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marfaMESH

marfaMESH is an event-driven generative art experiment that took place over the course of Marfa 2023, Sept 21st to 24th. To participate attendees were required to download the marfaMESH app developed by Shane Richardson (Breath You, Ouroboros) and wear a NFC Card lanyard powered by IYK. Scanning other peoples lanyards built a social graph of interactions that created personalized artworks for each participant that evolved throughout the event. When scanning, the app prompted users to take a picture from which colors and basic forms were abstracted and fed into the emerging artwork. Interactions ‘nodes’ are clustered based on eleven key geo locations and there is a night day mode based on time of last interaction. The project’s primary objective was to serve as an icebreaker to help bring about connections between people that wouldn’t have met otherwise. It is hoped that this project is an example of how generative art can be used to create highly personalized art chronicles of an event. Art that helps to preserve memories and create a treasured artifact that’s an extension of the ticket stub or merch item we are all familiar with. It's my belief that generative art has inherent properties that enable it to provide a new class of art that is part infographic; memorabilia; social graph; personal story and proof of participation. I can see a future in which a person's inner and outer worlds can be expressed in an evolving, responsive and interactive artwork. These life-artworks may meld in real time with life-artworks from friends and family or as large community expressions. A global expression of all the data collected will be created and auctioned as a one of one in the coming year. While it might seem that the individual outputs in this series will have the greatest value and meaning to the co-creators, a single collective expression of the event may have more value and meaning to art culture as a whole. Profits from this auction will be reinvested into the continued exploration of this approach of which marfaMESH has served as a compelling early proof-of-concept.

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