Enriching aesthetics with artificial life

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    Perhaps one day our machines will be able to take us beyond environments that look more and more familiar as we traverse them, into spaces that continue to surprise us as we explore. Can our engineered artifacts ever rival the intricacy of nature? This chapter explores the application of artificial life software for the purposes of generating dynamic works of audio-visual art that act to some degree independently of the artist. Autonomous artworks slot neatly into artificial life's fascination with the construction of digitally instantiated living systems. This interest itself reflects the long-standing human desire to construct living images, clay statues and idols, hydraulically powered figures, mechanical toys, and electrical robots. The chapter focuses on the elements of dynamic software art that relate to the concept of the sublime in nature and computation. It is suggested that artificial life and virtual ecosystems provide an avenue for the production of rich, dynamic works of software art suited to this exploration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationArtificial Life Models in Software (Second Edition)
    PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd.
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Print)9781848822849
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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