[TISEA 1992] Artist Statement: Peter Beyls – Untitled Drawings

Artist Statement

Pragmatic considerations lead to the design of computerised vehicles allowing elegance and optimal flexibility while playing with ideas. The general approach is cognitive rather than procedural or mechanistic. We conceive and develop machine partners that assist the artist in the process of exploration and discovery. Digital media may encourage intimate machine interaction, i.e. the interactive evaluation of the behavioural potential of a given idea. In addition, the artist learns about the true nature of his intentions through visual feedback.

The objective of my work is conceptual navigation. Pragmatic considerations lead to the design of computerised vehicles allowing elegance and optimal flexibility while playing with ideas. The general approach is cognitive rather than procedural or mechanistic. We conceive and develop machine partners that assist the artist in the process of exploration and discovery. Digital media may encourage intimate machine interaction, i.e. the interactive evaluation of the behavioural potential of a given idea. In addition, the artist learns about the true nature of his intentions through visual feedback.
Consider the development of virtual work spaces of which the artist is both inventor and explorer. The central material component is knowledge, rather than information. This implies that we are interested in the meaning of things rather than their visual appearance. The auto-matic generation of intricate pictorial complexi-ties as such is of no concern. However, the study of levels of autonomy in the creative process is important since we aim to design computational environments that accommodate mental models of creative behaviour. Computers allow for the manipulation of ideas on the symbolic level. Arbitrary concepts like conflict resolution, adaptation or responsibility are formalised and activated in a simulated, virtual world. The activity in this world manifests itself in pictures. These pictures are visual representations that emerge from the inherent abstract activity and careful selection of physical attributes imposed by the artist. The pictures document themselves.
In summary, the sharing of responsibilities between human and machine — while aiming to create in a common effort — is at the heart of the matter. The initial spark for many incarnations of activity and interactivity is borrowed from examples in nature or it may be a product of human imagination. In either case, our objec-tive remains the interpretation rather than the understanding of the internal dynamics of the cognitive process. The idea is to create a context for the exploration of the psychology of humans as well as the psychology of machines. The final works are side effects of the very activity of navigating in unknown conceptual territories.

  • Peter Beyls, Belgium