Non-algorithmic Art

Erik ReeL painting
Erik ReeL, opus 1723, Sea Ice, acrylic on paper

Q: You’ve mentioned non-algorithmic art, the importance of non-algorithmic art. What do you mean by that?

ReeL:  A lot of the art that has been put into the Post-Modernist bin has had a lot of patterns in it. Others have played around with computer-generated art and so forth.  If something is patterned or can be created by a computer, means it can be reproduced by algorithms.

Some day people will realize that it will be very important to be able to distinguish human-made art from art generated by artificial intelligence.  Artificial intelligences, in theory, can produce anything that can be reproduced with an algorithm.

I am, specifically, making art that is non-algorithmic, that cannot be generated by an algorithm.  Someday people will finally realize that this is very important.

Q: so you feel that this is something outside Post-Modernism?

ReeL: In a way, a very important way, Post-Modernism’s blindness to the significance of the distinction between human and artificial intelligence is sort of its historic achilles heel.  It’s big blind spot.

Q: But I don’t see anyone talking much about this, at least in the art world.

ReeL: Well, maybe I am a bit ahead of the time, but in my mind we are already past the time. We know that right now people are thinking very hard about and designing autonomous weapons, which will, by definition be driven by artificial intelligences, that there is a huge effort going on, and has been going on for some time on artificial intelligences.

Maybe the art world is a bit behind on this because it has been relatively a bit behind the curve technology-wise for some time.  Not to mention  distorted by its materialistic bias:  The art world has been more concerned about technology in terms of it being “new media” or a new medium.  It gets all excited about someone using something as a new medium for art.  That is an extraordinarily naive, narrow, and extremely materialistic way of looking at things.   We shall soon see the error and perhaps even horrors of this kind of simplistic thinking, I’m afraid.

1 thought on “Non-algorithmic Art”

  1. I agree, Erik. While I love to play with digital imaging, I always label it “digitally manipulated.” And I only use it commercially for notecards…nothing larger. But my original art is one-of-a-kind, with fingerprints, eyelashes and all, and that is what my own art-making is all about. There will only be one of anything I make to show. It isn’t snobbery. It’s part of the genre, to my way of thinking, and adds to the value.

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