Meet Eric, aka EDG, Physicist, Generative Artist, creator of multiple transcendent collections, and contributor to Redlions’ Artcode. He joined us on Twitter Spaces where we discussed the breadth of his Scientific and Artistic work. The intersection of these seemingly unrelated fields is fascinating, “my whole life has been about finding beauty in the universe. In fact, when I was in High School, like 20 years ago, I taught myself how to code because I wanted to create beautiful things on my computer... I was doing generative art back then, although there was no community.”
As an academic, Eric started researching the origin of life. The confluence of laboratory and art studio was unmistakable, “generative art makes a really clean connection [to my day job], because as a generative artist, one is basically playing God in some artificial universe where we get to control the rules. And essentially, all generative art works like that. And… I'm really working on creating elementary rules that are like laws of physics, and then letting them run to see what happens; in a sense, it's quite parallel to what I'm doing in the lab.”
The machinery of EDG’s universes isn’t the hard part to control, because “many people know how to code, the harder thing is knowing what to code. And that's really where the intuition for mathematics comes in knowing–especially when you're dealing with randomness, which is the key aspect of generative art–if you just let everything go totally wild, you won't have a nice output. So you have to understand randomness, probability, how setting a certain distribution is going to affect the outputs. And that's where actually all my training as a physicist really is complementary to the generative art practice.”
Regarding his most recent project, Glass, done on Art Blocks, “it's really an attempt to explain or to convey what the physical universe is, as told to us by by Quantum Mechanics.” An equation can’t convey how “we think that the universe is some kind of objective background that we're moving around in, and Quantum Mechanics says that that's not true… actually the way the universe is, is more like a space of possibilities.”
While the “space of possibilities” seems endless, it is interesting to see how EDG’s methodology and ethos overlaps with another Redlion favorite artist/scientist, Godmin. Our recent profile of her work covered the theme of creation and randomness–though unlike EDG’s cosmological themes, Godmin’s work uses Classical Mythology to imbue meaning into her work. Though the end results are very different, the axiom is still true: Great minds think alike.
Speaking of previous work, Eric may be best known for his Alien Codex and Alien Tongues collections. These were born from a study of the “emergence of language.” Code was used to mimic universal syntactical patterns found in Earth’s ~6,000 languages. The resulting Alien Tongues NFTs are unique languages that might resemble an extraterrestrial writing system.
This begged the question, does EDG, our brilliant physicist friend, believe in aliens? We asked and well… if you want his opinion, you’ll have to tune in to find out!