A Collaboration with Da Xu – Generative Drawing “Do Memories Dream?”

Generative Drawing by Da Xu
Generative Drawing by Gao Yujie

“Do Memories Dream?”
Generative Visual Work
Artists: Da Xu (@mourendxu) × Gao Yujie
2020

This series computational generative drawings is a collaboration with Da Xu, an audiovisual artist and creative developer based in Boston. Inspired by Mark Bradford’s collage painting and the long history in Hip-Hop of remix/resampling, Da created a digital simulation of Mark Bradford’s process inside of TouchDesigner. The idea of this collaborative experiment is to use the images and videos from my previous works as the raw materials. Through the process of resampling and overlaying, we try to create completely new visuals that are constructed by deconstructing the images of my previous work.

The whole generative process can be thought of as something akin to painting. One difference is that we are manipulating numbers to direct the “brush,” as opposed using our muscles. Da and I started with the same set of material and the same program. But by applying different thought processes, we each came up with our own way of using the program. My process took me back to my drawing days. I thought about dots, lines, shapes, strokes, and layers. Da took a different approach. His background in computers, photography and music has taught him to look for the in between spaces, repeating patterns, etc. While I saw a canvas, he saw pixels that need to be flipped. I saw strokes, he saw repeating patterns that reveal the mathematical formula that’s modulating each other.

Generative Drawing by Da Xu

In the end, we each revealed ourselves through this collaboration, contrasting ways of looking at the same thing, our own aesthetics, etc. It’s been a truly creative, productive and enjoyable process to work together. I would like to thank Da for this extraordinary collaboration experience.

The time for generating these new images and videos is also variable, it could be done within a few minutes, or a few hours, or even more. The work was completed in the visual programming software @touchdesigner
.
Concept, Development: Da Xu
Source images and videos: “Unsettling Light”; “Sensory Overload”; “I See Reflections in Your Eyes” by Gao Yujie (See the original works here: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/gaoyujiework/)

Generative Drawing by Gao Yujie
Generative Drawing by Gao Yujie
Generative Drawing by Gao Yujie
Generative Drawing by Gao Yujie
Generative Drawing by Gao Yujie