Saturday, June 9, 2018

Between pattern and chance
Andrzej K. Brodzik



We consider the problem of representation in visual arts. This representation can either be identified with art-object itself, as is, with some of its fundamental properties, such as its “material” form, or it can be invented ab novo, as an abstract category, to be used as a reference an art-object is compared to. De- liberation of this triple role of representation directly illuminates the relationships between creation and perception, natural and artificial, and man and machine.

The deliberation begins with consideration of what an art-object is, as is. First, art-object is identified with an object that (1) is produced in a pre-meditated-spontaneous process, (2) occurs in a social context, (3) is non-utilitarian, and (4) has ideal-formal content. Subsequently, an alternative definition is given where art-object is cast as a direct physical representation of an idea having properties 1, 3 and 3. Next, a construction of an adjoint or shadow abstract representation is proposed. The shadow representation can be viewed as a projection or translation of art-object that encapsulates the key aspects of both the art idea and its physical representation. This construction is followed by consideration of a special kind of shadow representation, one that is based on the dychotomy of pattern and chance. The choice of the dychotomy of pattern and chance in the construction of shadow representation is aesthetic-historically relevant, as these two concepts are closely linked with the central idioms of the two fundational movements of modern arts, suprematism and dada. The concept of shadow representation is subsequently made concrete by the devel- opment of a formal mathematical framework for a practical implementation of its construction, in which pattern and chance are given precise expressions. Apart from facilitating objective quantitative assessment (or, computation) of the key aspects of the art-object structure, the special choice of these expressions enables revelation of a close coupling of the two stages of art-object consumption: visual perception and quantitative assessment, which, in turn, permits the use of the supre-dada representation for art-object processing tasks, such as identification, ranking, analysis, and re-generation. The paper concludes with an example of a special construction that yields a collection of images where pattern and chance are inter- twined in conceptually highly non-traditional manner.

We want to stress that our aim here is much more modest than it might first appear. First, in the deliber- ation of art-object we are not proposing what all art-objects are. We are proposing a minimum criterion, that is a minimum set of requirements that some art-objects and only (these) art-objects satisfy. We focus mainly on western avant-garde visual art and western influenced Japanese avant-garde visual art (such as gutai and provoke era photography) from roughly the period 1910-1980. Second, we are not postulating the existence of a universal aesthetic grammar, or a universal quantitative aesthetic measure. We are merely proposing a prototype of one such measure, as an experiment in quantitative deconstruction of an aesthetic experience.

Innumerable things subsist around us that, when left unquestioned, are thought to be completely understood, but that when we do try to question them turn out not to be understood in reality. The “facial surface” is one of them. Though we must expect that among the clear-sighted there is no one who doesn’t know what a facial surface is, still there is nothing quite so mysterious as it.         - Watsuji Tetsuro, Mask and Persona 


Dada Love By Matthew Rose

Make out with the Dada partner of your choice
in the school parking lot.
Carve your initials with the Dada partner of your
choice in the old oak tree.
Write love letters to the Dada partner of your
choice and mail them without stamps.
Have children with the Dada partner of your
choice and name them after telephone numbers.
Call me sometime, will you?