Picking a Genre


It’s difficult to pick a genre to describe my work. On the one hand it might be thought of as photography while others might describe it as generative art.

Photograph or generative art? or both?

Some pure photographers might view what I do as over-processed. However, since the advent of smartphone and Instagram processing of images using filters, processing has become more acceptable. It could even be argued that when I and other photographers burned and dodged using an enlarger, in the darkroom, decades ago, we were manipulating our images.

Some pure generative artists might view what I do as not generative because it doesn’t involve the crafting of an algorithm. However, AI machine learning is just another form of computer processing. Both the algorithm and AI involve skill, patience, serendipity and the subjective assessment of tuning such that the output has artistic merit. There are actually many genres and maybe sub-genres within generative art but no one has really classified them yet.

Some watercolour or oil painters might accuse me of cheating. No, I don’t hand paint but something being hand painted doesn’t necessarily make it any better art. You can admire someone’s skill in painting but it isn’t the actual art. I believe good art is good art whether created in digital form or as a traditional painting.

Being between genres has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, what I am doing is more unique than output from photographic and generative algorithmic artists. The downside is that when I have to classify my art on web sites such as OpenSea, it’s difficult to choose a category of art.

I believe we are the very beginning of many new ways art will be created using technology. In the future I expect there will be some amazing ideas, processes and innovations that will affect the art world.