Re: [-empyre-] making a meta-living / a-life & generative art

the artworks I have seen, as an observer of this discussion, appeal to me as
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 regard.
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 and
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 communication.

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 of
work - allusive conceptual work in a-life. Artists of the latter, from this
discussion, ask for pure aesthetic appreciation without taking on board that
their work is radically post-humanist (and post-social - in the humanist
sense) - however humanist their assumptions.

simon taylor

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.

mauro annunziato

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