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    The Invisible Arp

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2018)

    London, UK, 9 - 13 July 2018


    David Upton



    This paper describes a conceptual generative art system built in the Cloud, which exercises a degree of autonomy in deciding when and for whom to generate art works, but bases its processes on the ideas of a dead artist. The philosopher Douglas Hofstadter claims that humans are basically just a set of patterns, instantiated in mortal cells, but capable of surviving after death. After a study of the works and writings of poet and artist Hans Arp, I have tried to identify some of the ‘patterns’ or rules that guided Arp’s artistic practice. These have been converted into computer code, and guide the generative system, in the hope that it can produce art works as Arp might do if he was alive today (not crude copies of his one hundred year old works). Participants at EVA 2018 are invited to judge how successful this has been. To emphasise the intangibility of the patterns, the system is hosted in the Cloud, making it as near as possible non-existent, in any physical or virtual sense. What are the implications if such patterns really can persist after death?


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