Botnik is a community of writers, artists and developers collaborating with machines to create strange new things. Its core was established by an ex-Chicago bud, Jamie Brew, who began creating content with a predictive text emulator a few years ago. Now, Botnik has satellite teams across the country that collaborate through Slack to generate everything from Unwanted band names to Harry Potter fanfiction.
I figured there might be some cross-over between lines and Botnik re: Algorithmic composition and Emergence and Generative Art, so I reached out to Jamie and got the green-light to start piecing together a lines-grown branch of Botnik. It feels like level 3+ folks should be the first envoys, but happy to open this up to the larger community with feedback.
If you’re interested, we’ve received this first “assignment” from Jamie:
I think the first step is identifying what the hallmarks of each group are (in more specific terms than “algorithmic art”) and where they overlap. A first stab at that for Botnik would be:
— Generative art with an emphasis on human control, with a small feedback loop
— Transparent interfaces for manipulating output in ways that are legible to both the artist and the audience
— Sudden discovery of true patterns latent in data
Botnik uses corpuses to generate their content (e.g. their web app), so the human elements are focused on corpus selection and relying on their discretion/taste to guide the final output.
Jamie’s given hallmarks check my boxes, but how do others feel?
Some starting points:
- Is there anything specific to composition or audio processing that is not covered by Botnik’s tenets?
- What is unique about your generative processes that might depart from Botnik’s approach to written content?
- Where are the intersections?
Once we nail down some ideas and define interest, I’ll invite Jamie to sync up with us – cart after the horse.