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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathEndo-Aesthetics
Terrain 01 (Gabriel, Ulrike), 1993

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and the relationship of art, science, and technology began in 1970, emphasizes that artificial life underscores the connection between artistic experiments and scientific visions. As he sees it, the machine-based AL processes are contributing to the emergence of a new aesthetics of autonomy in which the most important productions of the artificial system are proving to be programmatic. He describes this aesthetics as being expressive of the interactions between different components of the system, and as serving to transfer biological knowledge into the area of technology, and vice versa. Further, this aesthetics is characterized by successive states that become visible in the form of morphogenetic transformations; an aesthetics of visualization in which something concealed is brought to light, brought into being; an aesthetics that must be viewed as a process, since in interactivity there exists no instrumentalized response but merely potential perspectives approximating the virtuality of the creation.

Bec’s aesthetics of autonomy is based on the assumption that virtual beings are capable, by means of reproduction and mutation, of bringing forth new beings possessing a different aesthetics. At the same


time, this procedure implies the ‹aesthetics of amputation,› which for Bec amounts to the technological-expansion-induced compulsion to adapt to the artificial environment, and in consequence to forget or to renounce capabilities that have been rendered obsolete. By interfering with the constitutive logistics of the living—logistics characterized by inconstancy, increasing complexity, autonomy, or self-organization—the zoo systematist establishes a practice of the ‹aesthetics of refloating› (‹ésthétique du renfloué›). [13] Other works concerned with the relationship between living and artificial systems endeavor to achieve a still more profound interaction between work and observer. This is an important prerequisite of the works of Ulrike Gabriel, an artist who makes the mode of function of the system dependent on that of the interactor’s body. Her interactive AL installation «Terrain 01» (1993) links up the internal and external world over an interactive display that establishes indirect contact between the external observer (brain) and the robots. The result is a kind of immaterial communications form between the two systems. [14]

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