Techart Conference

| 2021 TechArt Conference |

Session 2: Algorithms and the Future of Visual Arts

A Study on Automation of Contemporary Visual Arts: Focusing on the Algorithmic Environment that Has Become a Tool for Creation

Jung, Sera (Director, The Stream)


Visual arts combined more proactively with technological media have recently evolved into new forms. Visual arts originated from technological demonstrations of movements derived from the dynamic development of multiple images and technological characters, which could not be actively combined until recently. This is due to the nature of videos as they replaced the role that images have played in the past as a basis for indication. Another reason is the technological context, where it is difficult to add technological elements to movements. However, either algorithms come into play from the fundamental elements that activate visual arts, or real-time synthesis is underway while visual arts are in play. Algorithms are not only a solution but also a tool for creativity. The genealogical system of a technology’s self-productive independence and autonomy encompasses the reversed impacts on the formation of culture in the sense that it confers a unique authority on the independent evolution of the current algorithm technology, machines, and entities. The post-Internet world has introduced changes to numerous image-production technologies and perception dimensions. Amidst these developments, the emergence of immaterial arts derived from a new algorithmic environment is extremely influential on the creative environment of visual arts. The influence of algorithms on visual arts (moving images) is nearly half a century old. The early stages of computer arts, which have enabled the integrated development of the above trend, demonstrated the new possibility of creative expression as to what kind of art can be produced with a computer, thereby expanding the arts horizon. Some artists naturally transformed the computer programming environment into an artistic tool and labeled their work algorithm arts. Computer algorithms expanded from a solely mathematic and machinery dimension into an artistic-aesthetic dimension. As part of the trend of new modern visual arts, new arts are overthrowing the past. Algorithms are now more effective in contemporary visual arts. Algorithm-based games are now not just games but also recognized as a form of art and media artists who produce work in the form of a game or work using the game engine itself. Subsequently, it is meaningful to look at the map of contemporary visual arts that began as an early-stage generative art and evolved into the modern machinima as a technological development of visual arts.


Jung is the founding director of The Stream (, a digital archive platform of Korean video arts. Her researches and curations are concerned with public archives of video and media arts and the expansion of art criticism. As a guest curator of Film & Video, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), she planned the exhibition Video Symphony: An Overture of Connection, Disjunction and Conjunction as part of the event Dear Cinema: difference and repetition (2019). She also curated several exhibitions for the mapping of contemporary Korean video arts; Video Portrait (2017), Video Landscape (2018), Video/Spectrum/Dance (2019), and Video Acts (2020). She lectured at Hongik University, Pusan National University, Konkuk University, and Seoul Institute of the Arts. She has worked as a committee member of the Video Art and Experimental Film Archive, the Asia Culture Center (ACC), the advisory committee member of UNESCO Media Arts Creative City Gwangju and as an editorial member of AliceOn, a media art culture channel.