The Artificial, the Accidental, the Aesthetic…

Nicole Koltick



How do we define, discuss or assess aesthetics within a contemporary philosophical framework? The indefiniteness that accompanies attempts to formalize a definition of the aesthetic is a primary focus of this paper. This lack of a definition has occupied philosophers for hundreds of years in attempts to delineate the boundaries of an elusively formless concept. This formlessness speaks to the incredibly evasive character of such a pervasive feature recognized in both natural and artificial systems, agents and artefacts. With the rapid growth of artificially intelligent systems and an astounding diversity in computational creativity, in what ways may we approach aesthetics? How is the aesthetic recognized, determined and produced? This paper seeks to critically engage issues of non-human agency, inter-object relations, and aesthetic theory in relation to computational entities and autonomous systems. The ability of these systems to operate outside of human cognitive limitations including thought patterns and constructions which may preclude alternative aesthetic outcomes, afford them in some ways limitless potential in relation to aesthetics. The designation of the accidental or provisional is utilized as an alternative approach to the production and assessment of aesthetic occurrences of the non-human.


Artificial Aesthetics; Philosophy; Speculative Realism; Computational Phenomenology

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Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts
Revista de Ciência e Tecnologia das Artes
ISSN: 1646-9798
e-ISSN: 2183-0088
Portuguese Catholic University | Porto


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