[ISEA2018] Paper: Rui Penha & Miguel Carvalhais — Will Machinic Art Lay Beyond Our Ability to Understand It?


Keywords: Machinic Art, Artificial Creativity, Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness, Aesthetics, Artificial Aesthetics, Definition of Art, Embodied Meaning, Embodied Cognition, Anthropomorphism.

In this paper we will argue that artistic creations made by artificial minds will most likely lay beyond our ability to understand them. We will assume that the emergence of consciousness in
artificial minds is possible and that the artistic creations we are referring to are made by the artificial minds’ own volition. We will build upon the definition of art as embodied meaning and
explore its relationship with embodied cognition to argue that there is a binding of human artistic creation to the subjective experience of existing in a natural and cultural world through a human body that is born with a foretold death. Additionally, we will try to show that the best we can aim at, as human beings standing by an artistic creation by another species, is to an understanding of what could have motivated another human being to create such a work. As such, we shouldn’t be able to understand an artistic creation originating by an artificial mind with a physical experience of the world that differs from our own, even if they have a privileged access to our culture. The boundaries for this incomprehension are those of the human mind.

  • Rui Penha, Portugal, is a composer, media artist and performer of electro-acoustic music. He studies the relationship between music and its technology, developing interfaces for musical expression, sound spatialisation software, interactive installations, musical robots,
    autonomous improvisers and educational software. He is an invited assistant professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and a senior researcher at INESC TEC.
  • Miguel Carvalhais, Portugal,  is a designer and musician. He is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, researching computational media, interaction design, and creative practices with procedural systems. He is the author of a book on these topics, Artificial Aesthetics.   carvalhais.org

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