[eu-gene] Software / generative / whatever
list at philipgalanter.com
Thu Jan 5 22:33:59 GMT 2012
Right Alex, so what you really want is an art movement (including an implied intellectual movement) that encapsulates some specific concerns and ideas. That's great!
But just as various movements had to have specific names (abstract expressionist, impressionist, etc.) rather than trying to claim sole ownership of the term "painting", it would be good to coin a phrase for your art movement rather than insisting it is (by implication) that totality of generative art. We need "generative art" as a general term for a way of making art, not a why.
p.s. I share your concerns about the conference. Very much so. I'd be interested in seeking/helping/building alternatives, but in a way that runs parallel to (and doesn't overtly attack) what already exists.
On Jan 5, 2012, at 3:41 PM, alex wrote:
> Hi Marius,
> On 5 January 2012 20:36, Marius Watz <amoeba at evolutionzone.com> wrote:
>> This is maybe a stupid thing to say, but I continue to be surprised at
>> how much time is devoted to negatives on this list - i.e. defining
>> dichotomies, disproving other people's arguments and generally splitting
> A fair point, my blog post started off negatively and I continued on
> that path. One thing that got lost is that I am in some respects a
> generative artist, help host a generative art community, and am
> putting some work into promoting generative music. So this started
> off as introspection, although I think that got lost to myself a bit
>> Alex, your point that there is a schism between generative art (as
>> popularly understood) and software art defined by Arns and yourself is
>> self-evidently true, and it seems superfluous to discuss it at length. I
>> had the same reaction when Arns' article first came out: Why the need to
>> create a greater distance when the distance is already significant? Is
>> it because software artists disapprove of generative art, or is it just
>> a strategic art world stratagem? The antipathy is not mutual, by the
>> way, I have never heard a "generative artist" say a bad thing about
>> software art.
> Perhaps it was because Software Art was struggling to exist as a
> thing. There were a few software art theorists and curators, a
> festival, but it seems not so many software artists. I think
> eventually transmediale dropped their software art prize for lack of
> entrants. Is there a software art community today?
>> Since Arns' original publication of that article "generative art" has
>> become a popular yet much-abused term that is now all but devoid of
>> meaning as a description of artistic practice.
> I don't think you can blame Arns for that, rather than Eno.
>> "Software Art" was always
>> a much more clearly defined concept, neatly circumscribed within a
>> certain set of concerns and strategies. I for one am sad to see that
>> Software Art hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, as it represents
>> an interesting and even necessary take on the rise of computation as
>> cultural artifact.
> Yes absolutely, my OP ended for a call for a return to software art,
> or something new.
>> The deliberate vagueness of the term "generative art" has been very
>> useful (thanks Philip!) for those promoting computational aesthetics to
>> a broader audience. But it describes a "how" and not a "why", and thus
>> can't describe a conceptual framework or an artistic movement.
> I think the vagueness is also due to Brian Eno's naive intervention,
> and (sorry to be negative again) the generative art conference. I
> think generative art would have developed through a long running
> annual conference that had some kind of peer review, engaged with
> practitioners in a respectful way, and overall wasn't a vanity project
> for the organiser.
>> Finally I am unsettled by the implied disdain for formal aesthetics as
>> an artistic concern that runs through Arns' text as well as your post
>> (i.e. the "educational museum exhibits" comment.) It seems to suggest
>> that formalism is an invalid artistic position, which might as well
>> cease to exist.
> Firstly, educational museum exhibits are no bad thing, as Nake writes.
> Secondly this point is made in reaction to another extreme -- the
> bit.code exhibition and other instances of intense involvement of
> software corporations in the exhibition of art.
>> Is that really your intent, or am I misreading you?
> It is my intent, but as self-disdain. Is it OK to blithely write
> software to generate music at the moment, when the freedom to write
> software is under threat, along with more important freedoms?
> Probably educational software is the more noble endeavour.
> The truth is that I've spent four years writing a document about how
> artist-programmers might create things like music, and a reviewer
> pointed out that I don't address what an artist-programmer is and how
> they came to be. This is leading me to try to understand this
> history, and also to idealise what an artist-programmer could be.
> For me, Philip's definition of generative art is not rich enough in
> the interactions it admits between artist, their processes and
> culture, and does not bring enough focus on the interplay between
> computation and experience. That doesn't mean you can't do these
> things and call them generative art, but I think the lack of an
> alternative culture, like software art could have been, is
> 'In this forum this kind of thrown egg is likely to land on your own face.'
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