Art Systems: Towards Developing a Practical Seminar on creative Problem Solving:


1.0  Paul Klee's "Thinking Eye" meets Wilhelm's "I Ching"...... 


2.0  Ontology and Epistemology in Practical Problem Solving:

  -Does our description of the world influence our experience of the world (and/or vice versa)?

    -What do you want?
    -Why can't you get it?
    -Is a compromise or an alternative possible or desirable?
    -Is the current situation acceptable (what are the consequences of acceptance or change)?

3.0  The Opposing Worlds of Symbolists and Mystici:

  Maybe the  "Symbolist" thinks in terms of external (symbolic) objects (apparently believing in their Neo-Platonic existence in the external world) -while the "Mystic" operates conceptually with internal (cognitive) processes that are self generating (and self-sustaining) and yet may still be a reflection of the external world....

       -Turing            -> Investigating the nature of the Computer
       -Wittgenstein   -> Investigating the nature of Language
       -McLuhan       -> Investigating the nature of the Message
       -Marx              -> Investigating the nature of the Messenger
       -Einstein          -> Investigating the nature of Time and Space

4.0  Forensic Investigations:

              -what does "Forensic" mean?
    -how does "Forensic" investigation differ from "Semantic" (or other) investigation methods?
    -how does "Autonomous Forensic Simulation" differ from "Animation"
    -is "Animation" a form of "Process" -or is it completely different?
    -how does an "image" relate to a "process"?
    -how does a static "iconography" relate to a dynamic "morphology"?

5.0  Defining Language:

    -What is "Language"?
    -What is the role of "Ritual" in the construction of "Language"?
    -How does "Language" gain (syntactic or semantic) "meaning"?
    -How does the concept of "Language" relate to the concept of "Space""
    -How do the concepts of "Language" and Space relate to the concept of "Process"?
    -How fundamental is "Taxonomy" to Linguistic expression?
    -How does "Grammar" relate to "Pattern" and "Rule" and how do these concepts relate to Cognition?
    -Is "Language" a tool for expressing external realities or a medium for constructing internal conceptual models?

6.0  Language, Simulation, Ritual and Calculus (conceptualisation and prediction):

    -The value of "autonomy" in simulations
              (i.e. the system behaves according to its own internal characteristics, in relation to its actual environment -and not in terms of externally imposed "a priori" wishes).

                    -The Calculus "predicts" on the basis of implicit assumptions
                    -The Simulation "(re)creates" on the basis of specified characteristics

   -The reflecting mirror and the naked eye

The "technical aspects" of computer art -should also be involved with the exploration of the (metaphorical) consequences of different forms of (aesthetic/political/social/economic) organisation -not on the basis of subjective and basically "unprovable" debate but on the basis of working simulations (autonomous programmes) which test the viability and behavior of different organisational and conceptual axioms. The concept of "simulation" brings computer art back into the realm of mainstream (traditional) art forms in a way that does not exclude the non-visual arts. Perhaps most art can be considered as either a static representation, or a dynamic simulation, of the artist's conceptual environment.

The use of a (mathematical) Calculus is a rationally accepted way of studying the future behavior of a system -but how does it differ from Divination?

If scientific simulation is so important to scientific development -then why isn't artistic simulation considered equally important in relationship to social and cultural development?

7.0 Some (Working) Definitions?

                                 (Conceptual tools for converting the existing into the desirable)

          -the practical ability to do things

          -conceptual technology (the conceptual context within which theory and practice are applied and developed through experience)

           -systems for the construction of conceptual models (externalisation )

          -The objective exploration of subjective conceptual models (subjective formalisation)
                                -Should the artist be talking to the public, or themselves?
          -Does the artist say something through art -or does art say something through the artist?
  -The Teacher
  -The Shaman
  -The Alchemist
  -The Charlatan
           -Art as Therapy?
                      -(therapy as art)
                      -(art as culture)
                      -(culture as a tool for survival)
                      -(exploring and defining localised and globalised environments)

      Music and Soundscapes:
                      -Xenakis and Music Concrete (liberating music into sound)
                      -Recording or Inventing concrete sound environments (Existing or Imagined)
                                      (the problem of abstraction)
                                      (the parametrification of conceptual space)

8.0  The Generation and Processing of Conceptual Space(s):

          (Basic parameters: practice/theory,  internal/external,  physical/conceptual, individual/group)

Of course I constructed the "conceptual spaces" which form the basis for my computer works -however, the reason there are so many variations is because I am interested in these variations -which I do not see as "personal expression" but as "personal exploration" of the potential (variation) of these spaces. Part of the work also involves discovering and exploring the similarities and essential differences between the various processes (and the conceptual spaces within which they exist). If I could generate these variations automatically (without internal interference by me) then I'd be delighted to do so -in fact, that is another (higher) aim of the work. However, one should not consider these variations important in their own right -it is their significance (both in a generative and in an interpretive context) which is most important. if  "Information is the difference that makes a difference" -then the generation and taxonomy of "difference" must surely represent a fundamental principle at the very heart of the human cognitive process.

Through experience with programming I have learned that one must work with what is actually written and not with what one believes is intended to be written. Of course this is difficult -because in modern society words only gain meaning through shared use and not through "rational"  definition or machinal implementation.

 Once again -the problem of "Language" (definition and interpretation of terms) seems crucial and fundamental to the cognitive process.

9.0  What is the role of Memory?

Perhaps one can see that "memory" in a programmable time/space machine (computer) is "dynamic" and not "static" as in a  video-recorder.... (So why do people use computer memory as if it was a video recorder -and then claim there is no difference?).....

If no other machine is able to dynamically process its own instruction set -then why do we use the computer to imitate other (less interesting machines) instead of investigating the unique potential of the computer itself?

Is this because our economic model is also more interested in turning humans into economic slaves -rather than realising their full creative human potential?

Trevor Batten
<trevor at>
19 September 2005

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