Damian Stewart on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 03:56:32 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> [eu-gene] The first public presentationof DynamicPaintingtechnology

alex wrote:

> It seems you are encouraging a painter to do conceptual art because it's
> in fashion, and that seems rather crass.  If that's not what you mean
> then I'm not sure what you do mean -- could paintings (generative or
> otherwise) be formed by anything other than ideas?

perhaps this is one of the broader issues that limits acceptance for 
generative art amongst the wider world? i mean - generative art really 
removes the idea of the 'concept' from the 'finished art product' - or at 
least, renders it trivial. whether or not the code that produced it can 
stand in for the conceptual side is another question.

but then all that you're left with, 'really', is the look of the thing. 
when dealing with my own work, i often find the conceptual side of things 
getting in the way of what i want to express. i feel quite old-fashioned, 
and so in the course of describing my work i find myself jumping through 
hoops to express something simple like 'it feels trippy to watch' in 
artspeak. cf http://whitney.org/www/exhibition/hewitt.jsp , notice the 
language he's using, how he makes what he's doing seem totally 
impenetrable, when really the idea is very simple. he constructs replicas 
of things, using a bunch of unexpected/surprising elements and a whole lot 
of tongue-in-cheek; but listen to the _language_ he has to deploy in order 
to make it 'art'. at 1:17 in the video: 'a number of systems that i'm 
working with .. one of which is these worm bins' - really, what do we gain 
by talking about a worm-farm as a 'system'?

generative art kind of brings this question right to a head, because 
'everyone knows' (i'm being facetious) that computers cannot express 
creativity, _therefore_ they cannot be making art; but then you have the 
question of the artist, tinkering around in the engineering of the system, 
so they've perhaps had some input; and then you do have to admit that the 
images they produce are kind of appealing somehow, at least for a few 
minutes, which is as much as can be said about most of the content of any 
contemporary (establishment) art-gallery.

damian stewart | skype: damiansnz | damian@frey.co.nz
frey | live art with machines | http://www.frey.co.nz

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