Neuroesthetics and Aesthetic Computing : Oscillations on the boarder of aesthetics
On my paper “A Possibility of Aesthetics in the digital Eco-systems”(2008), I attempted to describe a spectrum of aesthetics in our digital techno-culture and to address some aesthetic issues of an ecological interaction of human-machine. This article now aims to introduce, so called ‘scientific aesthetics’, ‘neuroesthetics’ and ‘aesthetic computing’, and to illuminate their relations and meanings on the boarder of contemporary aesthetics.
Neuroaesthetics has accounted some specific brain domains and its functions related with artistic behaviors and aesthetic judgments with methods of neurobiology and neuroscience. It has been oraganized by Semir Zeki in the late 1990s, and the Association of Neuroesthetics was established at Berlin in 2008.
According to tradition of aesthetics, neuroesthetics may be drawn a line between ‘for arts’ and ‘for aesthetic judgments’. Like V. S. Ramachandran et al., early neuroesthetic studies have attempted to interpret aesthetic phenomena on gestalt psychology, and some recent studies, like H. Kawabata and S. Zeki(2000), pay attention to the neurological relation between specific brain areas and pure aesthetic judgment(as I. Kant’s ‘tanscendental principle of aesthetic judgment’).
Aesthetic computing has begun from ‘the Dagstuhl Seminar’(Leibzig, German) in 2001. Aesthetic computing researchers have issued ‘the Aesthetic Computing Manifesto’ on Leonardo journal in 2003, and published Aesthetic Computing(the MIT Press) in 2006. Their purpose is to shake off the traditional approaches of computer science and engineering, like linear methods and top-down procedures. To achieve this, aesthetic computing applies aesthetic principles to computation, because they think aesthetic attitude or artistic mind can provide something individual and multiple to computer-based-culture.
Aesthetic computing don’t insist computation is an instruments of artistic behaviors but computation is an artistic expression in itself. With the aim of aesthetic computing, some researchers like P. Fishwick, S. Diehl, P. Vickers et al. tried to make mapping between softwares and aesthetic principles on modelling level. Another researchers like C. Sommerer, J. Prophet et al. suggest an aesthetic properties of artificial life art may be a good exemplar for aesthetic computing.
Though neuroesthetics and aesthetic computing have grown up from different roots, they all propose the horizon of scientific aesthetics with a positivist method. Furthermore, neuroesthetics is related with A. Damasio’s neurological studies of feeling and emotion, A. Damasio’s studies have stirred up R. Picard’s affective computing, finally aesthetic computing has some special relations with the affective computing. In this sense that each study shares some ideas(sensibility, emotion, aesthetic properties), neuroesthetics and aesthetic computing all defend critics of modern logos-centric world view.