Visual Hallucination For Computational Creation

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Leonid Berov and Kai-Uwe Kuhnberger: Visual Hallucination For Computational Creation. In: Computational Creativity 2016 ICCC 2016, 107-114



Research on computational painters usually focuses on simulating rational parts of the generative process. From an art-historic perspective it is plausible to assume that also an arational process, namely visual hallucination, played an important role in modern fine art movements like Surrealism. The present work investigates this connection between creativity and hallucination. Using psychological findings, a three-step process of perception-based creativity is derived to connect the two phenomena. Insights on the neurological correlates of hallucination are used to define properties necessary for modelling them. Based on these properties a recent technique for feature visualisation in Convolutional Neural Networks is identified as a computational model of hallucination. Contrasting the thus enabled perception-based approach with the Painting Fool allows to introduce a distinction between two distinct creative acts, sketch composition and rendering. The contribution of this work is threefold: First, a computational model of hallucination is presented and discussed in the context of a computational painter. Second, a theoretic distinction is introduced that aligns research on different strands of computational creativity and captures the differences to current computational painters. Third, the case is made that computational methods can be used to simulate abnormal mental patterns, thus investigating the role that “madness” might play in creativity – instead of simply renouncing the myth of the mad artist.

Extended Abstract


 author = {Leonid Berov and Kai-Uwe Kuhnberger},
 title = {Visual Hallucination For Computational Creation},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Computational Creativity},
 series = {ICCC2016},
 year = {2016},
 month = {Jun-July},
 location = {Paris, France},
 pages = {107-114},
 url = { },
 publisher = {Sony CSL Paris},

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