Re: [-empyre-] making a meta-living / a-life & generative art
the artworks I have seen, as an observer of this discussion, appeal to me
having only an allusive relationship to aesthetic categories. They may
inspire an aesthetic experience - I find the work beautiful - but it is by
allusion. Because the Britart thing's popped up here, I might say, that
however decentered the artist, that work communicates and those artists
communicate in a divergent way to what I've seen here of a-life art. Mauro
Anunziato's emphasis on 'social context' I find interesting in this
He seems to imply an intentionality and the possibility that something is
being communicated - by whom?
Part of the current discussion has centred on the problem of authorship
copyright. Art is being made here that warrants appreciation but is the
instigator, the first mover, of the self-organising principle to be
appreciated? Ownership of communication points to receiver of
The Britart - or art-as-game - strategy of communication stands at some
distance from the positivist but - on the face of it and on the evidence
work - allusive conceptual work in a-life. Artists of the latter, from
discussion, ask for pure aesthetic appreciation without taking on board
their work is radically post-humanist (and post-social - in the humanist
sense) - however humanist their assumptions.
What surprised me in my first works based on a-life approach was exactly the
possibility to escape from a pure algorithmic aesthetical research (as
mentioned by Mitchell). Maybe it could appears strange, but I consider the
images of the Artificial Societies collection as a sort of self-biography of
my mental states. The name of the first collection of these images was in
fact "Nagual", an ancient Toltech myth about the unknown part of the human
being reviewed as a configuration of luminous interacting filaments (see
Carlos Castaneda, "Tales of Power"). By my personal interpretation of the
"Nagual" it was very close to an idea of the mind as a self-organization of
a multitude of fragments. Continuing that work, I discovered another scale
of reading at the social level so I tried to enrich the exploration to
enhance the possibility to reflect a social dynamics in that images.
Your question: by whom ? the answer: by the artworks itself.
Obviously I don't pretend to be able to communicate this content to the
people interacting in my installations. For me it is enough to evocate this
kind of emotion: - a society/mind in building -. Than, the visitor can
decide to think about "artificials" or "ecosystems" or "humans" as he wants.
I am not interested in forcing this dialectic in a single direction.
But I can say, that after personally monitored at least about 50.000
visitors of these installation/images in different places, the most common
comments are equally oriented like: "it's alive !", "it is sociology !",
"do they can come out from the computer ?".
When I saw for the first time "Autopoiesis" of Ken Rinaldo, my first emotion
was to stay in front to primordial mechanisms which I recognize in the
dynamics of human groups or wolf pack.
Finally, I passed last three years to study (and video-recording) how my
little son became happy when learns a new word from me. Then I implemented
this "empathy by communication" mechanism in the creatures that learn words
from visitors in "E-Sparks" and mutate it in the communication to the other
creatures. By my point of view artificial creatures are anyway a reflex of
the humans. Their life will be strictly connected and coevolved with humans
and the terrestrial biological ecosystem.
Finally you say: "ownership of communication points to receiver of
communication ? "
I used a different term: "contribution" instead "ownership". Maybe the
evolutionary metaphor could explain better this point. You can claim an
action over the ecosystem but not control its evolution. Could I claim
ownership of my son ?
In the same sense in "Relazioni Emergenti", the visitor can only "influence"
the evolution. Therefore he is a "contributor" of a creative process
involving the visitor itself, the artwork and the artist. Probably the
difference is in the starting point. I prefer the idea (obviously
subjective) that the artwork could be a "metaphor generator" instead the
idea I have necessarily to send a clear packed message to a receiver.
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