Evolutionary Art


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Basic Features of the Evolutionary Art


Günter Bachelier

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Evolutionary Art

Evolutionary art is defined by methods to generate art, which derive themselves from processes recognized by biological organisms. These methods are style and material independent. Within these methods a wider range of freedom can be used as in biological systems, because they are limited through implementation constraints.

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Evolutionary Art Process
 
 

The evolutionary art is defined through the evolutionary art process. Starting with a variety of motives (population of individuals) variations (offspring) of these motives are generated through duplication, mutation and recombination. These offspring individuals are evaluated by the artist (fitness-evaluation). From the parent and the offspring generation some individuals are selected (selection for transfer), which form the next generation. This generation undergoes evolution as well. Motives not selected for the next generation may be stored for later use as starting population (living fossils).

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Integration of the post work

A procedure shall be called evolutionary art as well that integrates traditional art into the evolutionary art. This is valid especially for those cases in which the artist post-processes some motives which have a local optimum character according to evolutionary algorithms. The procedure itself changes in such a way, that individuals undergo an evaluation "selection for post processing". Further on all post processed individuals can be directly taken over or they could be regularly evaluated in the "selection for transfer into the offspring population"

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Continuos development of Motives

The central point of an evolutionary process is hence the continuos development of motives through the evaluation and selection criteria of the artist, which can be seen as breeder of motives. Evolutionary art leads to an integration of the art producing process into a natural process instead of celebrating the separation of nature and art.

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Contrast to Cratio ex nihilio

The scenario described stand in strong contrast to the usual idea of an unique art work and the myth of a creation ex nihilio, that means a creation of an art work through an independent creative act by the artist. Those myths which are preserved from a pre scientific area were falsificated within the context of the cognition science and are hence not useful as basics for a explanation of the act of art producing and a new integrative theory of arts.

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Tasks of the Artist

The tasks of the artist within a evolutionary art process includes beside of the evaluation other areas like establishing plans for reproducing through which are decided, which motives should recombine and how the offspring is produced through reproduction operators in detail. Like said before, post processing operations may belong to the tasks of the artists as well.

A more detailed listing of tasks of artists can be found in my model of a sequential integration of a conventional art process and a computer based art process.

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Computer aided art process

The generation of variations is a stereotype activity which can be automated as well. In this context the computer plays an outstanding part, because digital motives can be arbitrary copied and modified. The computer based evolutionary art uses these properties to generate motive generations in a justifiable amount of time and to give the artist a basic for his evaluation an selection activity.

If not geometric motives are involved, the automation is an essential precondition for evolutionary art because otherwise the amount of time to generate new populations would be out of range. The real mental activity of the art creation process. this means the evaluation through the artist would get into the background.

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Translated by M. Faix

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