Generative Art, or “synthetic art,” as it is sometimes called, is the phrase used to describe a broad category of art, though recently it has become more closely associated with algorithmic art.
The origins of “generative art” can be traced back to Herbert Franke in the 1960s, who used computer-operated robots to create art. Since then, the field of generative art has grown to encompass everything from smart materials to chemical robotics to entire fields of mathematical art.
Today, however, the phrase “generative art” is often closely associated with algorithmically determined computer-generated artwork that uses a series of autonomous systems and input prompts to generate media.
A key component behind the concept of generative art is that the creation itself is, in part, created by chance, prompting, and programming. Therefore, the art in question is both the product of the creator and also semi-autonomous.
AI-based art is a field of media creation that has recently become far more accessible to consumers, and as the world of AI art has bloomed, so have the debates around it.
Systems like Dream, Midjourney, and WOMBO are just a few of the new subscription or somewhat free online services that will allow people to generate AI media via prompts and inputs. This has led to a series of debates around intellectual property laws, the philosophy behind these AIs, and, of course, whether they can even be considered “art” or whether their creators are “artists.”