Re: BioGraphy: An Evolutionary Art Imaging System

Michael S. Lorrey (
Fri, 11 Jun 1999 11:38:47 -0400

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Aaron Davidson <> writes:
> > 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 :-)

Ah, but if it is natural selection, then it is not art. Art is created by intention, not by accident. While there is much natural beauty in the world, one does not call the Yosemite Valley 'art'. Images of the Yosemite Valley that are created by man are art.

> 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).

After my heated argument with art critic Matthew Kanga a couple years ago in Seattle about 'computer art', I've often fantasized about developing a computer printer that paints an image, just so I can stuff it in his face and have him do a little Turing test. Asking someone what is art is much like asking someone what is human: it tells much more about their prejudices than about the truth.


Michael S. Lorrey
Owner, Lorrey Systems
Director, Grafton County Fish & Game Assoc.
Member, Extropy Institute
Member, National Rifle Association
"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
                  - General John Stark