Tyler Hobbs, courtesy of Montsho Hughes
Cactoid Labs + The Los Angeles County Museum of Art are pleased to present Tyler Hobbs: Harbor Scene (After John Henry Twachtman), Vol. 6 of the Remembrance of Things Future initiative. Selecting Harbor Scene, circa 1900, by the noted American impressionist painter John Henry Twachtman, in LACMA’s collection as a touchstone, Hobbs has created a unique set of new computational works.
Harbor Scene, John Henry Twachtman, circa 1900, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Known for his pioneering role in today’s blossoming generative art movement, Tyler has led current probings into the possibilities of interactive algorithmic art and so-called “long-form” scripts that explore the opportunities for computers to give way to emergent chance-like outcomes and creation at scale. With LACMA, Hobbs returns to his roots in painting to engage in an act of close-looking and introspection. “What immediately attracted me to the Twachtman work was


Tyler Hobbs, Harbor Scene #1 (after John Henry Twachtman), 2024
In exploring the link between impressionism and computational art, Hobbs engages an unexpected set of art historical genealogies and thereby shifts the common framing of generative art–as a successor to conceptual art and minimalist practices like that of Sol Lewitt, who created instructions that spoke to an algorithmic sensibility–into new terrain.
Tyler Hobbs, Harbor Scene #2 (after John Henry Twachtman), 2024
“The impressionists heightened their sensitivity to find the fleeting moments, and developed their skills to be able to capture them effectively,” says Hobbs. “Part of what makes Monet’s series of Rouen Cathedral and Haystack paintings so fascinating is that they keep a constant structure, but explore a change in some of the variables. That’s very much a generative approach to creating a body of work! In fact, that’s a big part of what I enjoyed about working on this project.”
Tyler Hobbs, Harbor Scene #3 (after John Henry Twachtman), 2024
"We often consider ‘generative’ work with a narrow mindset focused on computer programming. But, it has actually been an element of artistic practice for centuries. It’s beautiful to take a look at historic work and consider: what elements of this are systematic? Are there interesting structural ideas at play here? The answers, if you look carefully enough, are often rich and full of intrigue.”
When I was a boy, my father owned a small sailboat for several years. I’ve felt exactly the sensation that Twachtman must have felt when he first viewed that scene. I wanted to preserve (or even enhance) that feeling, even if it came through in a more abstract way. As I curated hundreds of outputs from the algorithm to select the final three, this was a constant goal.
Tyler Hobbs, Harbor Scene Commemorative Folio, 2024, Photo courtesy Mackenzie Smith Kelley
An intimate series of three unique generative digital works, Hobb’s Harbor Scene (After John Henry Twachtman) is accompanied by physical prints as well as a special box folio edition of 20 + 4 APs commemorating the project. A nod to earlier precedents such as Marcel Duchamp’s La Boite-En-Valise (1936-1941), and the many boxed editions created by Fluxus artists in the 1960s, Hobbs’ Harbor Scene Commemorative Folio is an exquisite object that includes an NFC chip, tying the edition’s Certificate of Authenticity to the blockchain. Inside Hobbs’ folio is his original computer source code for the work, signed numbered prints of all three outputs, a reproduction of the Twachtman painting, an essay by the artist, and a photograph of Hobbs’ own family sailboat, a souvenir connecting his own harbor memories to those born out of Twachtman’s canvas.