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

On 23/11/2004, at 7:59 AM, <> wrote:
Could this movement to hermetic purity of code in itself be a reaction
to our contemporary visual culture? An escape maybe from the omnipresence
of images addressing our complex social political and economic reality.

Yes, I think that's partly right - but I think that our visual culture actually (in general) does _not_ address our complex reality, partly because it's a very hard thing to make an image of. We see images from its surface, "appearances" of it, but how do you make an image of something so dynamic, complex, multifarious, etc.?

One thing that a-life and generative art can do in setting up these "aquaria" (exactly), is play with complex dynamic systems in miniature, and perhaps discover or intuit some of their properties. Australian a-life artist Rod Berry talks about trying to encourage an "aesthetic of systems" rather than one of "images" with his work. Of course there's Jack Burnham's 1968 "Systems Aesthetics."

Which brings us right to the sublime, the unrepresentable vastness of nature/culture/global capital. I agree with Jon and Alan's analysis. Also speaking of sublime and Manovich, there's his paper "The Anti-Sublime Ideal in Data Art" -


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