Kenny Vaden is a generative artist from Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. He develops novel algorithms to create art independently from human interference. Experiences with nature photography, drawing and painting guide his imagination, while his code-writing benefitted extensively from neuroscience research and statistics. The artwork uses an abstract or minimalist style with distorted nonlinear geometry and precise linear details.
The code-based artwork that Vaden develops reflects experimentation and intuition. Vaden’s artistic process involves writing code, executing, and waiting for the result. He views art as an empirical endeavor, with each new artwork like an experiment. Similar to the idea of cumulative scientific progress, he wishes to learn something new from each piece, which often confirms a hunch that can enhance the next project. Vaden runs an algorithm a few times before selecting the best compositions, then moves on to the next experiment. Thus, each piece is unique but has a consistent style.
Vaden creates artworks that are often highly detailed and precise. Because the code itself has no aesthetic, he usually starts by “drawing blindly” from imagination. This is where the magic starts. Like closing your eyes before touching the paintbrush to canvas, much of the code is written without viewing the results at first. Then a cycle of experimentation begins, which consists of iteratively viewing the image produced by the algorithm, editing the code, then executing the code again. Interestingly, says Vaden “when an optimal ‘solution’ is quickly arrived at, it feels wrong - how could I stumble into the maze’s end without wandering for a while?”
Vaden writes code-art because the process is meditative and thought-absorbing, producing forms that reflect unique algorithms. The artwork tells a story about the process that produced it – similar to how lines in the sand reflect a projection of ocean waves.
“I love the engrossing and iterative process of writing code to generate art, and I love colorful and precise code artworks. I want people to see forms that represent a carefully crafted algorithm, like staring at thick brushstrokes evident in the surface texture of a painting. When my artwork captures sadness, anxiety, or dread that I felt during code-writing, I want the art to help others process their experiences. I would love for my art to inspire curiosity about generative art for others.”
Vaden’s works are inspired by a small but growing community of generative artists (e.g., Caleb Ogg, Aaron Penne, Piter Pasma, Louis-André Labadie, Dmitry Volodin) as well as non-digital artists (e.g., Matilde Franzolin, Sam Wolfe), to name a few.
Kenny Vaden has exhibited his artworks in a juried exhibit for the Piccolo Spoleto art festival in Charleston, SC, as well as the selective Humanitas art publication at the Medical University of South Carolina.