Himinn Mint 0, Generative Art by Sarah RidgleyHiminn is my first long-form generative art project and was released on September 30th, 2021 through the Art Blocks Factory platform.

The program is a painterly cloud study exploring light, color, and the generative composition of clouds in the sky. It creates natural forms and the illusion of ever-changing atmosphere through carefully structured layers of color and shape.

Himinn uses a combination of many different algorithms to create each painting, and relies more on an artist-defined system than a particular math algorithm. I wanted to probe into the concept of exploring an entire possibility space within a painting and see what kind of variations might emerge. I also wanted to explore the minimum amount of form I could give to a cloud so that it would still be recognizable, and what I could do using color and shape to build a sky.

I was keenly interested in pushing beyond mathematics to create the “form” or structure for my work. Instead of mapping out beautiful math algorithms, I wanted to try a different approach. Of course there’s still math, because it is computer art after all! But I wanted to test the tension between using clearly defined boundaries or patterns for a shape, and allowing the computer free reign inside of some less-defined parameters.

I’ve been interested in generative painting for a while now, and my approach to form and structure up until this project had been to rely on using a photograph as the underlayer or base for the painting. My experiments were similar to glitch art and pixel manipulation, in that I would explore the pixels in a photograph and then use certain ones to define the color and brushstrokes I built onto the canvas. I enjoyed this process because I really had to force chaos into the system to get a good result. Computers are so good at drawing straight lines and shapes, but creating organic, natural looking structures requires a lot more finesse.

When I was contemplating using my painting program for Art Blocks, a new issue arose. I could no longer rely on using a photograph for my structure, because you can’t efficiently store a photograph on-chain. This is a central tenet for why generative art is so special. A normal jpg has a huge byte size, and would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to store on-chain. One Himinn, for example, at 2155 x 1212 pixels is approximately 1,142,543 bytes. The entire Himinn code to create ALL the cloud paintings is only 6595 bytes.

So, I had to go back to the beginning and develop a new system that would allow me to create my own underpainting entirely within the coded program. This was a wonderful challenge and helped me develop so much as a generative artist. Once I figured out how to do it, suddenly I was in control of the entire painting.  I spent a long time working out how to arrange the pieces in a way that created a recognizable form but also allowed for variability.

Thank you to everyone that has supported my artistic vision so far and minted or purchased a Himinn. I look forward to continuing down this path again soon.