Re: BioGraphy: An Evolutionary Art Imaging System

Anders Sandberg (
11 Jun 1999 17:15:33 +0200

Aaron Davidson <> writes:

> On a more philosophical note, I am currently working on a paper for a
> cyberphilosophy class which discusses evolutionary art systems such as my
> own and the more famous ones by Karl Sims. I would like to talk a bit about
> the extropian viewpoint on the aesthetics of evolved art. Some people I
> have talked to have a problem with me calling my evolved images 'art'. I
> feel that they are perfectly legitimate pieces of art.

The problem here is likely how you define art, and that is of course messy.

> The hundreds of choices a person makes at each step leads to a very
> expressive image of that persons' cumulative choices. Give two people the
> same seed images and their end results will be completely different.
> It also takes some skill to evolve really good images. Some people just
> can't seem to get the hang of it. Since these images are generated by
> individual expression and intention, and requires an element of skill, AND
> are often damned pretty, why would it not be art?

Exactly. I would say art (as opposed to "just" beauty) comes from the application of a selective process (not necessarily by humans, but at least by some kind of thinking system). Of course, evolutionary art is in many ways the purest for of art in that respect since it relies on minimal control and only works by selection :-)

One complaint against much electronic art I have heard is that it doesn't relate to the human. I don't see that as a problem since I think there can be great art relating to non/trans/posthuman stuff. It is just that humans can more easily relate to human stuff (but that is just bias, of course).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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