Parallel to Perception: Some Notes on the Problem of Machine-Generated Art
“In a very large number of applications the computer is used for its ability to perform a set of pre-determined transformations upon a set of data, and this kind of use has become standard in ‘computer art’, where the data is some original provided by the artist. If the aim is to mode! human art-making behavior, rather than merely to use the machine as a too! in this quite traditional sense, such a definition of the machine’s functions is inadequate. Human art-making behavior is characterized by the artist’s awareness of the work in progress, and programs to mode! such behavior will need to exhibit a similar awareness. Thus, ‘behavioral functions’ are defined here as functions which require feedback from the results of their actions as a determinant to their subsequent actions. Programs designed upon this specification will also require appropriate schema for the description of the work in progress.
The feedback systems employed in intelligent behavior might be pictured as the asking of questions about the perceptual world whose answers will be relevant to decision-making. For the machine, ‘awareness’ of the work is totally defined by this question-and-answer structure, and in this sense
is equivalent to the human perceptual system. It is not clear what descriptions of the work will serve for a reasonable simulation of human art-making behavior, or what questions will need to be asked.
They will not necessarily reflect the ‘facts’ of the human system, but it seems likely that the machine’s feedback system as a whole will need to possess a comparable adaptiveness to permit of the fluently changing pattern of decision-making which characterizes the practice of art.”