[FISEA’93] Paper: Peter Beyls – Creativity and Computation: Tracing attitudes and motives


This paper aims for the creation of a framework to address the following questions: can we build machines that merely simulate human creative activity or is there potential to emulate true creative thinking in a computer program? How do we build self-reflective programs given certain aesthetic criteria and what are these criteria supposed to look like? Social expression, introspection and the synthesis of meaning while handling multiple views of the same thing at the same time are at the heart of human creative behaviour. All this seems hard to expect from a machine though quite powerful statements have been produced in recent years, in particular by using methods of artificial intelligence and algorithms inspired by biological evolution.We are forced to study the psychology of creative decision making if we ever want to implement spects of it in a computer program These aspects have many faces including the creation of contexts to augment the chances for something interesting to happen, the invention of problems and questions (not answers), the persistence on exploration and flexibility rather than Gal products and precision, the expression of interest in the meaning of things rather than (or in spite of) their possibly extraordinary visual appeal, and many more. Because much computer art focuses on the generation of intricate structures does not imply that critique should be limited to formalist criticism i.e. the study of formal relationships or excellence in designed visual organization. Criticism should not be blinded by the complexity of the medium but receptive to the expression of intense feelings, the communication of ideas of truly great intensity and question the relevance of artistic statements i.e. do they say anything on the human condition as it really affects us? Or should critique be focused on the consequences of the ideas and feelings expressed, for instance, by serving some social end beyond the form of the work itself? Obviously, impressive pictures do not provide a useful ground to guarantee artistic integrity In any case, a work must offer the potential to raise questions and, posstbly fundamental questions which trigger a creative response in the observer or listener. Perhaps, because of its interactive nature, the computer is the ultimate channel for introducing augmented responsiveness in the appreciation of artistic statements.

  • Peter Beyls, Electronic Imaging Department, St Lukas School of the Arts, Brussels, Belgium

Full text p.19-28