A Beginning in Art Theory 09/02/2017

I began my study by looking into art theory in order to understand how our algorithms can fit into the realm of art. After reading a series of essays, I have been able to sort them into three realms of attitude regarding evaluating art.

  • Traditional: Devoted to naturalistic representation, frequently depicts historical, mythological, or religious scenes.
  • Modern: Moved away from representation towards valuing abstract qualities of shape, line, and color, appreciation comes intuitively to a person, is aesthetic and independent from certain social values, in many ways was a revolt against traditional ideas of what made art good.
  • Postmodern: Deals more with individual emotions and socially relevant subject matter, and the function of art in society. Stresses art as a response to culture.

For modernism, the book “Postmodern Perspective” used Matisse as an example of something that could be appreciated without understanding it in a particular context. The abstract use of line, shape, and color still create a whole image, but can be appreciated on their own.

Mattisse example

Henri Matisse, Seated Riffian, 1913

However, this brings three questions into mind,

  • Are our algorithms representational enough to be evaluated on the same scale as traditional art?
  • Can their outputs be manipulated to be on a comparable artistic scale to a Matisse?
  • And are our algorithms void of social subject matter?

By further research into our algorithms, we should be able to hypothesize on what artistic scale we can evaluating them on, and keep that in mind as we work on getting our algorithms working in a testing environment.

This will contribute to our short term and long term goals that me and my partner Taylor Baer have laid out for the next month.

Short term: For the first two weeks we will look primarily into developing a hypothesis of what art is, and researching our three algorithms. A mock-up of a java program to play with our algorithms will also be created.

Long term: Our long-term goal for the month is the have a running black and white program started to assist in visual simulations of our algorithms to explore. This will help prepare us for next month when we will really delve into the visuals of our algorithms.

Crow, Thomas E. Modern Art in the Common Culture. Yale U, 1998. 1-10. Print.
Habermas, Jurgen. “Modernity versus Postmodernity.” Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, 1998. 53-65. Print.
Risatti, Howard. Introduction. Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art. Prentice Hall, 1990. xi-xv. Print.
Risatti, Howard. “Part One – Art and Aesthetics: Late Modernism and the Formalist Debate.” Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, 1998. 1-12. Print.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s