Re: [-empyre-] meta view

On 16/11/2004, at 3:55 PM, Paul Brown wrote:

maybe the only way to get a
handle on alife "art" was to create an alife "art critic" and that maybe
only automata could appreciate automaton-created artworks.

This is an interesting take on your concept of "going beyond".

This is not a silly idea, in fact some people working with artificial evolution have discussed the idea of a population of artificial "critics" which also evolve, and in fact co-evolve with the artwork. Image breeder Steven Rooke (apprently offline now) was one of these... Steven's work has always been concerned with a quite metaphysical idea of "beyond".

Not silly either is the question as to whether we can hope to recognise "good" a-life art... the concept of an artwork constitutes a frame in itself (despite a long history of avant-gardist efforts to bust open that frame (dada, fluxus, conceptual art, etc)). If what we want from a-life art is the other, and the beyond, then if we were to _really_ achieve that, why would the resulting work fit in our category of "art"? If it was sufficiently adaptive it wouldn't be hanging around on a plinth letting people gawk at it. In other words, there's a tension here between the known and the alien, the desires for alterity and familiarity.

As Edward Shanken argues in a Leonardo article (can trace the ref)... life is only ever "life as we know it" - how can it be anything else?

Yet like Melinda, I find that evolved hardware etc etc., contains some whiff of the alien which is really thrilling...


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