Natural Aesthetics: Digital Art and Philosophy in the Era of Technologized Biomimicry

4,233 views

Published on

The arts and technology are coming together in exciting ways in contemporary society. New experimental media such as biology, data, and technology are leading artists, scientists, and other individuals to new realms of knowledge discovery and creative expression. Philosophy, concerned with aesthetics and epistemology (the study of knowledge), provides an interesting lens for understanding current activity in a range of contexts where art, technology, and biology are linked. These contexts include GenerativeArt, BioArt, Biomimicry, Synthetic Biology, and CrowdArt.

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
4,233
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
5
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Natural Aesthetics: Digital Art and Philosophy in the Era of Technologized Biomimicry

  1. 1. Natural Aesthetics:Digital Art and Philosophy inthe Era of TechnologizedBiomimicryMelanie SwanPhilosopher in ResidenceMS Futures Group+1-650-681-9482m@MelanieSwan.comJune 6, 2013 - Stanford UniversitySlides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga
  2. 2. What is Digital Art?2Probably not what comes to mind!
  3. 3. Digital Art is anything involvingcomputers and art3
  4. 4. Digital Artist: Jeffrey Shaw4http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/the-legible-city/Video: http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/the-legible-city/video/1/The Legible City by Jeffrey Shaw (1988-1991)
  5. 5. Digital Artist: Scott SnibbeBoundary Functions by Scott Snibbe (1998)http://www.snibbe.com/projects/interactive/boundaryfunctions/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ax4pgtHQDg5
  6. 6. What is Digital Art?6Interactivity, Co-Creation, Ephemerality
  7. 7. What is Digital Art?7
  8. 8. What is Digital Art?8
  9. 9. What is Digital Art?9
  10. 10. What is Digital Art?10
  11. 11. 11What is Digital Art?Tactical Media, Hactivism, Electronic Civil DisobedienceGraffiti Research Lab and Stiktuaugmented reality social graffitiapp from Layar
  12. 12. What is (early) Digital Art?12Hypertext, hypermedia, net.art, web art
  13. 13. What is [regular] Art?13Art is whatever the ‘artworld’ (e.g.; art schools, museums,critics, artists) considers to be art – Danto 1964
  14. 14. 14Why Digital Art and Philosophy?PhilosophyConcerned with: UnderstandingArt, economics, politicsConcerned with: ExperienceConceptsQualitativeQuantitativeScience and technologyConcerned with:Characterization and InnovationAbstractionFigurationEnumerationConcepts: rhizome, body without organs, molar, molecular, smooth, striated,figural, machinic, faciality, deterritorialization, haecceity, nomadology, diagramThree disciplines for analyzing reality, "separate melodic lines in constantinterplay with one another” – Deleuze, Negotiations 1997
  15. 15. Concepts in Natural Aesthetics15• Digital Art and NaturalAesthetics: anything involvingtechnology and art and biology• Concepts– What is real? Authentic?– Discipline portability– Form and function– De Novo creation– Individuality and Sociality
  16. 16. Distinguishability of Computer Art andthe Uncanny Valley16• Is it “art” or “not art” if we cantell it was computer-made?• Continuum: real to artificial?
  17. 17. 17Is this image of something real? What kind of real?Real life? Artificial Life? Synthetic Biology?Computer-generated image?Distinguishing ‘What is Real’Proliferation in the categories of realism
  18. 18. Concepts in Natural Aesthetics18• Digital Art and NaturalAesthetics: anything involvingtechnology and art and biology• Concepts– What is real? Authentic?– Discipline portability– Form and function– De Novo creation– Individuality and Sociality
  19. 19. What is BioArt?19• Artwork created using livetissue, bacteria, or otherliving organisms togetherwith scientific processes• Collaboration of artists andbiologists• Artists experimenting withbiology as an artisticmedium• Bio Art was first coined byEduardo Kac, an Americanartist born in Brazil
  20. 20. Notable BioArtworks20• Earmouse (1997)– Human ear grown on the back of amouse (science turned into art)• GFP (green-fluorescent protein) Art– Bunny (2000)– GlowCats (2011)• Lawn Chair sculpture (2002)– Denise King, CarnivorousContraptions, Chlorophilia show
  21. 21. The Algae Opera (2012)Digital Design Weekend, Victoria and Albert Museum, London21• Interactive performance and audience consumption piece• Deep lung capacity of opera singer produces CO2 to feed algae tofeed the audience• BioArt as commentary on agricultural futures (produced by Agri)
  22. 22. Tissue Engineered BioArt22• Semi-Living Worry Dolls (OronCatts & Ionat Zurr 2002 SymbioticAartistic laboratory)• hymNext Designer Hymen Series(Julia Reodica 2006)• BioArt Exhibition Issues– Maintaining wet bioart in a gallery– Technique-sharing with localbiologists, bioreactors– Living-matter transport (e.g.; UKHuman Tissue Authority)– Artist/Biologist collaboration (e.g;BioArt Initiative RPI)
  23. 23. 23http://www.siembieda.com/burg.htmlHuman systems (heart, lungs) representation of commercialbuilding energy consumption (San Jose, CA 2010)B.U.R.G. (Building User Response Gizmos)
  24. 24. Concepts in Natural Aesthetics24• Digital Art and NaturalAesthetics: anything involvingtechnology and art and biology• Concepts– What is real? Authentic?– Discipline portability– Form and function– De Novo creation– Individuality and Sociality
  25. 25. Best Science Pictures of the Year25Neuro-synapticComputer Chip3D CT Scan of Clam andWhelk ShellMRI of Human BrainWhite Matter• National Geographic coverage– 2012 International Science andEngineering Visualization Challenge– 2009 BioScapes Microscope ImagingContest Water Flea Crown of Thorns
  26. 26. Aesthetics in Fluorescent-staining26
  27. 27. 27Framsticks (2010)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9WVF6c8E7cTentacular - Evolved Virtual Creatures (2007)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm2n_ped-TAMicroscale Biomimicry:Artificial Life (A-Life)• A field of study and anassociated art form• Art or Science? Multiplepractitioners andintentions– Science: examines systemsrelated to life, itsprocesses and evolution– Art: for art’s sakePractitioner Intent: Science
  28. 28. Artificial Life (A-Life)28Practitioner Intent: Art
  29. 29. What is Generative Art?29• Art created with the use of an autonomous system– System independently determines features– Minimum conditions for a set of marks to function as animage? Depends on intentGenerative Art - Computers, Data, and Humanity | Off Book | PBS (2011)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0OK1GiI83sCondensation Cube(Hans Haacke 1963)Evolved Noise(Karl Sims 2012)77 Million Paintings(Brian Eno 2007)AARON, the AI Painter(Harold Cohen, 1995)
  30. 30. MacroscaleBiomimicry30
  31. 31. Macroscale Biomimicry31Himalayas Water TowerWinner Evolo 2012 Skyscraper Competitionhttp://www.evolo.us/competition/himalaya-water-tower/
  32. 32. Biomimicry for Natural Dwelling32Living Treehouses (Fab Tree Hab) – (Mitchell Joachim 2003)Tree Circus
  33. 33. Theory of Place:“Building, Dwelling, Thinking” (Heidegger1951)33• Feeling athome, placeness, dwelling• Central theme of dwelling1– Not the conventional shelter orlodging– As human implacement, being ‘in’place• Dwelling makes becomingpossible– The placeness of place– Meaningfulness of our being1Liu F. On Place-ness of Place: ‘Dwelling.’ The Sustainability Collection.http://ijs.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.41/prod.461
  34. 34. Dwelling: The City34• Living in cities:– Over 50% worldwide population in 2008– 5 billion in 2030 (estimated)http://www.unfpa.org/pds/urbanization.htm
  35. 35. MasdarEnergy City of the Future35
  36. 36. Reconfiguration of Space: Vertical Farms36http://www.evolo.us/architecture/vertical-farm-in-san-diego/, http://www.verticalfarm.com/
  37. 37. 37Reconfiguration of Space: Transportation
  38. 38. 38Reconfiguration of Space: Seasteading
  39. 39. De Novo Production of Space39• ‘Home’ trope in technology• Organizing physical and virtual space– Physical-world: co-working, co-housing– Online-world: social networks,Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram– Virtual-world: video games, ARGs• Virtual placeness– How can we build virtual places fordwelling meaningfully?Dwelling Virtually
  40. 40. Concepts in Natural Aesthetics40• Digital Art and NaturalAesthetics: anything involvingtechnology and art and biology• Concepts– What is real? Authentic?– Discipline portability– Form and function– De Novo creation– Individuality and Sociality
  41. 41. 41• Is it all right to interfere with naturalprocesses?– Just a better way of ongoing manipulationbuy humans (e.g.; plant and animalbreeding)?– What constitutes a qualitative change?Nodes: crop-breeding, GMO, SynBio– Order of magnitude issue – how can we thinkof change at the new paradigm level or orderof magnitude level (Kuhnian paradigms)• Different set of concerns in de novogeneration?Philosophical Issues in BiologicalInnovation
  42. 42. 42Synthetic Biology (SynBio)• Definition: the (re)design and construction ofnew biological entities such as enzymes, geneticcircuits, and cells• Goal: deliver function, safety, and beauty• Metaphysical issues (nature of reality)– ‘What is life?’– DNA change necessary for a ‘different’ organism?– What are living machines, in themselves?– Ontological classification and naming• Ethics– Practice standards:safety, accountability, documenting work– Unintended consequences, dual-use debate• Epistemology– Limits on biological knowledge-seeking?“This century’s transistor”Source: Swan, M. Synbio Revolution: Biology is the Engineering Medium, 6/26/11http://futurememes.blogspot.com/2011/06/synbio-revolution-biology-is.htmlArtificial ligase enzymeMycoplasma laboratorium
  43. 43. 43Current Opinion in Chemical BiologyDecember 2012Volume 16Issues 5–6Pages 461-622Mechanisms • Aesthetics • Molecular imaging
  44. 44. 44Synthetic AestheticsHow would you design nature?• Connecting synthetic biology, socialscience, and art and design1– Teams: Bioengineers and SynbioDesigners• Molecular Design Aesthetics– When we make new molecules shouldthey be beautiful? Are naturallyoccurring molecules beautiful? What isan ugly protein?– Is ‘form follows function’ relevant? Canfunction be beautiful?– What aesthetic criteria to apply?Aesthetics of chirality1http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/H01912X/1 andhttp://www.genomicsnetwork.ac.uk/media/Synthetic%20Aesthetics.pdf
  45. 45. Concepts in Natural Aesthetics45• Digital Art and NaturalAesthetics: anything involvingtechnology and art and biology• Concepts– What is real? Authentic?– Discipline portability– Form and function– De Novo creation– Individuality and Sociality
  46. 46. Quantified Self (QS) Art46Quantify Me (Laurie Frick 2013)Fries by Month (Lauren Manning 2010)Quantified Creativity (Amy Robinson 2013)
  47. 47. CrowdArt47Eric Whitacres Virtual Choir 3, Water Night (2012)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3rRaL-Czxw
  48. 48. 48Unprecedented Crowd Access to theTools of Creative ProductionPrinting Press Blogger, Twitter, FlickrTumblr, Instagram, PinterestScribeMidi Keyboard Garage Band, SoundcloudOrchestraComputer-generatedImagery (CGI)SporeCreature CreatorAnimation
  49. 49. Summary: Philosophical Issuesin Natural Aesthetics49• Proliferation of realism categories• Representation accuracy and authenticity– InfoViz: representing the unrepresented– Synbio: creating the unrepresented (de novo creation)• Portability: using another discipline’s medium– Artists -> biology; Scientists and engineers -> biologyand art; Artists, Scientists, Laypersons -> data• Multiplicity in practitioners and intentions:artists, scientists, laypersons• How to dwell meaningfully in new spaces• Pervasive inseparability: form andfunction, individuality and sociality, technology andaesthetics
  50. 50. Natural Aesthetics:Digital Art and Philosophy inthe Era of TechnologizedBiomimicryMelanie SwanPhilosopher in ResidenceMS Futures Group+1-650-681-9482m@MelanieSwan.comJune 6, 2013 - Stanford UniversitySlides: http://slideshare.net/LaBloggaThank you!

×