Please introduce yourself.
My name is Aleksandra Jovanić. I’m an artist and a programmer (I have degrees in those areas). I currently teach as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, and in my artistic practice I mainly focus on interactive art, art games, and generative art.
You’ve been in the art world for most of your professional career. What brought you into the NFT space?
Since January this year, I have focused more on generative art / creative coding and started regularly to publish on social media what I’m experimenting with, or exploring. So one thing led to another, I slowly understood NFTs and in mid-August decided to try minting the first trilogy. Because most of these pieces are interactive or randomly generated (different on each reload), the web is the perfect medium. On HEN, not only this variety of options is possible to be explored by a larger audience, but also it is presented in an ideal way. (So I’m mostly attracted by the possibilities of the medium and platform. )
What are your artistic influences?
This is a really good and extremely difficult question for me. My influences can come from any creative field, and sometimes not even from art or another artist. The list is infinite and changes on a daily basis. But for sure there are artists and their opuses that are important for me, op artists and minimalists, and early generative artists: Sol LeWitt, Vera Molnar, Manfred Mohr, and Bridget Riley… just the first few names that popped in my mind. In general, I’m also a fan of artists from (let’s say) my generation, who come up with clever and important topics and concepts, don’t lose focus, and are dedicated to the ideas they are exploring and fighting for, like @dribnet and @JoanieLemercier.
What tools do you use to create your art?
For NFTs I’m focused only on interactive objects, so I’ve been using p5.js (HTML+CSS+JS), because I mostly used Processing for creative coding. But in general, I usually focus first on the idea, and then depending on the concept I use every tool that will allow me to reach that goal in the fastest way. That means I’ve been using everything from photo editing and vector illustration tools, to 3d modeling and animation tools, 2d animation/motion graphics tools and I’ve recently started exploring Unreal Engine.
Can you walk us through your process for one of the fern pieces you recently dropped?
Behind every one of my pieces is always a really simple algorithm. Here I started with wavy lines, first smooth curves with randomly positioned vertices. In more abstract pieces I used the same starting point, like here:
I do random curves, and then I move vertices around with the Perlin noise function. So when I made those random branches, first I added simple leaves… then the next day I added a different type of leaves, and on the third day I had a bunch of 3 types of ferns:
So, recently when I decided to convert Ferns from Processing to p5js, I decided to add more options and elevate the level of complexity between mints. So in the final piece, there is dark/light mode, branches can be arranged in a wreath, and adding or removing branches can also be an option.
I love the Grids & Stripes & Blobs collection. Can you tell us about where the idea came from and how you went about creating it?
Thank you! At first, I just started combining symmetry and randomly generated curves. Later, the effect was amplified when I added duplicated lines in contrasting colors:
As it happened, at the same time, I was reading A designer’s art by Paul Rand, so his thoughts on simple forms and stripes for sure helped:
Stripes are dazzling, sometimes hypnotic, usually happy. They are universal. They have adorned the walls of houses, churches, and mosques. Stripes attract attention.Paul Rand
Later on, I decided to plot those shapes, so I needed only lines and this is the final look I was completely satisfied with.
What do you have coming up that you are excited about?
I will be part of an exhibition that I’m really looking forward to. We will start announcing the event at the beginning of November, so keep your eyes and ears open.
I feel privileged to be in the company of other digital artists I admired for some time.
Can you share one of your works-in-progress?
Yes, let me show you #wip Portals. I’ve been struggling with those for some time. This was at first an abandoned idea for one more significant project, and now I’m trying to finish it. I was playing with the concept of optical illusions, particularly: Thiery figure and Schroeder’s reversible staircase illusion. Sometimes portals seem like they are viewed from the bottom side, sometimes from above…
Note: Since this interview was conducted, the first three pieces in the Aleksandra’s Portal series have been minted. View them on HEN:
Where do you see your art going in the future?
I don’t have a long-term plan or vision. I like to mix media, but interactive was always in my focus somehow. So, I might experiment more with screen printing, plotting, or blind embossing generative art (http://aleksandrajovanic.com/emboss/). Another thing I haven’t done for some time is art games, so I might go back to “gamification” of nfts some more.
Where can people find your work?
I spend most of my time on Twitter, so aside from actual finished pieces I post there about my inspiration, work in progress, interesting bugs that happen all the time, and of course everyday thoughts: https://twitter.com/alexis_o_O
Everyday code outputs, animations and images I usually post on Instagram: http://instagram.com/aleksandrajovanic
Overview of larger projects and exhibitions are on my web site: http://aleksandrajovanic.com/
All my NFTs are on Hicetnunc: