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

I agree with whis you and I'm myself very much interested in these
selfmodifying codes and also in all the related aestethic questions

But let me precise my points a little bit:

1) I don't think there is a way out of all this, if we don't deal fully with
the question of language (and not only computing language). This is why I
think Lacan's approach to these questions is important (his text about the
prisoner's dilemma was published even before the Turing Test)

2) it seems to me that there are three types of prisoner's dilemma-like
problems (I don't enter into the details and the differences, it's quite
clear they are more or less related)
a) The Turing test (or imitation game) between man and machine
b) The prisoner's dilemma with only human beings studied by Lacan
c) the more traditional "light version" of the prisoner's dilemma which puts
on stage two programs developing strategies of cheating or collaborating

If you only consider c) you can lose yourself into genetic selfmodying
algorythms-like things(eventhough it's very interesting and worth
investigating, I love to work on that myself...) and missing a point, which
you may find in Lacan's texts (but not only in Lacan's)... and then make a
connection with aesthetics and politics

By the way, thanks for posting my paper ;-)


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Andrews" <>
To: "soft_skinned_space" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:16 AM
Subject: [-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
> > 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
> on to a group of largely
> print-poets. we'll see what they make of it. i have read much of it and
> it was full of surprising revelations. i haven't got as far as to start
> 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.
> ja
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

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