[ISEA95] Panel: Martin Sperka – Reality: representations and cybergraphy

Panel Statement

Panel: Cosmic Creativity


Art deals with representations of objects and processes. Today, computers help to transform the artist’s mental representation into real artifacts or performances in a simple, interactive way. More advanced automation is used in some CAD systems and is investigated in architectural and industrial design. The state of the art in computer and related research enables experimentation with tools for “Artificial Art”. One possible playground for experimenting is “Cybergraphy”, a simulation of “psychic and graphic automatism”.


Could we create “artificial art” systems with an ability to generate visual artifacts of the same quality as humans? Many works of art have forms, with simple formal structure, shapes and appearance, where not only process of creation, but also motivation and inspiration is evident. Artists using computers in the Sixties and Seventies were able to imitate (and even some artists did these experiments) works of contemporary art. It is an interesting historical coincidence that in that, when machines were able to draw  synthesize simple patterns, similar to the some trends at the contemporary art (minimal art, neoconstructivism, kinetic and op art). Few artists at that time used computers, even when they would be helpful in their work. Potential ability of today machines is not only in synthesizing of artifacts, compatible with formal styles from the first half of this century, but also in imitating works of realistic descriptive or symbolic paintings, relief or sculptures from antique, middle age or 19th century – works which were attributed with an unified style, canonical forms and conventional themes (religious mythology, historical events, landscapes, still lives and portraits).

The “mission” of information processing machines in art is not to imitate what was done by humans, nevertheless the analyzing and simulating existing styles is the challenging topic for researchers. This paper analyses concepts and possibilities of creating artificial art systems, which include not only the automatic generation of particular (static and dynamic) objects,
resulting from visual interpretation of abstract symbols and signs, generated by an intelligent program, but also able to build their cyberworld model (C) simulating learning, motivation, inspiration and evaluation of finished results. The following chapters will analyze conceptual model of relations between real (objective) world (R), their reflection in the subject’s brain (mental model M) and artifacts (A), created by humans or generated by machines. This model uses (for simplicity) Descartes’ divide paradigm between the thinking subject and the world of objects. In fact, all objects and phenomena, and representations become reality itself. In the following text the notation X-BY will denote transformation of representation X into  representation Y.

  • Martin Sperka graduated from the Czech Institute of Technology in Prague (1970) and until 1991 was a researcher in computer graphics, robotics, and artificial intelligence at the Institute of Technical Cybernetics. He is now an educator and researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Bratislava, Slovakia) and teaches computer animation at the Faculty of Film (Academy of Performing Arts). Reality, Representations and Cybergraphy.

Full text p.272-276