As we move forward into a new decade, new technology, ideas, and concepts are beginning to surround us. There are the buzzwords we’ve become all too familiar with – NFTs, Blockchain, Augmented Reality – but are these ideas being defined by artists or by venture capitalists and Silicon Valley?

If you’ve been following the conversation surrounding Facebook’s new, half-baked, and totally dystopian idea “The Metaverse”, you’ll have seen how it’s been lambasted on nearly all fronts except by those deluded enough to think it’ll be a success. While VR could be a great place to make art, the accessibility issues that most of the world’s population would face before being able to access VR are insurmountable.

I’m more interested in those making statements from the ground up: creating new languages and frameworks to create sounds, visuals and immersive experiences from their homes. Let’s look at three emerging artists using the raw creative force of coding in new capacities.

Sam Aaron (Sonic Pi)

After writing his PHD thesis on creating applications-based languages, Sam Aaron created Sonic Pi, a program and eponymous language that allows users to build live electronic music with code. Designed to be both a learning tool that would help musicians learn about code and developers learn about electronic music, Sonic Pi is much more than a directory of loadable samples.

Once you start you’ll see how deep the rabbit hole really goes, you can program your own synth voices from scratch, a sort of coded version of modular synthesis. It’s simple enough that it can be used in schools and complex enough that Sam Aaron himself has used his creation to perform at major festivals alongside artists like Grimes and other well-known artists in his genre.

Marius Watz

Marius Watz is a visual artist who unearths new algorithms from the perspective of an archaeologist. To him these are “found forms”: procedures that generate fixed results have always existed within our framework of mathematics. He uses his knowledge and research on the subject to create works that tow the line between chaos, control and entropy.

This may sound like a very digital form of creation, but his results are surprisingly reminiscent of nature. This is because another one of his influences is biomimicry and how recurring patterns found in nature reflect the ideas of structure and creation we employ in coding and data management.

Rafael Rozendaal

Rozendaal creates in the original spirit of web art, and his philosophy runs counter to that of the NFT crowd. The philosophical underpinnings of his visual creations rests on two pillars: accessibility and simplicity, making them just like mobile sports betting sites.

For this reason, Rozendaal’s works each reside on their own domains where they can be viewed publicly. Buyers will then purchase the domain name from him, thereby being a benefactor that hosts these artworks so that they can be continually shared with whoever wants to view them.

Each of these artists is pushing the boundaries of creativity, digital art, and data management toward a more accessible, enlightening world wide web, one that we should hope and strive to be a part of.

Last modified: January 24, 2022