A Critique of Surprise in Generative Art
Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62) › 21_Publication in refereed journal › peer-review
Related Research Unit(s)
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal / Publication||Leonardo Electronic Almanac|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Sep 2019|
In contemporary generative art, the aesthetics of surprise has become a central element in both the production and reception of artwork. While sciences that investigate chaotic or emergent phenomena attempt to generate the unexpected in order to explain and manage it, generative art moves in the opposite direction, cultivating surprise as a foundation for aesthetic experience. Understanding that the experience of surprise is influenced by larger cultural and economic factors, however, is essential for a generative artist’s self-reflective, critical practice. This paper foregrounds the importance of surprise in generative art and argues that it mirrors neoliberal capitalism, training us to seek surprise and to find pleasure in its repeated production. This argument runs counter to recent theoretical work that attempts to position generative art as a methodology beyond history and the influence of ideology.
- Algorithms, capitalism, generative art, history, information theory, modernity, surprise