artists to be the Featured project. It promises us all a fascinating insight into the process and practice of DevArt.




More Information

DevArt website

Competition Rules

Related Articles

Van Gogh Meets Turing

Mathematical Art 2013

Writing Code As Poetry; Poetry As Code


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Last Updated ( Monday, 10 February 2014 )