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id ga0108
authors Caicco, Gregory P.
year 2001
title Cunning Crafts or Poetic Place-Making? Towards a Historiography of Generative Art
source International Conference on Generative Art
summary This paper begins by considering the meaning and relationship between generativity and art. From there an historical analysis of these terms maps out the philosophical terrain of generative art in practice and theory. It is hypothesized that the degree to which a generativity, or birthing, may be understood as inherent in art understood as a poetic making, is the degree to which the term generative becomes a redundant qualifier of the term art. An argument is then made that art and art-making as a poetic production has an ethical vocation to critique its sources and its media in order to imagine worlds where the marginalized other, as other, is received. As a result, the unqualified adoption of computer, machine, biologicalor chemical media, as well as the mathematic or pragmatic instructions that define the execution of their works, needs to be questioned.I conclude with an historiographical examination of the Babylonian abacus and the medieval ars memoritiva, in particular, Ramon Lull’s 1274 figura universalis. Even though computing historians have claimed these as proto-computers, a deeper examination of their meaning, use and context reveal a fundamentally mimetic vocation that provides the possibility of poetic place-making, as an ethics, which is otherwise absent in thecontemporary microprocessor. The question is therefore raised whether the works presented at “generative art” galleries, websites and conferences such as this may make any claim to poetry, ethics or art per se if their use of mathematics and automation remains uncritical.
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