Ethereal Generative Systems

Curator’s choice

Nature generates through a complex network of interactions and processes, constantly changing and adapting, with new life forms emerging and old ones fading away. The process of generation in nature can be seen in the growth of plants from seed to maturity, the formation of new ecosystems, and the evolution of species over time. The diversity of the natural world is a testament to the endless possibilities of generation and the ongoing process of creation; a creation that can be perceived to emanate from physical, biological, computational, divine or ethereal beginnings, depending on your beliefs.

The beauty of generative creation is that it allows for the unexpected, the emergence of something new, something that couldn't have been preconceived. It is a reminder that the wonders of the universe can be found not only in the grand structures of the cosmos but also in the intricate and ever-evolving systems that govern its functioning. It is an ongoing exploration of the unknown, the challenging of our own limits, and the embracing of the infinite possibilities.

The generative nature of existence is a strange and perplexing thing, a labyrinthine web of paradoxes and enigmas. It is a force that brings forth new forms and structures, yet also tears down the old. It is a force that creates order and beauty, yet also breeds chaos and destruction. And yet, perhaps the true nature of a generative force is something stranger still. Perhaps it is a force that exists beyond the boundaries of good and evil, a force that is both benevolent and malevolent.


Future / Past Fractal #2
Future / Past Fractal #2 by Trips

Fractals are mathematical structures that exhibit self-similarity at different scales, meaning that their shapes and patterns repeat regardless of the level of magnification.They can be found in a wide variety of natural phenomena, such as coastlines, tree branches, and river networks. These shapes can also be generated algorithmically using fractal equations, which can produce seemingly organic and natural patterns that are highly complex and varied. Additionally, in computational science fractals are used in several areas including image compression and computer graphics, for creating highly detailed models of natural landscapes, and for simulating the growth of plants and other organisms.

Trips is a digital artist driven by fractals.

Sterling Crispin

Codex 1 - Horizon 'Ghost'
Codex 1 - Horizon 'Ghost' by Sterling Crispin

No gods, no masters expresses the idea of rejecting any form of authoritarian or hierarchical power or authority. But the concepts of gods, structures, and systems are closely related and often intertwined. In this context, the gods were not just deities but also systems of power, control, and meaning. The "ghosts of gods" is a phrase that may refer to the lingering influence of these deities and the systems that they were once associated with, even after their worship has waned or been forgotten. The idea of ghosts in this context could also suggest the continuation of certain beliefs, practices, and customs that were associated with these gods, in a way that is not visible but present as a cultural inheritance.

Sterling Crispin (b. 1985, Maui, Hawaii) is an artist and technologist. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and seen in The New York Times, Frieze, Wired, and other publications.

Joshua Davis

the V01D / 022-003

Computational generative systems are algorithms or processes that are designed to create new, unique, and unpredictable outputs. In the context of life, generative systems could be used to simulate or model the complexity and diversity of living organisms and their ecosystems. the V01D opens up a portal into the abstract world of data visualization and the underlying systems related to our perception.

Joshua Davis is a designer, technologist, author, and artist in algorithmic image making and animation. He is acclaimed for his role in designing the visualization of IBM’s Watson. Davis was the winner of the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica. His work has been exhibited at Tate Modern, Design Museum (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), ICA (London), Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, MoMA PS1 (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (New York), and more.

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Iñigo Bilbao

Keloid II
Keloid II by Iñigo Bilbao

Mutation is a fundamental process of evolution that occurs when there are changes in the genetic makeup of an organism. These changes can be caused by a variety of factors, such as errors during DNA replication, exposure to radiation or chemicals or even viruses. Some mutations are harmful and can lead to diseases, while others can be beneficial and provide an organism with a survival advantage. Mutation is also the driving force behind the evolution of life on Earth, as it allows for the emergence and generation of new genetic variations that can be selected for or against by the environment. The result is the diverse array of living organisms we see today, ranging from single-celled microorganisms to complex animals and plants. The concept of mutation can also be used in an organic or artistic context, mutation can inspire new shapes, forms or functionality. In this way, mutation can be seen as a source of variation, diversity, and change, which is essential for life in the organic world, providing the necessary driving force for evolution and adaptation.

Iñigo Bilbao is a digital artist specializing in 3D imagery and 3D scanning. His work has been shown at Ars Electronica (Linz), Transmediale (Berlin), and MIMA (Brussels).

Dean Kalcoff

Sky Vessel
Sky Vessel by Dean Kalcoff

A speculative organic vessel for life holds the idea of a hypothetical structure or mechanism that is specifically designed to support and sustain life. It is designed to mimic the functions and processes of living organisms or powered by an organic energy source, such as photosynthesis or the metabolism of microorganisms. The vessel could also be designed to be self-sustaining and able to adapt to changing conditions.

Dean Kalcoff is a digital artist focusing on 3D sculpting, drawing inspiration from nature and bringing it into the digital world.


MOses' entry_0.228 fs

Generative systems can be used to simulate the organic flows that occur in nature. These systems are designed to create patterns and behaviors that mimic the complexity and unpredictability of natural systems. Organic flows refer to the movement and behaviour of living organisms or natural elements, such as water in a river, the movement of a flock of birds or the growth of a plant. These flows can be modeled using generative systems by combining mathematical equations, algorithms, and simulations. Generative organic flows can create highly detailed and realistic animations and simulations of natural systems, which can be used in scientific research, architectural design or even as an abstract questioning of the forces of nature.

MOses Li is a digital artist who focuses on the topics of time, space, and natural phenomena. Their works have been collected by Inside-Out Art Museum (Beijing), UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing), Artron Art Center (Shenzen), and others.

Jascha Suess


The Hadal Zone is the deepest part of the ocean, reaching depths of 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) or more. The pressure at these depths is enormous, up to 8 tons per square inch. This environment is extremely cold and dark, and is largely inhospitable to most forms of life. Despite these harsh conditions, some organisms have adapted to survive in the Hadal Zone. They include deep-sea fish, such as the Mariana snailfish, as well as crustaceans, cephalopods, and certain types of bacteria. Many of these organisms have specialized adaptations, such as the ability to produce light through bioluminescence, to survive in this extreme environment. The exact process of how life formed in the Hadal Zone is still not well understood, though the presence of hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor could potentially provide a habitat for the emergence of microbial life.

Jascha Suess is a digital artist who focuses on immersive experiences.

Rakesh Pulapa

Baldr by Rakesh Pulapa

Nature generates river networks through the process of erosion, sedimentation, and other natural forces. Water flowing over the landscape erodes the soil and rock, carving channels and creating a network of streams and rivers. As the water flows, it carries sediment, which is deposited along the banks, creating natural levees and deltas. Over time, the river network adapts to the changing conditions of the landscape, as different tributaries join and diverge, forming complex and dynamic systems. This process is known as fluvial geomorphology. The intricate and delicate strands that appear to be gently swaying and elegantly flowing are the famed braided rivers of Iceland. Braided rivers feed from the melting glaciers. As they wind their way down to drain into the sea, they undergo a series of self-splitting and rejoining processes owing to various factors, giving them their distinctive braid-like appearance.

Rakesh Pulapa is an award-winning photographer and brand ambassador for Canon and Vivo. His works have been exhibited worldwide and published by CNN, BBC, National Geographic, and others.

Dimitri Kielbasiewicz


An organic vein system pulses within a hypothetical network of channels and vessels that are designed to mimic the way in which blood vessels or other organic fluids are distributed in living organisms and that can even be formed algorithmically by using generative systems. The natural generative systems of the body are able to create complex and adaptable networks that can transport different types of substances, such as blood, nutrients, oxygen, and waste, and adapt to the changing conditions of the environment. This network would be self-regulating, maintaining the optimal flow rate and pressure, filtering the substances it carries, and adjusting its shape and structure accordingly.

Dimitri Kielbasiewicz is a product designer and digital artist.

Eva Papamargariti

The Hollow Sound of Longing

This exploration delves into the interconnected themes of the uncanny, desire, and resilience through the story of a creature that stands between the human and animal form. The creature dwells in simulated environments and its actions can be both familiar and peculiar, sometimes unpredictable and at other times routine. The protagonist navigates its existence through the complexity of these themes and opens up new and exciting possibilities to explore the limits of human perception and animal behavior and even reshape the way we understand and relate to other species.

Eva Papamargariti works with moving images, sculptures, installations, and printed materials. Her work has been exhibited in institutions and museums including the New Museum (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and MAAT (Lisbon).

Andy Thomas Artist

Liquid Audio Creature

Life has been given to a speculative audio-enabled creature with a unique and complex auditory system that allows it to perceive and interact with its environment in ways that are beyond human comprehension. This creature could have the ability to generate a wide range of sounds, from ethereal whispers to ear-piercing shrieks, each with its own unique meaning or purpose. It could also have the ability to understand and communicate with other audio creatures using complex language composed entirely of sound. The creature's body could be amorphous and ever-changing, constantly shifting and adapting to its surroundings in response to the sounds it perceives. The exact nature of such a creature and the environment in which it would exist is purely speculative, but it serves as an interesting concept for exploring the potential of sound as a means of both perception and communication.

Andy Thomas has worked with artists such as Bjork and Empire of the Sun to create stage concert visuals. He is inspired by the beauty of nature and extensive travel to some of the world’s most ancient rainforests. Using a combination of photography and 3D software, Thomas’ work is a symbolic representation of nature’s collision with technology.

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