Expression

My approach in art and design usually originates in the aesthetic rather the symbolic. I personally value works of art with a good aesthetic appeal and bother little about the meaning of the work.

If it is beautiful, then it is art

If it is beautiful, then it is art to me. Paul Klee, Ancient Sound

But that does not mean that I do not enjoy works that embody symbolic representations. In fact I find that most people seek meaning in art and seem to value meaning over the aesthetic quality of an artwork. This has led me to consider the expressive qualities in the work I am doing in Generative Arabic Letterism.

One day I am going to be a surrealist. A work by Magritte.

One day I am going to be a surrealist. A work by Magritte.

The central driving force that has taken me through toil of making Generative Arabic Letterism work was the simple idea of making computers generate art work that looks like Arabic Letterism. As I mentioned earlier, conventional works of Arabic Letterism had the randomness that computers could easily mimic, thus encouraging me to pursue the idea to produce the works I had in mind.

When I saw these works by Wissam Shawkat, I knew I could generate them with programming.

When I saw these works by Wissam Shawkat, I knew I could generate them with programming.

In spanning the two realms of Generative Art and Arabic Letterism, I am tempted to review my work on the basis of the expressive qualities of each of these art styles.

The expressive power of character clouds

The expressive power of unpredictability. Something else was actually intended in the programming of this work. The output, however, was a pleasant surprise.

I find that most of the Generative Art works express spatial structures ranging from molecular to cosmic. They are expressive of the science and the mathematical basis of natural forms. The aesthetic and symbology of matching art with science is appealing to me and has always been an idea that I try to express in my work.

Spatial structures generated by mathematical formulas

Spatial structures generated by mathematical formulas

Being a novice in the area of generative art, my current work at this stage is rather more “Letterism” than “Generative”. Here again I find that my work retains the main expressive values of conventional Letterism in terms of deconstruction, the beauty of Arabic calligraphy, and local identity.

Art is also a product of its time and Generative Arabic Letterism, by means of its process at least, expresses many contemporary paradigms. Among these are the internet and computer paradigms that are explicitly expressed, such as the use of public knowledge available on the internet, QR code access, and USB technology.

Perhaps the strongest first impression that viewer has from a single collection of Generative Arabic Letterism works is the variety of the color schemes used. The work of artists usually show a limited spectrum of color, as they usually focus on certain color schemes in the periods of their creativity, or even on one scheme for the entirety of their work. I followed a different approach.

I habitually use the internet to brainstorm and shop for ideas. For Generative Arabic Letterism I went even further to include the internet as a direct generative variable. I can download from the internet color schemes that I use to color the generated art. This is probably a new paradigm which I also consider part of the message that comes out of Generative Arabic Letterism.

Color schemes in Generative Arabic Letterism are mostly prefabricated and downloaded from online color scheme utilities.

Color schemes in Generative Arabic Letterism are mostly prefabricated and downloaded from online color scheme utilities.

The next step I intend to implement in relation to the internet is the extraction of the digital genetic code of each work and store it on the internet. The code will live in the internet until such time comes when I want to reuse the genetic code of a certain work to generate more art from it and in relation to the original work. Owners and viewers of the original work could access the digital genetic code through a QR code stamp that appears on the nameplate of the work.

QR code will be used to access the digital genetic code of Generative Arabic Letterism works.

QR code will be used to access the digital genetic code of Generative Arabic Letterism works.

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