IAAA      Theory      Artificial      Remko Scha

[From: Mediamatic 6, 2/3, 1991, p. 95.]

Remko Scha


Art is not a means of communication. It is meaningless raw material, to be used in open-ended processes of esthetic reflection by a culturally diverse audience whose interpretations are totally arbitrary. There are no serious reasons for making one particular artwork rather than another.
An artistic project that wants to acknowledge this state of affairs, faces an interesting technical challenge: to avoid choices, to transcend styles, to show everything: to generate arbitrary instances from the set of all possibilities. The spontaneous individual artist will not be able to accomplish this. Only a deliberate scientific/technological undertaking may ultimately approximate the ideal of a serenely all-encompassing art, by developing an explicit algebraic system that articulates the conceptual space of all visual possibilities, and by implementing software that systematically draws random samples from this space.
In this enterprise, digital technology will play an essential role: designs of art works will be generated as data structures on electronic computers. Their execution, however, will eventually involve all technology. It would be a mistake for automatic art generation to forsake the sensory richness of the material world, and to remain secluded inside an impoverished digitally transmitted virtuality. We can use any medium, as long as the message is