Kirk Clyne artistic self-portrait

Mandala 21
Short video documentation of Fleeting Glimpses 2 installed at Likely General

Kirk Clyne is a generative digital media artist based in Toronto.

His practice involves creating digital art engines: software applications that generate images, animations, music and stories by remixing a handful of original ingredients with random chance and possibility.

The results are always unique and unpredictable, to greater and lesser degrees. Controlling the extent of those degrees is a big part of the craft.

The craft lies in determining which properties—shapes, sizes, colours, sounds, images and more—need to be adjusted next. Over time, chaos is limited to discreet ranges, and less successful media ingredients are culled. Pieces can evolve over weeks and, along the way, unanticipated results can reveal unexpected creative directions to explore.

Sometimes I feel like I’m discovering art that’s already out there waiting to be found. It’s not my creation, it’s more like a duet with the machine. I’m chasing down something the code is suggesting, adjusting the frequencies to bring it into view.

The artist’s influences include the “cut-up” novels of William S. Burroughs, the “Exquisite Corpse” drawing games of the Surrealist artists, and even tabletop role-playing games. These cultural artifacts are produced when human imagination meets a simple rule system and an element of chance.

In his commercial career, he leads the creative team at Art & Science, a digital design agency. He’s also an active speaker / instructor /  mentor in Toronto’s design community.