GAZELL.iO is pleased to present works from a new AI generated collection by Ira Greenberg developed during his participation in our December 2023 Residency program.


"Can a process be generatively generative? I ponder this as I reflect on ‘CyberStructures’. The germ of this exploration began with ‘Mappings’, BrainDrops, August 30, 2023. In that collection I explored distant, aerial views across a series of topographical and constructed landscapes. Exploring a distant view motif in ‘Mappings’ felt like the beginning of an inquiry, not a resolution. I knew I would return to the subject. Around this body of work there were numerous projects that examined themes connected to my past as painter and coder, usually connected through an emergent generative aesthetic, now front and center in the web3 space, but for me a through line to a creative coding practice of nearly 30 years.

As a painter, the residue of the medium and process is an inherent characteristic to the physical material. As one advances in the craft, one learns to appreciate, even cherish, these procedural artifacts that take on a life of their own, manifestations of less conscious impulses. These material gems often carry a special weight and resonance in the work; think of the scumbling on the face of a Rembrandt self-portrait, or the peripatetic tracings in a Giacometti painting. For a long time, I’ve thought about how physical artifacts manifest in the digital, often jocularly referring to such phenomena as code drippings.

I began prompting, for what would become ‘CyberStructures’, thinking about computer architectures as vast landscapes: circuitry, roadways, components, buildings and structures. There were whimsical explorations as well that became past projects: ‘Ancient Automata’, Bright Moments, Venice CA, July 22, 2023 and ‘Machinations:CandyPuter.OE’,, July 5, 2023. My original name for this collection was ‘CyberCities’, with my initial impulse to generate as much scale and complexity as I could conjure out of the AI. This exploration went on for months, through thousands of iterations.

Though I liked many of the outputs from this initial development, something still remained unresolved for me, so I continued prompting and iterating. It wasn’t until I eventually let go of the name and radically shifted the prompt structure that I began to glimpse where this project could evolve to. In that sense, the process (as it’s really always been for me), is purely generative, even when prompting against a discrete generative system.

Thousands of ‘CyberStructures’ were generated to create this extremely focused collection. Often, images with good beginnings would be discarded as repetitive remixing and radical image expansion destroyed them. However, this rigorous and relentless process ultimately led to a body of work I am extremely proud and excited to release."

Ira Greenberg, Santa Fe
March 12, 2024

About Ira Greenberg

'My practice includes computation (creative coding, AI), drawing, and painting. Regardless of medium, my process is primarily generative/emergent. I begin most often automatically, with no target/goal/outcome in mind; my hands begin coding/drawing/prompting/painting. Hopefully, something engaging reveals itself along the way. I define my overall process as post-computational, in that it is deeply informed by many years of coding. (I think of embodied algorithms when holding a pencil/paintbrush.) I do not aspire to align myself with any single creative/aesthetic/art historical tradition. Yet, I deeply appreciate craft and visual literacy and also disruptive technologies.’

With an eclectic background combining studio & applied arts and computer science, Ira Greenberg has been a painter, 2D & 3D animator, print designer, web & interactive designer/developer, programmer, art director, creative director, managing director, art & computer science professor, author and web3 Co-founder. He wrote the first major language reference on the Processing programming language, Processing: Creative Coding and Computational Art, (Berkeley, CA: friends of ED, 2007) and two subsequent creative coding texts. Greenberg holds a B.F.A. from Cornell University and a M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Greenberg has steadily exhibited his work, consulted within industry and lectured widely throughout his career. He was affiliated with the Bowery Gallery in New York City, Flywheel Gallery in Piermont, NY, and Strata Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. He was a managing director and creative director for H2O Associates in New York’s Silicon Alley, where he helped build a new media division during the original dot-com boom and then bust, barely parachuting back to safety in the ivory tower. Since then, he has been inciting students to create inspirational new media art, lecturing at numerous institutions, including Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland); University of Edinburgh (UK); University of Iowa; University of Northern Iowa; Seton Hall University; Monmouth University; University of California, Santa Barbara; Kutztown University; Moravian College; Lafayette College; Lehigh University; the Art Institute of Seattle; Studio Art Centers International (Florence, Italy); City and Guilds of London Art School (UK), and Goldsmiths, University of London.

Currently, Greenberg is Director of the Center of Creative Computation and Professor at SMU, with a joint appointment in the Meadows School of the Arts and the Lyle School of Engineering. Previously, he was Associate Professor at Miami University (Ohio), where he held a joint appointment within the School of Fine Arts and Interactive Media Studies program and was an affiliate member of the Department of Computer Science and Systems Analysis.

Greenberg splits his time between Santa Fe and Dallas with his wife, Robin; son, Ian; daughter, Sophie; their Zen warrior dogs, Kai and Tessie; and horse Finn. When not sitting aimlessly in front of his laptop, you can usually find him on one of his bikes or getting checked against the boards at an ice rink in Santa Fe or North Texas.