Digital Digital Burgess Conference Follow-up:
Darrel Anderson
Conference was held August 29-September 1 1997, Banff Alberta, Canada

Devices for producing good art

As an artist, I've been practicing a "manual" form of Dicks "voluntary mind reader" for some time. Ever since I began creating images by pushing that bar of soap around, I've been envisioning better computer input devices.

In addition to the interface issues, there are imaging issues. Unless we are controlling individual pixels, the algorithms that produce color and form will contain biases. This could be useful in constructing certain classes of images, ( ex. faces ), but undesirable if a general imaging device is the goal.

Let's imagine we had such a device. Given the complexities of human consciousness, it's likely that the kinds of images produced would not be limited to the beautiful or desirable. Good art, like good science, is a search for truth -- and it ain't always pretty. My guess is that this device would facilitate far more than an effective means of image making. It would provide a window into the mind of the user -- whatever species she/he might be -- that would not be entirely voluntary. It might provide valuable insights into questions of consciousness (human and non-human).

On another note... I subscribe to the notion that we have a shared aesthetic that crosses individual and cultural boundaries. My personal aesthetic follows many of the tenets discussed in the "beauty and physical law" thread. Here's a subjective counterpoint from Salvador Dali; "I hate simplicity in all it's forms".

by Darrel Anderson

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