Trends and Anti-Trends in Techno-Art Scholarship: The Legacy of the Arts “Machine” Special Issues
2. Suggested Themes
- The visual arts—and, by implication, the performing arts—as longstanding touchstones of human culture and thus of inestimable value as we face a flood tide of technology;
- The visual arts, amidst this same flood of technology, as having a unique ability to rally the public to the environmental cause;
- Computer and robotic proficiency in the arts as leading to a friendlier technology in general and, in particular, to a friendlier artificial intelligence, i.e., a technology informed by the cultural and human-centric approach of artists;
- Technology as fostering a “vast expansion of the creative sphere”, i.e., as providing new creative opportunities for both professional and non-professional artists.
3. Other Themes
- The idea that human–computer partnerships can yield impressive artistic results (this is a subset of the “expansion of the creative sphere”);
- The algorithm as a significant factor in current techno-art production, it being understood that, from a purely technical standpoint, this is what we are really talking about in most discussions involving the computer and/or artificial intelligence;
- Artificial intelligence as a significant factor in current techno-art production (and which, for the purposes of these Special Issues, might have been better referred to as “machine intelligence”);
- The algorithimization/technification—or, to put it more bluntly, the de-humanization—of society as a concern;
- Emergent phenomenon—i.e., the ability of relatively simple systems to exhibit relatively complex behaviors, as with robot swarms or the current crop of AI algorithms—as another significant factor in current techno-art production;
- Embodied experience as critical to our understanding, i.e., the idea that the efficient organism—or robot—is best modeled as a system in which sensation, computation, and action are treated as a continuum rather than according to a Cartesian body–mind duality, and hence the utility of bringing the embodied arts such as dance into the picture when designing complex systems;
- The machine as a medium in the traditional sense of the word;
- Machine art as posing a healthy challenge to the human imagination (this is also a subset of the “expansion of the creative sphere”);
- The machine as able to produce legitimate art.
Conflicts of Interest
- Agüera y Arcas, Blaise. 2017. Art in the Age of Machine Intelligence. Arts 6: 18. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Bessette, Juliette. 2018. The Machine as Art (in the 20th Century): An Introduction. Arts 7: 4. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard. 1969. The Future of Man. New York: Harper & Row, p. 242. [Google Scholar]
- Gombrich, Ernst. 1996. The Miracle at Chauvet. The New York Review of Books, November 14. [Google Scholar]
Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/arts/special_issues/Machine_Art.
Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/arts/special_issues/Machine_Artist.
In alphabetical order by lead author.
Agüera y Arcas, B. Art in the Age of Machine Intelligence. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/6/4/18.
Audry, S.; Ippolito, J. Can Artificial Intelligence Make Art without Artists? Ask the Viewer. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/35.
Ballet, N. Survival Research Laboratories: A Dystopian Industrial Performance Art. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/17.
Bessette, J. The Machine as Art (in the 20th Century): An Introduction. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/1/4.
Broeckmann, A. The Machine as Artist as Myth. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/25.
Carter, R. Waves to Waveforms: Performing the Thresholds of Sensors and Sense-Making in the Anthropocene. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/4/70.
Edmonds, E. Algorithmic Art Machines. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/1/3.
Edmonds, E. Communication Machines as Art. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/22.
Gülzow, J.M.; Grayver, L.; Deussen, O. Self-Improving Robotic Brushstroke Replication. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/4/84.
Hertzmann, A. Can Computers Create Art? Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/2/18.
LaViers, A.; Cuan, C.; Maguire, C.; Bradley, K.; Brooks Mata, K.; Nilles, A.; Vidrin, I.; Chakraborty, N.; Heimerdinger, M.; Huzaifa, U.; McNish, R.; Pakrasi, I.; Zurawski, A. Choreographic and Somatic Approaches for the Development of Expressive Robotic Systems. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/2/11.
LaViers, A. Ideal Mechanization: Exploring the Machine Metaphor through Theory and Performance. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/2/67.
Lijn, L. Accepting the Machine: A Response by Liliane Lijn to Three Questions from Arts. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/2/21.
Lomas, A. On Hybrid Creativity. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/3/25.
Moura, L. Robot Art: An Interview with Leonel Moura. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/3/28.
Mazzone, M.; Elgammal, A. Art, Creativity, and the Potential of Artificial Intelligence. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/26.
Nechvatal, J. Before and Beyond the Bachelor Machine. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/4/67.
Rolez, A. The Mechanical Art of Laughter. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/2.
Simmons, S. Drawing in the Digital Age: Observations and Implications for Education. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/33.
Smith, G.W.; Leymarie, F.F. The Machine as Artist: An Introduction. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/6/2/5.
Smith, G. W. An Interview with Frieder Nake. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/2/69.
Still, A.; d’Inverno, M. Can Machines Be Artists? A Deweyan Response in Theory and Practice. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/36.
Tosa, N.; Pang, Y.; Yang, Q.; Nakatsu, R. Pursuit and Expression of Japanese Beauty Using Technology. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/1/38.
As we are reminded by Teilhard de Chardin (1969), we still have “feet of clay”.
The complete “Machines Special Issues Thematic Analysis” on which Table 1 is based and consisting of an article-specific breakdown of addressed themes, has been made available in the Supplementary Materials; however, it must be emphasized again that this beakdown was done on a discursive rather then rigorously logical basis, and that, in any event, all such systems of categorization are inherently problematical.
Or—in the original French—“une large ouverture de la sphère créative” (Bessette 2018).
|Theme||Number of Articles|
|Expansion of the creative sphere via technology||20||××××××××××××××××××××|
|Human/machine partnership in art production||14||××××××××××××××|
|The algorithm as a significant factor||11||×××××××××××|
|Artificial intelligence as a significant factor||11||×××××××××××|
|Aesthetics as leading to a friendlier technology||8||××××××××|
|Algorithmization/technification of society as a concern||8||××××××××|
|Traditional visual arts as a phenomenon of long duration||5||×××××|
|Emergent phenomenon as a significant factor||5||×××××|
|Embodied experience as critical to our understanding||5||×××××|
|Machine as medium (in traditional sense of the word)||4||××××|
|Machine art as healthy challenge to human imagination||4||××××|
|Machine as producing legitimate art||4||××××|
|Art as contributing to protection of the environment||3||×××|
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Bessette, J.; Fol Leymarie, F.; W. Smith, G. Trends and Anti-Trends in Techno-Art Scholarship: The Legacy of the Arts “Machine” Special Issues. Arts 2019, 8, 120. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030120
Bessette J, Fol Leymarie F, W. Smith G. Trends and Anti-Trends in Techno-Art Scholarship: The Legacy of the Arts “Machine” Special Issues. Arts. 2019; 8(3):120. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030120Chicago/Turabian Style
Bessette, Juliette, Frederic Fol Leymarie, and Glenn W. Smith. 2019. "Trends and Anti-Trends in Techno-Art Scholarship: The Legacy of the Arts “Machine” Special Issues" Arts 8, no. 3: 120. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030120