[-empyre-] Re: self-modification, emergence, and the borders of digital art

> anyway, I suspect this discussion looks to me as old as the
> questions of the
> relations between Godel's theorem and consciouness and things like that...
> very interesting of course but it's almost 80 years old. Could anybody
> explain to me what's new in this field (a part from
> technicallities), after
> Godel and the Turing test ??

*perhaps* the theoretical capabilities and limitations of computers have
been well-explored. they don't seem to be widely understood though.
interestingly, the results may be more relevant to digital artists than to
your average computer scientist. what difference does it make to somebody
developing mundanities whether computers are theoretically capable of the
flexibility of thought? all they need is a bag of hammers, as it were. the
work of artists has tended to dwell more intensely upon the reaches of the
possible, has tended to probe those boundaries and their consequences.
having some sense of where those theoretical borders are would be helpful,
or we discover a digital art landscape that merely reinscribes upon itself
the borders of previous art, media, and less flexible media machines, a
landscape with a dwarfed sense of its own reaches.

i passed your fine essay, christophe, at
http://www.christophebruno.com/index.php?p=49 on to a group of largely
print-poets. we'll see what they make of it. i have read much of it and felt
it was full of surprising revelations. i haven't got as far as to start into
the lacan material you refer to but will, in due course.

mitchell refers in his post to the relevance of self-modifying code to
A-life. i wonder if a machine's ability to write self-modifying code makes
it functionally equivalent to a turing machine or something like that.


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