Nicholas Hickey

 
David Hockney

‘The artist at an exhibition’ – 2012

“As the image degenerates, intent and effect, art and figure, digital and analogue, information and context merges and becomes…”

I was briefly discussing ‘creative machines’ with Aaron Sloman.
I thought the drawing machine problem was an interesting one. Not because machines making art is interesting, it can be, but because it questions what is human art. Instead of asking whether the machine draws a ‘correct’ chair or whatever, correct representation is never part of the criteria of what art is as all photographs would be almost perfect art in that case, we should ask; how will AI art be seriously considered?

I think it comes down to intent. What the person or machine in question intended. Leaving the difficult slippery concept of art for one moment, let’s ask an average person to illustrate something, where they live for instance. Usually a map is drawn. The marks have meaning for that person and perhaps for another who needs to know the way.
It has no other function than to impart information. Not unlike a machine drawing. Yet it could be considered art if the intent was so.
Instead of comparing a machine’s drawings to a drawing by a person we should really be questioning the intent behind the drawings.

I took the photo for ‘The artist at an exhibition’ at the Hockney RA exhibition, surreptitiously at arm’s length, partly because I wasn’t supposed to.
As the figure fuses into the background art, a transformation takes place. The image degenerates, intent and effect, art and figure, digital and analogue, information and context merges and becomes… I’m not really sure what.
The other is of Aaron Sloman during a lecture on AI. I include it here because they appear to be curiously linked.

Aaron Sloman, Teoman Irmak

‘Aaron explains’ – 2012