Applying the concept of generative art in manually created art forms the artist Rhett Martyn presented the work titled” Mine”.


MINE is a ‘negative space map’, which is derived from schemas in the form of maps and diagrams detailing some of the tunnels under the city of Johannesburg.  Such maps were the initial blueprints for the sculpture, however during the construction process I started to digress from the specificity of the maps and to build intuitively, allowing the form to grow organically. Effectively the process itself began to usurp the goal of achieving a representational schematic of the tunnels and in this way I had stumbled into the territory of generative art practice almost by default. I have tried to explore the process in manually manufactured art forms, since generative art is mostly associated to digital art. Generative art is an adaptive and evolutionary art form, through which artworks are grown, rather than built.


In MINE two qualities of modularity are juxtaposed, one chaotic and disorganized, the other ordered, organized and harmonious. The former is built into the part of the sculpture representing the structure of a mine, while the latter is denoted by the triangular polygons that represent the natural landscape above the mine. This juxtaposition seemed appropriate in speaking about two qualities of landscape that exist in the Gauteng region. One aspect is represented by the ideal of the natural yet threatened savannah grassland biomes associated with order and symmetry. The other is characterized by disorder and irregularity and represents industrial imposition onto the natural environment.


The sculpture was originally based on the architecture of a ‘Mine’, and it is a work which is “grown” rather than built. The premises for this kind of organic construction is predicated on the notion that mines gradually develop and grow, as layers of strata are tunneled and extracted from the ground.


This sculpture replicates this quality in mining, the construction of which changes and adapts depending on the space it is exhibited in. In a sense the artist will exploit a kind of metaphorical ‘ore’, posited in the notion of space.  The works is adapted closely to the space in which it is exhibited.









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