Marcel SchwittlickComposition no. 94 (Vertical Line Test)

Opening event
Tuesday 28th of May, 6pm

On View
29 May - 9 June, 2024

Galerie Met
Mariannenstraße 33,
10999 Berlin

Mathematics serves as the backbone of generative art, with its pioneers such as Georg Nees and Frieder Nake, who originally were trained as mathematicians. Generative art, though often perceived as random, often finds its groundwork on precise mathematical principles and orderly algorithms. Schwittlick's newest body of work, presented at the Galerie Met in Berlin, explores this foundation through a dialectic of complexity and playful exploration with physical pen plotter drawings using cursor data as the foundation for his art. His recent works draw on a decade of collecting cursor movements, transforming these into generative art through mathematical functions.

In this series, Schwittlick employs the "functional" property of a polyline, where each x-value within a domain corresponds to a unique y-value, ensuring no vertical intersections occur along the polyline. This property is akin to passing the "vertical line test," a fundamental concept in mathematical function analysis. Schwittlick's approach involves connecting multiple straight line segments that, when projected onto the x-axis, do not overlap vertically, maintaining their functional integrity.

Composition no.94, started in 2023, is inspired by abstract shapes found in Vera Molnar’s 8 carriages. Schwittlick’s series seems to conjure the avant-grade geometrical compositions, a graphical analogue of the visual culture that can be glimpsed in Molnar’s recent Centre Pompidou’s solo show or at the hidden archives of the V&A Museum in London. He writes: “Vera Molnar's oeuvre has been a touchstone in my artistic evolution, seamlessly weaving into my style and perception, often beyond my conscious choice. Her enduring presence in the generative art world has not only shaped the genre but also profoundly influenced my approach. I am particularly attuned to her minimalist exploration of form, especially her nuanced use of lines. The understated transformations and the almost imperceptible shifts in her work have fascinated me from my earliest acquaintance with her art.”

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The association of geometric shapes and simplicity of plotter lines go beyond an accident of digital practice. Schwittlick makes no claims, he says, about the evident reference: “I view this as an homage to hers, where I infuse my distinct perspective by incorporating dynamic lines as a core element, thereby delving into the interplay between digital possibilities and bodily movement. This approach is not so much an attempt to replicate her methods but rather a respectful nod to her legacy, as I explore new frontiers within the framework she has inspired.”

The works radiate with visceral colours, prehensile lines, and the most insinuating pen lines of any modern generative artists, all indirectly nourished by his passionate reverence for Vera Molnar’s legacy. “Her methodical explorations, characterized by simplicity and subtle variation, continue to be a wellspring of inspiration. It's evident that elements of her pioneering work have found echoes in my recent series.”

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Marcel Schwittlick

Marcel Schwittlick is an artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. His work examines the cybernetic aspects of generative systems. Marcel Schwittlick works with multiple media, including digital material, interactive installations, generative poetry, and conceptual video. He studied Computer Science and Computational Art at the University of Arts, Berlin.
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Galerie Met

Galerie Met was founded in 2023 in Berlin and represents emerging and established artists of various generations, origins, cultural backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Its program focuses on radical, interdisciplinary, concept-oriented work, especially in the fields of interactive art, video art, installation art, generative art, as well as painting, photography, and sculpture that push...
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Mimi Nguyen

Mimi is a Creative Director at verse. She is a assistant professor at Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London where she leads the CSM NFT Lab. Her background is New Media Art, having previously studied at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She now also teaches at Imperial College London, Faculty of Engineering, where she leads Mana Lab - a “Future...
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