DANIEL FERREIRA     DIGITAL CREATIVE
The Career of Harold Cohen talk

[Tradução em português não disponível para este post.]

Harold Cohen‘s speech for his Lifetime Achievement award at the ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 is a great opportunity to learn about his amazing career as an artist and researcher in computational art (video above).

Read the full post for selected quotes, images and commentary.

0204-12 1/10 (2002)

0204-12 1/10 (2002)

Art as Process

I don’t think we should ever view creative behavior as the production of a stream of objects – paintings, drawings, machine paintings, painting machines -, but as a continuous feedback-driven loop of self-modification. (…) We make art in order to grow, we grow in order to make art. (11:03)

Aaron: Past and Future

In the beginning, Cohen’s intention was to create an autonomous machine to create art. Indeed, eventually Aaron would be able to generate drawings indefinitely. However, Cohen realized that this did not mean the system was autonomous, at least not as an artist.

Initial tests in BASIC

Initial tests in BASIC

In order to be truly autonomous, Cohen explains, Aaron would have to be able to not only access (and take in consideration) it’s own output, but also to modify and adapt it’s own world view (15:20) – to “grow in order to make art”.

Although Cohen is still not sure if machines will ever be able to do such a thing, he is certain that a partnership is possible. After all, the same way that Cohen is able to do things that Aaron isn’t, the opposite is also true.

Cohen illustrated that with his latest work, in which a very simple drawing generated by Aaron is painted by the artist using a “digital finger-painting” technique.

New digital finger-painting setup

New digital finger-painting setup


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