Painting Life: Automata in Painting and A-life

By:
Simon Ingram
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Paper reviews various histories of formalist painting (especially the work of the Russian avant-garde and some post war American painting), discusses some of the core operational logics in this body of work in particular relation to those of cellular automata (especially Wolfram and Langton) and in general to autopoiesis (as outlined by Maturana and Varela). Proposes that formalist painting is an early outcome of the sorts of discussions that occur in a-life circles but remains separate from them; thus the paper seeks to establish older and broader roots for the science of artificial life and draw painting into a discussion with technology than is less interested in 'appearance' and more concerned with 'structure' and by extension, with art's contribution to knowledge. Formalist painting's particular attraction to notions of reflexivity, universality and autonomy map well onto cellular automata, though the difference in context produces quite different effects, these are discussed as a way of talking about the sort of 'non-linear' knowledge that art can produce.


Keywords: Painting, Art, Automata, Cellular, Abstract, Formalist, Autopoiesis
Stream: Other or Stream Unspecified
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Simon Ingram

Lecturer, School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology
New Zealand

Doctor of Fine Art: Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland (2002-2005), Conference paper: 'Materialist practice in painting and self organising systems,' "Processing novelty," Auckland University, NZ (2004) Journal article: 'Machinic Practice in Painting,' "Junctures, the journal for thematic dialogue," Otago Polytech, NZ (2004) Solo exhibition: 'Painting as machine,' Auckland, Te Tuhi - The Mark. Solo exhibition curated by Rhoda Fowler (2004) Book: 'Towards a Painting that Thinks,' Manukau Institute of Technology (2004) Solo exhibition: 'Max's First Iteration,' Auckland, Rm103 (2004) Solo exhibition: 'Towards a Painting That Thinks,' Sydney, MOP Projects (2004) Journal artist portfolio: 'Dialogical Paintings,' "Landfall," University of Otago (2004), Lecturer: School of Art and Design. Auckland University of Technology (2002-2005) Catalogue essay: 'Fusinato's Kinaesthetic monochromes,' Gus Fisher Gallery, The University of Auckland (2003) Solo exhibition: Dialogical Paintings,' Auckland, Rm103 (2003).


Ref: T05P0289