[NetBehaviour] » More than Just Pretty Pictures: Golans Questions for Generative Artists

Michael Szpakowski szpako at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 11 14:48:53 CEST 2005

Hmm -what interests me about this is
a kind of "Turing-test-for-art" effect in that a
generative piece can so *appear* to be the product of
human ordering ( and of course at one level it always
is, in that one gets increasingly better at having a
sense of the range of outcomes that a particular set
of algorithms will yield) - so it "fools" the
viewer/listener into reacting to the work as if it
were a -I was going to say unambigous, but of course
no art worth a candle is that; perhaps rather a *meant
Then because it was created by a human being and an
algorithm with the balance towards the unfolding of
the algorithm, it has an analogous effect to that of
the 'automatic writing' of the surrealists - we, human
beings, meaning making animals, *ascribing* meaning to
it & the meanings being strange and wonderful because
they arise from a strange external automatic
collective informational "unconscious" 

--- marc <marc.garrett at furtherfield.org> wrote:

> *» More than Just Pretty Pictures: Golan’s Questions
> for Generative Artists*
> [Dear Colleagues,
> Several of you have contacted me requesting that I
> post the “Three 
> Questions for Generative Artists” that I posed to
> the audience during my 
> lecture last week. (I state, for the record, that I
> don’t have the 
> answers, and I’m as perplexed/guilty as anyone
> else). Here they are
> Sincerely yours, Golan]
> Marshall McLuhan stated, in 1964: “The medium is the
> message.” Assuming 
> we agree with this premise, in the way McLuhan
> intended it (as developed 
> in his book Understanding Media), I posed the
> following questions 
> concerning generative art:
> 0. So, with our generative artworks: what kinds of
> meanings are we 
> making? In other words, what sorts of messages do
> generative artworks 
> communicate, not through their medium, but as a
> medium?
> 1. How can generative strategies, which are designed
> to produce (or 
> reflect) infinite variations, yield forms which
> nonetheless feel 
> inevitable (i.e. which do not feel arbitrary)? Or is
> arbitrariness the 
> point — the message of the medium? Here, I showed
> Jim Campbell’s 
> “Formula for Computer Art” (2001). As an
> illustration of different 
> approaches on the spectrum between ‘arbitrary’ and
> ‘motivated’ 
> generative designs, I contrasted Mark Napier’s
> “Black & White” Carnivore 
> client (2005), and Natalie Jeremijenko’s “Live Wire”
> project (1994), 
> both of which visualize network traffic. Both of
> these artworks 
> subscribe to Campbell’s Formula, but with very
> different results.
> 2. How can generative strategies tap into richer
> perceptual spaces? What 
> other meaning-making potentials are latent in
> computational abstraction? 
> Can we generalize the idea of generative form? Here,
> I showed Karl Sims’ 
> “Evolved Virtual Creatures” (1994). These creatures
> have extremely 
> simple forms (rarely more elaborate than a couple of
> rectangular blocks) 
> — but highly evocative, generatively-evolved
> behaviors which address our 
> perception in a very rich way.
> 3. How can generative strategies tap into richer
> conceptual spaces, 
> without sacrificing the experiential aesthetics of
> abstraction? Assuming 
> we value abstraction for its powerful ability to
> address our perceptual 
> and aesthetic senses (as I do), how can we expand
> the conceptual scope 
> of generative art? Put another way, how can
> generative strategies 
> activate further dimensions of our psychology
> (beyond retinal 
> experience), such as our imaginations, symbolic
> [Jungian] minds, or 
> unconscious minds? Here, I presented Jason Salavon’s
> “Form Study #1” 
> (2005). This project taps into rich cultural
> psychological territory, 
> and provokes our imaginations, without (I claim)
> sacrificing 
> generativity or abstract formalism in the slightest.
> more...
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