A Critique of AlgoArt

by moodyharsh 2016-07-31


I reject Abstractions as Art.
Art is Emotional.

AlgoArt like Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) which is handcoded by the Artist onto the Machine,
should be preferred over that which is automatically generated by Algorithms.

What is Art ?

AlgoArt refers to using Algorithms to make what is presumed
to be Art.

Modern and Post Modern definitions of an Art Object treat
it as a thing-in-itself.

Such a definition is self-serving as the latter in particular
thrives on Kitsch.

An alternate definition is necessary to make the Artist a part
of the thing-in-itself.

Defining Art

I Art is an Object that is artificially Produced by Artist[s] through a Medium.
II The Object and the Artist[s] share an Emotion, a thing-in-itself.
III When consumed, thing-in-itself is experienced by mimesis.

Abstract Art is Art ?

Art is Emotional.
Emotion is a continuous Feeling.
Emotions are Finite.
Emotions are fluid.

Abstraction is an Understanding.
Abstractions are Infinite.
Abstractions are fixed.

For example, why is tying a shoe-lace not an Art ?
There are creative choices for the type of shoe, lace or holes.
Why isn’t that taught in New York ?

Creativity is just a process. Not the End.
It is possible to be creative in Pointless activities like Jewellery Making and Fashion.

The correct word for Abstract Artists is Artisans.

The difference is very subtle,

  • Photography vs Expressionist Painters
  • Action Heroes vs Method actors
  • Street Dancing vs Miming

Programming is a Craft with the exception of Games.
The greatest tragedy ever faced by a Programmer is a coffee stain.
Just as Post Modernists elevate Kitsch to Art,
Programmers elevate sloppy practices to the Sublime and call it Hacking.

Software is Democracy ?

To be successful a software must,

  • Spread Virally
  • Be a Killer App
  • Exert parasitical control over the Market

Practises like

  • banning
  • silencing
  • spying
  • revisionism

are built with Orwellian Efficiency into fundamental Software like

  • IRC
  • IMAP ( Email )
  • Web Forums
  • Wikipedia
  • Git

The main reasons for implementing these “features” are cited as

  • Spam
  • Trolls

In practise this means that each Software Community lives
in a perpetual bubble, deaf to criticism.

Sometimes these “features” are profitable.

The hypocrisy reaches bizarre levels of absurdity as
Free Software Communities have Benevolent Dictators.

These “features” make software a horrible Medium wrt I.

Revisionism is particularly problematic as it can confound




AlgoArt can be divided into

  1. MachineArt

This is perfectly acceptable as Machines are tools in the
hands of Artists.


MS Paint

  1. AutoArt

Art made automatically out of some mechanical Algorithms.

AutoArt fails I and II, hence it is rejected as Art.
There is no Machine Unlearning for A.I, yet.
To pass I, a program needs to cry when its brushes are taken away.

Never the less AutoArt can pass of as Art just as how DJs pass of as musicians.




A photograph of a toothbrush could be made to mean
the monotonicity of Modern Life,
with enough deconstruction jargon.

Was there an Artist that felt it ?
Are Random Numbers sentient enough to make music ?