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Artificial Life System Art: Could It Be an Engine for Progress of Art?

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2008, 28(), pp.115-143
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology

Moon-ryul Jung 1

1서강대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this paper, the author reviews the “end of art” thesis of Arthur Danto, which he proposed to explain the extreme pluralism of art world since 1960s. The thesis basically means that all kinds of new things have been explored in the name of art, and no new kinds of art that are philosophically surprising and significant will emerge, though art making will continue and some new works of art will appear. This conclusion, however, is derived from Danto’s peculiar notion of development or narrative of art in which obtaining the self-definition or the self-consciousness is the most important task of art. The author, however, suggests, together with Carroll, that we need to consider a more comprehensive task of art including the self-definition. Especially, the author argues that the self-definition be considered as a means of resolving the crisis in art, and of further development as in other fields such as science and mathematics. With this more comprehensive perspective, the author considers whether the computer art has a potential to develop a new direction of art in a way more than one of many variations. From the very beginning, one of the strong points of computer has been the ability to construct cybernetic systems which can receive feedback from the environment and produce responses. That capability has been used to create system-oriented dynamic art forms that can interacts with people. The recent incarnation of this trend is artificial life art, which tries to implement the mechanism of natural life with computer and electronic technology. Danto does not discuss the system-based art or artificial life art, but seems to assume that they would be is just one of many variations in the radical pluralism of contemporary art. But the author argues that “system-based art”, especially its recent offspring “artificial life art”, is fundamentally different from traditional “object-based art”. and is more than a variation from object-based art. Furthurmore, the author suggests that this system-based art paradigm can provide a new direction for the development of art. The theoretical justification for this claim comes partly from Jack Burnham’s “System Esthetics”, which has two key insights: (1) “We are now in transition from an object-oriented to a systems-oriented culture. Here change emanates, not from things, but from the way things are done.” (2) “The specific function of modern didactic art has been to show that art does not reside in material entities, but in relations between people, and between people and the components of their environment.” This new project of art has not yet been exhausted, but seems to have much to be explored, and the exploration needs the creative use of computer technology, which is ever developing. This direction will a significant factor in the development of art, because the system building capability meshes well with the system-oriented nature of contemporary art and this capability is ever developing.

Citation status

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