The award-winning media artist Geert Mul (the Netherlands, 1965) has been making computer based artworks for over twenty-five years. A large portion of his oeuvre, and his more recent work in particular, relies heavily on existing images, often sourced online. With the help of image analysis software, Mul reworks the pictures into new combinations, attracted by the unexpected results that algorithmic operations produce, and the revelatory potential they hold. The artist refers to this work as ‘data-based art’ – a term revealing not only of his own process as a maker, but also of his take on how people today engage with the world around them and make sense of it. At the conclusion of a large-scale retrospective of his work, Eef Masson spoke with him about some of the key ingredients of his visual practice and the inextricable relations between them: information, databases and collections; randomness and rules; and crucially, makers and audiences or users. In the course of the conversation, Mul also reflected on how his work ties in with much older traditions of play, in artistic practice, with data and the rules for their recombination.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Mul, Geert, & Masson, Eef. (2018). Data-Based Art, Algorithmic Poetry: Geert Mul in Conversation with Eef Masson. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 21(2), 170–186. doi:10.18146/2213-7653.2018.375