Augmented Aesthetics


25 Sep

Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa - Auditório Lagoa Henriques

Theme: Building up from the debates around concepts such as "New aesthetics", or "post-digital aesthetics" this panel proposes a speculative discussion around the implications of the perceptive and creative expansion offered by modern technology.

Guests: Sally Jane Norman, Alex Rothera, Heitor Alvelos
Moderator: Fernando Nabais

Aesthetics result from a number of cultural, social and religious constructs, among other factors, supported by the capacity of human perception. Bandwidth limitations of our senses naturally shaped the figurative dimension of artistic creation throughout the ages, as well as its perception. The human ear bandwidth is 20Hz to 20000Hz, but the sounds in nature and even the harmonics of traditional instruments have unheard frequencies that go far beyond these limits. The same can be applied to all our other senses, positioning us, humans, in what Dawkins calls the middle world. What the history of the visual arts would be if we were all color-blind or what kind of music would we make if we had the hearing capacity of other animals? The sensors and the capabilities of current computers enable us to perceive the information from the environment surrounding us in dimensions that were invisible until recently. As a result of this capacity the scientific community has explored the theme of "computational Beauty", focused on the ability of computational perception to analyze artistic creations in the light of "traditional" aesthetic principles. Can a computer be able to autonomously create a work that traditional parameters of artistic evaluation consider Art? Or it is possible to develop algorithms that process sensors´ information
to assess the artistic dimension of works created by human artists? These are some of the questions that have been addressed, sometimes ironically, by artists and by technologists.This conversation proposes a discussion about the space of today´s aesthetics and what will its future be, faced with a set of perceptual phenomena and unprecedented figurative embodiment capabilities. How is the computer located and how it operates within the current history of the Art and what would the history of Art be if it had been written with the increased readable parameters that we now have from the reality around us, through computer systems.