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The Mechanical Art of Laughter

Art College of Nantes, 2, allée Frida Kahlo, 44000 Nantes, France
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Art (in the 20th Century))
Full-Text   |   PDF [193 KB, uploaded 21 December 2018]


Our aesthetic experiences are today conditioned by machines, which operate at multiple levels: at the moment of conception of a work, at the moment of conservation and distribution of the work, and at the moment of its contemplation. For art today, it is no longer a theoretical question of asking whether the machine can act with freedom in the sense of a game that remains as of yet open-ended—or if humans themselves can still so act in a world entirely conditioned by technology—because the brute fact is that machines are becoming ever more autonomous, and humans ever more dependent upon them. For some artists, therefore, the ideas of autonomy and sacralization are best addressed, not in the posing of serious questions, but rather through the subversive activity of enticing the machine to reveal its comic nature—and wherein we discover, with Bergson, the essentially rigid and mechanical nature of the humorous. View Full-Text
Keywords: Henri Bergson; Collectif Obvious; comedy; Simone Giertz; humor; laughter; machine art; Niklas Roy; Sunspring; Jean Tinguely Henri Bergson; Collectif Obvious; comedy; Simone Giertz; humor; laughter; machine art; Niklas Roy; Sunspring; Jean Tinguely
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rolez, A. The Mechanical Art of Laughter. Arts 2019, 8, 2.

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