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The Concept of Emergence in Generative Art

The Concept of Emergence in Generative Art

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Published by Bdg_Lab_6740
Generative art is any art practice where the artist creates a process that in turn acts with some degree of autonomy to create all or part of an artwork. It represents a particularly intriguing interaction between art and science, as not only does the artist use technological means (typically computer programs), but also the art itself often relates to fundamental questions about life and what it is to be human in the face of rapid technical advance. Indeed much generative art is closely allied to the scientific discipline called Artificial Life, which asks similar questions from a scientific point of view.
Generative art is any art practice where the artist creates a process that in turn acts with some degree of autonomy to create all or part of an artwork. It represents a particularly intriguing interaction between art and science, as not only does the artist use technological means (typically computer programs), but also the art itself often relates to fundamental questions about life and what it is to be human in the face of rapid technical advance. Indeed much generative art is closely allied to the scientific discipline called Artificial Life, which asks similar questions from a scientific point of view.

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Published by: Bdg_Lab_6740 on Jun 24, 2011
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11/07/2012

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THE CONCEPT OF EMERGENCEIN GENERATIVE ARTGordon Monro
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilmentof requirements for the degree of Master of Music (Composition)Sydney Conservatorium of MusicUniversity of Sydney2007
 
Statement of originality
I declare that the research presented here is my own original work and has not been submittedto any other institution for the award of a degree.Signed:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Date:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ii
 
Abstract 
Generative art 
is any art practice where the artist creates a process that in turn acts with somedegree of autonomy to create all or part of an artwork. It represents a particularly intriguinginteraction between art and science, as not only does the artist use technological means(typically computer programs), but also the art itself often relates to fundamental questionsabout life and what it is to be human in the face of rapid technical advance. Indeed muchgenerative art is closely allied to the scientific discipline called Artificial Life, which askssimilar questions from a scientific point of view.A concept underlying much generative art, and the science of Artificial Life, is that of 
emergence
. Broadly speaking, a system exhibits emergent behaviour if something “extra”occurs; in some sense more comes out of it than was put in. The concept of emergence haslinks to several disciplines, and it has no clear definition; it appears that there are severalconcepts going under the same name. This essay aims to tease out a definition of emergencesuitable for discussions of generative art.The first two chapters of the essay contain introductory remarks on definitions and ongenerative art. Chapter 3 considers examples of emergent phenomena in science; theseexamples are largely, but not exclusively, connected with Artificial Life. Chapter 4 discussesseveral definitions of emergence from the literature; again these are mostly connected withArtificial Life, and have some relation to discussions of generative art. In Chapter 5 adefinition of “generative-art emergence” is proposed; this definition is specifically adapted todiscussions of generative art. Chapter 6 applies the definition to a selection of generativeartworks that are contenders for exhibiting emergence. The essay concludes with reflectionson some of the issues raised.iii

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