Re: [-empyre-] meta view
At 08:40 PM 16/11/2004 +1100, you wrote:
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?
Indeed and art is also "art as we know it"...art does of course change over
time albeit incrementally, but an artwork is still an artifact of
conventions...and this is an issue for a-life art or so it seems to
me. Which conventional language is it working within for the viewer or
which discourse or range of discourses defines its viewing? In your book,
Mitchell you give an interesting historical account of a-life's vitalist
"origins". This is a problem for its mainstream acceptance now as the
dominant paradigm for art now is as a purely cultural and even linguistic
construct or by-product (or maybe symptom!). How does a-life fit in or
become visible within that kind of frame? I am sure it can after all how
separate is science from the language it uses to describe things and the
culture within which it is embedded.
Yet like Melinda, I find that evolved hardware etc etc., contains some
whiff of the alien which is really thrilling...
yes, very interesting indeed!!
Enjoying the discussions of this list very much...thanks for all the great
links and observations. Unfortunately a belated new-comer to this area of
art making but it is genuinely a fascinating learning curve!
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