Art by Kenny Vaden

Inkscapes: Algorithmic Dreams

Inkscapes: Algorithmic Dreams is a captivating and unique video+generative art project created in a collaboration between artists Swickie Fang and Kenny Vaden. The project combines the mesmerizing movement of ink flows with reactive generative landscapes that explode with vibrant patterns. The landscapes consist of three basic forms that seem to move with motion parallax, sample colors into rapidly changing layered circles, or trap the ink flow between polygon tiles.

The series features 16 unique iterations handpicked by the artists, which was debuted at the Otherblock: Supercharged LA show on March 18, 2023. Below is the original preview video for the finalized artwork, as well as the video with the full sequence of 16 mints.

Teaser video
All 16 Inkscape iterations

To create each ultra-high definition video, Fang’s ink flow footage served as input to the algorithm, which was written in the R Statistics Language and executed in parallel sessions on the R Studio / Posit Cloud system. The algorithm involved three main steps: importing the video, generating one frame of the artwork for each frame in the video, and then combining the images into a final video.

The algorithm-based imagery was reactive to the colors in the original footage, with one of three basic forms selected based on a random seed value produced during the code execution. The first form created the illusion of horizontal motion through the use of wave-shaped tile arrangements that changed height according to a sine function. The second form featured layers of polygon tiles, while the third form had layers of circles arranged in an irregular grid. All three forms sampled the ink colors to create a blend of color from ink to code.

The resulting artwork is a dynamic example of generative video art, which merges the ink flows and algorithmic elements seamlessly. The algorithmic layering of imagery was based on a transformation of light and dark values to transparency, adding a sense of depth to the final product. The collaboration between Fang and Vaden allowed them to create something unique and powerful, building on each other’s strengths.

The artwork also contains a nod to Artificial Intelligence in art, which was used to title the piece based on descriptions of the piece.

More details on the ink flows and the artwork’s development over several weeks will be updated on this blog soon.

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