Deep Else

ethical aspects of digital art

Digital art comprises a wide spectrum of creative practices which explore the emerging (digital) technologies in correlation with scientific research, redefine the notions of traditional and new media, and challenge the distinctions between artistic process, experience and product. Many digital art projects are essentially generative as the artists deliberately combine the predefined elements with various factors of unpredictability in conceptualizing, producing and presenting their works.

The introduction of this lecture provides an overview of generativeness as one of the key features of art making, and summarizes the generative approaches in digital art. The central section presents a selection of generative art projects, outlining their conceptual, technical, methodological and poetic qualities. The examples are distinguished by the artists’ abilities to transcend the formal, expressive and aesthetic scope of code-based art making, and to maintain the experimental flavor in thoroughly produced projects. The final section discusses the ethical aspects of the characteristics of generative art such as the planned inclusion of chance and indeterminacy, the cognitive tension between the banality of pre-planned systems and their surprising outcomes, the concept of the artwork realized in the form of research or study, and the idea of the art as a ludic, proto-, or pseudo-scientific experiment.

It states that the transparency of background thinking processes in the successful generative artworks efficiently communicates the ludic cognitive drive as a topological layer of creativity that comes before scientific or artistic method. By investigating the uncontrollability, the contextual and participatory potentials of the creative process, generative digital art can motivate deeper appreciation of the responsibilities intrinsic to innovation, invention and experimentation in general, and consequently to the political, economic and social enterprises.

The lecture will take place at On Architecture conference in the Gallery of Science and Technology in Belgrade from 1 to 15 December 2016.