Philip Galanter
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

generative artist using installation, video, audio, and print

also faculty member at Texas A&M

also writer exploring complexity theory, art theory

also curator for generative, robotic, complexity, and tech art

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new book online

I believe I know what *should* come after postmodernism. Here is a recently published chapter I wrote on this.


robot artist draws portraits

This all points to one of the many reasons that I think generative art is such an important topic for theory. It's something in between "expression" and "plotting." Expression implies some form of consciousness. Plotting implies a simple mapping from input to output, i.e. something that is more like transcription than writing, and thus not an act of creation per se.

I'll avoid the term "creativity" here because it's ambiguous enough to confuse. But I think it's pretty clear that *creation* does not require consciousness. But it's more than mere plotting. The are all kinds of creation going on in the universe, and almost all of it is unconscious and yet self-organizing. (Leaving aside various theological counter-proposals.)

In generative art the artist harnesses and cedes control to these same, or similar, creative forces. The artist, of course, makes the indirect decision to use the system. But the significant form emerges directly from the generative system even though the system itself is (so far) unaware of it.


robot artist draws portraits

Well, we are teetering on the brink of a very long and complex topic. We could branch off and try to define life (i.e. are humans machines?), and sooner or later will come the issues of qualia and consciousness and the Turing test and whether or not you can detect (from the outside) whether an agent is a (philosophical) zombie or not...etc...

But avoiding all that...

I'd say the question comes down to what you mean by "machine." In terms of everyday use most people today would probably say such a thing would no longer be a machine, because machines have no consciousness, and the everyday notion of expression requires consciousness.


robot artist draws portraits

If someone can design a machine that "has" something to express, making the machine expressive will be easy.



I only have time to respond to your strongest point. My response is this:

I've lost a lot of weight over the last year, so I don't think I'm properly called "fat" anymore.