Review of Machine Art (Closed)

A topical collection in Arts (ISSN 2076-0752).

Viewed by 28908

Editors


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Collection Editor
Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London, London SE14 6NW, UK
Interests: computer vision and computer graphics; AI; machine learning and creativity; artistically skillful robots; interactive platforms for the biosciences; intersection of the visual arts and live performances with computing, perception, and robots
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Collection Editor
Department of Art & Architectural History, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424, USA
Interests: art history; contemporary art; new media art; Eastern European studies; video games
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Collection Editor
HAR Histoire des Arts et des Représentations, Université Paris Nanterre, 92000 Nanterre, France
Interests: art history; popular culture; video art; contemporary art; film & digital video

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Collection Editor
Space Machines Corporation, 671 Startouch Dr., Eugene, OR 97405, USA
Interests: art; arts and technology

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

MDPI has extended to us the honor of redesignating our “Review of Machine Art” as a "Topical Collection", i.e., a Special Issue which, because of its popularity, has been granted an ongoing status: the 32 articles published in this and our two previous "machine" Special Issues have already enjoyed, as of November 2022, a total of some 127,000 full-text views, and with two of these occupying first and second places in both Arts' top ten "Most Cited" and "Most Viewed" lists.

This does not mean, however, that we are looking forward to one day appearing on the digital library shelves of the future as a yard-wide set of musty volumes! The next two or three years will mark a critical inflection point in human evolution, and this is apparent to all of us—especially in the breath-taking progress currently being made by computer science in imitating the human skills involved in image creation. Open AI's DALL-E system, for example—by virtue of having digested some 650 million previously existing image/caption pairs—can produce realistic-seeming images based on arbitrarily specified descriptions; these images, moreover, exhibit an uncanny understanding of the complex three-dimensional geometry of the objects being depicted.

Yet, in its new experimental focus on visual creation—as opposed to its previous focus on purely rational board games—computer science is also acknowledging the mystique of the human aesthetic facility. It is now being recognized—hence the reality of the art/science rapprochement to which the current Topical Collection is dedicated—that this human facility must retain its time-honored place alongside our reasoning capacity as we look to the future; we therefore welcome the submission of scholarly research papers, essays, and communications falling anywhere within this vast and fascinating new prospect, and ranging in size from 12,000 (or more) to 2,500 words.

Prof. Dr. Frederic Fol Leymarie
Prof. Dr. Marian Mazzone
Dr. Marie Vicet
Glenn W. Smith
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • contemporary art
  • art history (20th century & 21st century)
  • aesthetics
  • creativity
  • evolution
  • science & technology
  • robotics
  • artificial intelligence

Published Papers (9 papers)

2022

9 pages, 1575 KiB  
Review
The Strangest Music in the World: Self-Supervised Creativity and Nostalgia for the Future in Robotic Rock Band “The Three Sirens”
by Sofian Audry, Victor Drouin-Trempe and Ola Siebert
Arts 2023, 12(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12010002 - 23 Dec 2022
Viewed by 3340
Abstract
The emergence of deep learning since the mid-2010s and its successful application to creative activity challenges long-held anthropocentric conceptions of art and music, bringing back ideas about machine creativity that had been previously explored in the 20th century. Particularly, in the 1990s, some [...] Read more.
The emergence of deep learning since the mid-2010s and its successful application to creative activity challenges long-held anthropocentric conceptions of art and music, bringing back ideas about machine creativity that had been previously explored in the 20th century. Particularly, in the 1990s, some artists, composers, and musicians started working with machine learning and other adaptive computation systems. The work of Nicolas Baginsky is emblematic of that era. In 1992, he created the robot guitar Aglaopheme, which became the first performer of a self-learning robotic band developed throughout the 1990s, soon joined by the robot bass Peisinoe, the robot drum Thelxiepeia, and eventually other artificial agents, forming the autonomous robotic band The Three Sirens. In this review, we describe the technological, musical, and imaginative aspects of Baginsky’s robotic instruments. The unreal and behind-the-scenes story of the mythological three sirens is important in understanding how the robots are designed and what they (are) intend(ed) to do. In the context of artificial intelligence, the concept of seeking a surprising musical effect will push us to reimagine such concepts as musical creativity and improvisation within the algorithmic composition and provide opportunities to discuss nostalgia for the future music and live performance. Full article
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17 pages, 10645 KiB  
Article
The French Telematic Magazine Art Accès (1984–1987)
by Marie Vicet
Arts 2022, 11(6), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11060112 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Created in 1984 by the French artists ORLAN, Frédéric Develay and Frédéric Martin and shown for the first time at the Centre Pompidou during the exhibition Les Immatériaux (28 March to 15 July 1985), the telematic magazine Art Accès has marked the history [...] Read more.
Created in 1984 by the French artists ORLAN, Frédéric Develay and Frédéric Martin and shown for the first time at the Centre Pompidou during the exhibition Les Immatériaux (28 March to 15 July 1985), the telematic magazine Art Accès has marked the history of the art on Minitel, the French Videotex system in use between 1980 and 2012. For ORLAN and Frédéric Develay, Art Accès was a way both to propose an artistic and cultural alternative to a purely utilitarian and mercantile content, but also to explore the possibilities of a ‘poor’ medium. Working within the framework of the magazine, ORLAN and Frédéric Develay invited visual artists, but also poets and musicians to use videotex, to transgress it in all possible ways and thus to make an original work that is made by this medium and for this medium. Although the French Minitel network ended in 2012 and the magazine has long since disappeared, there are still traces, fragments or documents that allow us to reconstruct its history. This essay proposes an initial study of this telematic experience and of some of its most emblematic creations. Full article
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13 pages, 3639 KiB  
Article
GOR, the Group of Revolutionary Objects: Praxis and Research
by Filipe Pais and Olivain Porry
Arts 2022, 11(5), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11050101 - 11 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1369
Abstract
GOR stands for Groupe des Objets Revolutionaires, or, in English, the Group of Revolutionary Objects. This group was founded by Filipe Pais, Julie Brugier and Olivain Porry in 2018, in reaction to two major planetary concerns: the climate crisis and techno-solutionism. GOR, [...] Read more.
GOR stands for Groupe des Objets Revolutionaires, or, in English, the Group of Revolutionary Objects. This group was founded by Filipe Pais, Julie Brugier and Olivain Porry in 2018, in reaction to two major planetary concerns: the climate crisis and techno-solutionism. GOR, in response, opens a fictional design space for debate and aesthetic manifestations, wherein objects and machines are given autonomy, and the possibility of disobeying whilst challenging human decisions. This article is a statement about GOR’s motivations, practice and research, written by two of the group members. In addition to further introducing the GOR manifesto and the forces which have given rise to it, it reviews its artistic practices and actions conducted during art residencies and group exhibitions; it identifies two examples of how the GOR design space can yield interesting clues in research, introducing the notion of super-object and an artistic framework named COCO2. Full article
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20 pages, 25693 KiB  
Article
Madeleine: Poetry and Art of an Artificial Intelligence
by Graeme Revell
Arts 2022, 11(5), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11050083 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3146
Abstract
This article presents a project which is an experiment in the emerging field of human-machine artistic collaboration. The author/artist investigates responses by the generative pre-trained transformer (GPT-2) to poetic and esoteric prompts and curates them with elements of digital art created by the [...] Read more.
This article presents a project which is an experiment in the emerging field of human-machine artistic collaboration. The author/artist investigates responses by the generative pre-trained transformer (GPT-2) to poetic and esoteric prompts and curates them with elements of digital art created by the text-to-image transformer DALL-E 2 using those same prompts; these elements are presented in the context of photographs featuring an anthropomorphic female avatar as the messenger of the content. The tripartite ‘cyborg’ thus assembled is an artificial intelligence endowed with the human attributes of language, art and visage; it is referred to throughout as Madeleine. The results of the experiments allowed the investigation of the following hypotheses. Firstly, evidence for a convergence of machine and human creativity and intelligence is provided by moderate degrees of lossy compression, error, ignorance and the lateral formulation of analogies more typical of GPT-2 than GPT-3. Secondly, the work provides new illustrations supporting research in the field of artificial intelligence that queries the definitions and boundaries of accepted categories such as cognition, intelligence, understanding and—at the limit—consciousness, suggesting that there is a paradigm shift away from questions such as “Can machines think?” to those of immediate social and political relevance such as “How can you tell a machine from a human being?” and “Can we trust machines?” Finally, appearance and epistemic emotions: surprise, curiosity and confusion are influential in the human acceptance of machines as intelligent and trustworthy entities. The project problematises the contemporary proliferation of feminised avatars in the context of feminist critical literature and suggests that the anthropomorphic avatar might echo the social and historical position of the Delphic oracle: the Pythia, rather than a disembodied search engine such as Alexa. Full article
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25 pages, 24501 KiB  
Article
Region-Based Approaches in Robotic Painting
by Jörg Marvin Gülzow and Oliver Deussen
Arts 2022, 11(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11040077 - 11 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2545
Abstract
An important aspect of robotic painting is replicating human painting techniques on machines, in order to automatically produce artwork or to interact with a human painter. Usually, painterly rendering techniques are transferred to the machine, and strokes are used as the basic building [...] Read more.
An important aspect of robotic painting is replicating human painting techniques on machines, in order to automatically produce artwork or to interact with a human painter. Usually, painterly rendering techniques are transferred to the machine, and strokes are used as the basic building block of an image, as they can easily be mapped to the robot. In contrast, we propose to consider regions as a basic primitive to achieve more human-like results and to make the painting process more modular. We analyze the works of Kadinsky, Mondrian, Delaunay, and van Gogh to show the basis of region-based techniques in the real world and then transfer them to an automatic context. We introduce different types of region primitives and show procedures for how to realize them on our painting machine e-David, capable of painting with visual feedback. Finally, we present machine-created artwork by painting automatically generated sets of shapes in the styles of various artists. Full article
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24 pages, 5972 KiB  
Article
Landscape Projection and Its Technological Use in Conceptualising Places and Architecture
by Renata Jóźwik and Anna Jóźwik
Arts 2022, 11(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11040067 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3936
Abstract
The manipulation of landscape and the technological use of its views can be a strategy for place-making and a way of creating architecture and making it original. The methods used for this can be different, for example, by mechanically revealing and obscuring views, [...] Read more.
The manipulation of landscape and the technological use of its views can be a strategy for place-making and a way of creating architecture and making it original. The methods used for this can be different, for example, by mechanically revealing and obscuring views, optical or film projection, directing the viewer to specific frames, using mirrors, etc. This approach is alternative and somewhat in opposition to the natural incorporation of the object into the landscape. In modernism, different architectural views of the surroundings were tested and used differently. These experiences are now transposed to contemporary architectural objects thanks to technological developments and the scenographic shaping of space. The article refers to the sources of transferring landscape views in popular dioramas and the effects of the development of photography, cinematography, and IT media. It describes the possible consequences of perceiving such a created landscape and more general—the world. An example of such a means of expression being fully and consciously taken is the now-defunct Charles de Beistegui Paris apartment. It was designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in 1929–1931. The apartment was selected for analysing as a case study and confronted with contemporary realisations that use various creative techniques involving the landscape. Full article
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6 pages, 532 KiB  
Communication
The Minóy Machine
by Joseph Nechvatal
Arts 2022, 11(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030054 - 22 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2107
Abstract
The author provides a first-hand account, as a founding editor of Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine and contributing writer with Punctum Press, of his discovery of the early noise music of Minóy (pseudonym of the sound artist Stanley Keith Bowsza), and its significance within [...] Read more.
The author provides a first-hand account, as a founding editor of Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine and contributing writer with Punctum Press, of his discovery of the early noise music of Minóy (pseudonym of the sound artist Stanley Keith Bowsza), and its significance within the history of Machine Art. Full article
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17 pages, 4810 KiB  
Article
‘An Element of Perfection’: The Transductive Art of Robert Mallary
by Catherine Mason
Arts 2022, 11(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11020050 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 3304
Abstract
In 1969, American artist Robert Mallary (1917–1997) coined the term ‘transductive art’ to describe an approach to art based on the notion of receiving energy from one system and retransmitting it, often in a different form, to another. Long before the realm of [...] Read more.
In 1969, American artist Robert Mallary (1917–1997) coined the term ‘transductive art’ to describe an approach to art based on the notion of receiving energy from one system and retransmitting it, often in a different form, to another. Long before the realm of techno-art became a recognizable construct, Mallary was interested in a system of relationships, seeking in his words, ‘an element of perfection’ in combinations of materials and technologies to make ‘a beautiful whole’. From his experiments with the Mexican Muralists to assemblage and Neo-Dada sculpture, and finally, his synergistic relationship with the computer, Mallary’s work addressed the place of the human in a technological world. He instigated one of the first American computer art curriculums within a fine art department, developing early examples of software created by artists for use by artists. His espousal of the digital to become a ‘Supermedium’, led him to conceptualise a ‘spatial-synesthetic art’, a multi-media immersive environment combining three-dimensional projected visual elements, motion, and sound. Although unrealised, this system anticipated future VR/virtual reality developments such as the ‘Cave Automatic Virtual Environment’ (CAVE™) system developed at the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 1992. The current review will therefore argue, by example, that Mallary deserves a prominent position in the history of techno-art, and by virtue of both the several emerging influences he had the insight to recognise and bring together and his numerous subsequent contributions as simultaneously an artist, a theorist, and an educator. Full article
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12 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Crypto-Preservation and the Ghost of Andy Warhol
by Jon Ippolito
Arts 2022, 11(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11020047 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4186
Abstract
For its enthusiasts, the blockchain is an archivist’s dream come true: an immutable historical record that is publicly accessible and immune from censorship. Distributed file systems such as IPFS aim to store creative works in a redundant, networked fashion outside the control of [...] Read more.
For its enthusiasts, the blockchain is an archivist’s dream come true: an immutable historical record that is publicly accessible and immune from censorship. Distributed file systems such as IPFS aim to store creative works in a redundant, networked fashion outside the control of any single cloud provider. Projects designed to work with blockchains such as Filecoin and Arweave propose a dedicated cryptocurrency as financial incentive to support the cost of governing and sustaining this “permaweb”. As dreamy as this picture sounds, many of these promises depend on technologies that have yet to be sufficiently developed or adopted. Rather than forecast the future, we can separate the hype from the reality in the present day by examining a real-life example, namely the 2021 auction of Andy Warhol’s digital art with NFTs. This essay focuses less on blockchain’s general promise as a preservation medium and more on the particular case of the digital Warhols, which both in form and spirit would seem a perfect application of NFTs to preserve historically important works of digital art. Which promises of the crypto-dream of permanent access to digital heritage ring true for this case study, and which are overblown? Full article
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