Futurist and Generative Artist Alida Sun Lives Life on the Internet

Feature Image of Alida Sun

Alida Sun had always been interested in art, though she did try to avoid being an artist on multiple occasions. The generative artist was not a member of the art world, but she was drawing, writing, and experimenting as soon as she had access to a computer. She recalls playing around with websites, view sources, and other such things since she was a child.

But, in this day and age, art can take any number of esoteric interdisciplinary forms, so there’s little point in running away.

Alida Sun is the first artist in history to consolidate generative art, large-scale installation, blockchain technology, and live performances. Her current studio practice is primarily concerned with assemblage, fluid dynamics, time crystals, and experimental humanities.

Alida Sun

Attracted to baffling worlds such as comics and animation, which were formative, life-sustaining influences, Alida Sun even considered becoming a cartoonist or animator at one point. Sun, a New Yorker, studied industrial design with a Bauhaus foundation school. It’s difficult to say where she lives now because she is location independent and tends to change bases, sometimes year to year.

Pseudo-anonymous Artist Alida says, ” I’m from the Internet,” and it’s possible that’s the most accurate answer she could give because we don’t have any pictures of her!!

Her inspiration comes from some prominent over the top artists such as Toyin Odutola, Julie Mehretu, Koji Morimoto, Hito Steyerl, Do Ho Suh, Mary Corse, Robert Irwin, Nam June Paik, Rashaad Newsome, Winsor McCay.

Vera Molár was among the first to work with algorithmic systems and computers, so generative art is not a “new” media form. In expressing her thoughts on generative art, Alida Sun says, “Honestly, it feels like I’m discovering what generative art is all over again every day.” 

“Any buzzwordy definition is far less illuminating than history, and I believe that history includes textiles, which are inextricably linked with computation. In any case, I should point out that generative art is not dependent on the programme used.”

Strange quiet hours spent reading, dreaming, looking at the sky, and washing dishes provided her with inspirations and the incorporation of ideas into her artworks ranging from mathematics to mythology. Alida claims “Inspirations change so quickly that I don’t keep track of them and probably couldn’t if I tried — I do, however, draw from them in my daily practice. I’m drawn to spaces and structures that will interact and morph in unanticipated places, even for their creator!”

Glitch crystal monsters #0

Glitch Crystal Monsters on the Art Block by Alida Sun is a synthesis of over 777 days of generative artmaking that channels these speculative phenomena to highlight the fluid, transformative possibilities of structures perceived as rigid and immutable. 

The interdisciplinary artist, who is based in both Berlin and New York, has created over a hundred pieces of coded art. Her inspirations range from mathematics to mythology, and they have kept her rootless while also keeping her curious and concerned.

Sonnen sinn spektrum

Some of the elements prominently featured in her media art Sonnen sinn spektrum, which is available on SuperRare, include fluid dynamics, color science, solar energy and healing as a daily ritual.

Alida is convinced that “these elements are all important factors in developing more integrated perspectives on life. They assist me in better understanding the world and living in it. I’m not sure how I relate to healing, and I don’t identify as a healer; I simply see it as a necessary practice.”

The “Sentient Sun + Steel collection” is inspired by both the physical and digital worlds. It is a generative investigation of natural phenomena that goes beyond surface imitation. It conveys the entire dynamic atmosphere of light forms rather than isolating them into a literal or fixed moment.

Sentient Sun + Steel

Alida Sun’s current practice as an intersectional futurist focuses on assemblage, extended realities, and experimental humanities. Her most recent exhibitions have taken place at SOMA Berlin, the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, transmediale, Lightbox NYC Times Square, and The Future Blockchain Creative Center.

Machine learning, AI, and regenerative tools are relatively new, but the NFT artist appears to be engrossed, amused, and unwaveringly committed to them. Alida says of the experience, “It was a savory combination of natural compulsion, cerebral intent, and simple ceaseless curiosity.”

Furthermore, Alida Sun’s “Chromacounterpane collection,” which includes over 800 consecutive days of generative art making, is a unique iteration and exploration of quilt traditions, which comprise a wildly underappreciated branch of assemblage art, integrated with color studies and fluid dynamics.

She has been creating new generative artwork for over 1000 days and counting, using algorithms and artificial intelligence to create completely unique pieces. Alida’s work crosses mediums, combining installations with live performance and generative pieces to create a one-of-a-kind, perception-bending artistic experience.

A self-taught individual when it comes to coding, Alida is more concerned with process than with aesthetics. The futurist and intersectional artist believes that skills and sensibilities honed through work in more traditional media — drawing, painting, animation, textiles, sculpture — are just as important as prowess with new media and emerging technologies.

Alida believes she grew up more on the Internet than anywhere/thing else, and that GIFs are windows and reflections of her environment on profoundly formative levels. She started making GIFs because she thought they were pure magic. GIFs, according to the internet soul, are a distinct form of art.

I may or may not have assumed corporeal form 1

Many of her works show her love of GIFs. She starts expressing herself through them, saying, ” Tumblr was a formative experience for me. After a junior high friend generously gave me Photoshop, I began creating GIFs and posting them online. GIFs were like little magical portals back then.”

And sure she draws a lot on childhood for her work nowadays, especially that state where one creates freely without any external motive or validation. 

The genesis edition ‘Orbit’ is inspired by Ruth Asawa’s looped wire sculptures. “Ruth Asawa is a huge inspiration to me, but I only recently discovered her work. Her bravery, form of knowledge, and sense of space are inspiring ” remarked Sun.

Orbits : Asawa

Orbit artist Alida Sun believes Black and white provide the most visible environments for projection mapping with low-cost equipment, which was her main entry point into generative art. Being in Berlin has presumably had an impact on this palette as well.

The most valuable answer she gives here for all the newcomers entering the field is that generative art does not necessitate any new, exorbitant, or even remotely specific equipment. Her favorite gear is still secondhand and as old as hell.

“My setup changes too frequently to yield much valuable insight for anyone,” the artist says profoundly. Also, I work in assemblage, which is an Art World-approved way of saying that I improvise with whatever is free, at hand, and frequently deemed useless.”

“When I first started out, I used free and open source toolkits like Processing, OpenFrameworks, Pure Data, and so on.” I borrowed a clunky old 800600 projector from a friend and powered everything with a used laptop. My installations were all centered on junk — sorry, “found objects.”

Furthermore, to retain her dreams, intellectual stimulation, and intellectual curiosity alive, the futurist and exceptional installation artist accepts failures, feeds the foolishness, and, of course, plays outside the entire concept of having an individuality. 

We at The Crypto Times had the opportunity to speak with her about her mathematical and mythological inspirations, developing color palettes, her work in projection mapping, and her continuous creation of new generative artwork for over 1000 days and counting.

When and how did you start your journey professionally into the NFT space? Is there any kind of project/venture that you are currently excited to work on?

Like pretty much every other generative artist who makes dailies I got a lot of offers to onboard platforms early on. I did some exhibitions at places like the Future Blockchain Creative Center, but I didn’t really get into NFTs until someone pointed out my projection mapping art to Snowfro, who’s also into mapping. We chatted a few times and he invited me to Art Blocks, which has been a wonderful experience and really catapulted my work in the space.

As for current projects, again the Kraftwerk exhibition with Bright Moments Gallery has me over the moon. Also working on a couple other things I’m super excited about but can’t reveal just yet!

You successfully completed 1063 days and nights of Generative Art. Can you throw some light over it? Why did you decide to do something everyday, and how has your experience been like so far? What emanates next?

Well I was terrible at record keeping and I wanted to rekindle some early energy where I was scribbling about 7 drawings a day. I also enjoyed the creative coding and digital art communities I found online, and some friends encouraged me to start a daily practice. I discovered over time how much power is in it, and I’m not talking about social media clout. Setting aside a little time for yourself every day to make whatever on earth you want is incredibly empowering and healing.

When and how did you begin your first piece of artwork? What career path would you have taken if you hadn’t made a name for yourself as Alida Sun?

This I can’t remember, I can’t even remember the first piece of artwork I sold. But I can say that as soon as I could, I coded little websites and started selling my drawings online. If I wasn’t an artist I’m not sure what I’d be, but hopefully I’d do what I could to help make things less dull and bleak.

What is your ultimate goal? Would you like to continue working as a digital artist, or do you see yourself doing something else in the future? 10 years down the line, how do you see yourself?

Keep the wonder alive. I’ll continue working as a digital artist, but I see my work as less and less limited to screens. In 10 years hopefully I will have a better work life balance – it’s been a wild whirlwind since my Art Blocks Curated drop, for which I’m forever grateful! But artists also need time for rest and idleness, I’m seeing too many of my peers burnout.

Last but not the least, What message would you give to women who are constantly fighting with their inner selves, who are subjected to societal taboos, and to the next generation who is constantly fighting identity crises?

Protect your boundaries, also forgive yourself and others for not being 100% perfect under the weight of centuries upon centuries of inequality.

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