APRIL 7TH, 2022

You may wonder about the meaning of ‘Wildlife Photography’ in the title. This suggests someone with a camera strapped about their neck crouching in the bushes waiting for animals to come by, quite different from the artists I write about. This idea initially came from the well-known generative artist Zach Lieberman, and it makes sense in the context of what Lil Code and many code artists do.

I am not a code artist, but I understand the idea since what I do as an artist has many of the same characteristics. You have an idea, then set several parameters, inputs, colors, motion paths, and so on, and let the computer process those to see what it comes up with. Often it is very different from what you expected. You tweak some more and try other things and what you have in the end is something completely new, something ‘wild’ that you then capture and present to the world as your art.

Most artists experience the same process: You have an idea, and you wind up with something new in creating it. But for code artists, the process is different because the computer is like an art partner, taking the inputs and giving you something unexpected and new. After many tweaks and iterations, the final part is simply recording what your partner, the computer, presents to you.

The mistaken often minimize the artist’s role and assume that the artist writes some code, steps back, and the computer creates something. It is far more interactive than that. The artist makes many decisions and many drafts that get thrown out before the final work is decided on, just like artists using other processes.

What is particularly interesting about motion code artists is how arbitrary the length of their work is. It can be 10 seconds, 1 minute, or 10 minutes. Sometimes it is a gif, an mp4, or a piece of code running on the computer as long as you let it. Sometimes code artists take the time to make a loop, and sometimes they don’t.

The Motion Art characteristics are the same, however. The viewer sees it as a non-narrative work similar to a painting. You view it all at once and experience it as one art object with motion instead of a story where A leads to B and then to C. For my thoughts on this, read here.

Two Chilean artists comprise Lil Code, who create various code-based work mostly in motion, always intriguing and quite beautiful. Their best works feel simultaneously organic, glitchy, and generative. It feels like something wild that was ‘captured’ – but much work goes into creating this motion art.

Their work can be found across various sites that you can find in their Twitter profile. They also work under the name hypereikon.

The artists were generous enough to discuss who they are and their process.



//∞ภuevσs ʀitmσs〃⁰¹⁵

//∞ภuevσs ʀitmσs〃⁰¹⁵



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Can you tell me a bit about where you are from and work?

Hi! We’re Sebi and Coni. We work as an artistic duo-experimental laboratory called Hypereikon. We grew up in different cities in Chile, and we met in Valdivia, where we are now located. For the last few years, we have been studying different things. We have dedicated ourselves full time to creating and experimenting in new media and seek to un-blackbox our creative tools. This makes their visual and sound creation processes transparent and gives us agency over these technologies through processes free of predetermined standards. At the same time, bringing us a closer understanding of our contemporary computational context.

Did you have art training?

We have academic knowledge in different areas such as architecture, video game design, sound engineering and sound arts. However, we could never obtain training to create digital tools, although it is essential for the areas above. For this reason, we have had a self-learning journey regarding creative code and machine learning. We have been able to connect and make friends throughout Latin America to nurture ourselves and provide knowledge feedback.

How did your art evolve and develop?

We created the ToplapValdivia node together with  Christian Oyarzun (voodoo child) and Alejandro Albornoz (co(n) of Zero). They are Chilean artists with vast experience in computer arts and live coding who taught us the basics for our artistic development.

We started by playing around with hydra-synth, a modular javascript-based video synthesizer. Having previous experience doing visuals, it was organic for us to do live visuals playing with hydra. This was one of the most effective ways to learn about creative code. Then we developed patches not as performance or improvisation but as a visual exploration of modular synthesis, meditation type, exploring and playing. We also love to tear apart other people’s patches or pieces by looking and improvising with hydra.

In parallel, since 2020, we have delved into synthesis with machine learning, AI, and playing with different models and media. When VQGANxCLIP was discovered, we were learning, experimenting and developing our creation techniques- remix. Faced with this video synthesis-AI production, we decided to branch the video synth side to Lil Code and leave the AI ​​for Hypereikon.

How do you choose whether to make static or motion work?

That’s a tricky question. As hydra works as a video synth, there’s always a signal flowing; it never stops. Our static work is captured scenes from this endless signal flow. As Zach Lieberman puts it, we act like wildlife photographers trying to capture the best moments of some wild thing that keeps changing/evolving, documenting it.

How long have you been in the NFT scene?

We’ve been since early march 2021; we got to ride the early wave and then the early fxhash wave. It has been great for us because we’ve been doing generative art since 2018, just for fun; now it’s for fun and as a way to finance our creative, autonomous investigations.

We have participated in two residencies (TIBUM/hicetnunclabs and VCA Residency/verticalcryptoart). We have connected with artists from different countries and created bonds by sharing our experiences and appreciating different ways of making digital art.

Who are your influences?

Artists we admire: Olivia JackKim AsendorfZach Lieberman

They all move in the digital-video synthesis sphere through different approaches (they code their own tools).

We like how they integrate their work into different and new interfaces. In addition to developing hydra, Olivia Jack is constantly experimenting with new visual-sound creation interfaces in the browser. In turn, Kim Asendorf, in each project, creates groundbreaking interfaces that place each of his works cohesively in the browser. Zach Lieberman has a rich set of techniques and pedagogical-ideological ways of creating art with computers. It has influenced our method of creating, learning, and teaching with computer technologies.

Do you think that Motion Art is a new Art form?

It is a different form of art, but we wouldn’t call it new. It is a continuation of what was sought from the abstract pictorial arts, which sought to represent a movement in the image through experimentation with shape and color. And the work of early experimental filmmakers who worked on animation and the use of textures and geometry in their works focused on movement.


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