Swarm paintings – nonhuman art

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Moura, L., Ramos, V.: Swarm paintings – nonhuman art. Architopia Book, Art, Architecture and Science pp. 5–24 (2007).



I have always searched outside the art world the intellectual stimulation needed to be an artist, as I belief that creativity is produce through the interaction between different experiences and knowledge’s. This personal attitude as been reinforced in a context where artistic practices tended to rely more and more in self-referential and circular systems, very dependent of the mercantile interests, and thus loosing excitement and novelty. I was lucky to feel in that way, because from the side of science the ‘artistic’ components of artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial life (aLife) have become increasable interesting, giving birth to completely new fields of knowledge and new ideas regarding life, art and intelligence itself. From this context were born several projects developed in collaboration with the artificial life scientist Vitorino Ramos and more recently my project of UnManned Art with Henrique Garcia Pereira.

In short our idea is to create an organism able to generate forms without any representational pre-commitment and with a minimum of esthetical intervention from our part. This project differs from others, namely those of algorithmic or evolutionary art, where purely random choices and/or an aesthetic fitness evaluation must be incorporated, with or without the requirement of pre-constraints. Such experiments are based on a kind of ideal form, determined directly by humans or developed by computers after learning human idiosyncrasies. It differs also from certain proposals of AI, which try to simulate representations, emotions or human sensitivity.

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