Botme robot art
A new art paradigm
It seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important.
Robotics endorses, among other things, the overcome of the worn out paradigm of the so-called contemporary art. In the last decades arts suffered a conceptual erosion process by focusing on a strong individualistic subjectivism, justified by market effects that are not very distinct from generic merchandise promotion. Too much money, too short talent and abundant meaningless works keep the deceiving excitement and the glamour, typical of the fashion effects. The most common themes are based on small tricks of prestidigitation, exacerbating trivial personalities or detaching variations from processes carried out a long time ago, but under different context and scope. And as William Burroughs reminded: "the essence of the prestidigitation is the distraction and the wrong information". Duchamp's contextualization technique continues to prevail in many works, with nothing being added to the original gesture of Marcel Duchamp. Out of the museums and art galleries many works are totally irrelevant and reduced to their real condition of garbage.
A reboot is required.
Art and technology are historical partners. In Renaissance the camera obscura and the optics opened the doors of perspective in painting. Later, the industrial revolution and photography led to an increasing autonomy of the work of art and gave rise to abstraction. Nowadays, the computer, the Internet and biological driven concepts expand the art to the fields of posthumanity and postnature.
Computers proved to be much more than a sophisticated word processor and fast calculator. They are a powerful mean to think, design and materialize. The computer is a partner in the creation of ideas and processes. It is a machine that extends our brain and helps thinking the unimaginable. It is something that stimulates our brain, allowing to derive and test in the twinkling of an eye, multiple hypotheses, many of them impossible to achieve by our own means. Computer is a prosthetic augmentation of the mind.
The Internet transformed knowledge into an immersive experience. It made accessible, free and workable from anywhere in the globe many skills, which until shortly were only available to elites. In a logic of freeware and open source, this enormous conveyor of knowledge stimulates, extends and expands human intelligence by generating at any time new knowledge, in an endless cycle. The Internet is an accelerator of the cultural evolution.
Biology wide opened the door to life. No other science is nowadays so influential, so crucial in terms of future, so fascinating and at the same time so terrifying. The descent to the most basic principles of life revealed how things work. And, as opposed to the expected linear mechanisms, complexity and emergent processes were found. Hence the need for experimentation. Certain facts can only be configured when triggered. Complexity, emergence and self-organization became central concepts to describe many processes all around, since the formation of galaxies to the manifestation and development of life.
The discovery of the Genome deciphered the deepest mechanism driving the way how all living organisms in the planet work, by revealing the enormous complexity of an essentially random process, from which emerges the order that we recognize in bodies and behaviors. Genome also allowed the beginning of a new type of manipulation of the living, putting an end to Darwin's evolutionism. The evolution of many animals, plants and mankind, is now the product of biotechnology and does not rely anymore on the slow process of trial and error that nature elaborates since millions of years. From this enterprise extraordinary beings and horrible monstrosities will be born. Mankind will be forced to rephrase conceptually almost everything, since our role in the universe, to deep ethical questions. In a more immediate plan this new way of thinking must assure openness, sharing and free recombination of knowledge. Freeware and open source concepts are to become the main model of socialization.
Art is an environment transformer. In the new context of technocreative production, art is so influenced by technology as it exerts an enormous influence on it. The so-called New Technologies are the result of creative and artistic minds, as well as from a libertarian impulse characteristic of artists. The encounter of art with science and technology is more than a simple opportunist and functional joint venture. The recombination of ideas from art, science and technology generates more art, science and technology, leading to a unstoppable dynamics.
But art is also, itself, an evolutionary mechanism. Essentially trial and error based, random, mutant and stochastic.
Hence it reveals itself as complementary to science. Because art is always true, unlike science that is only true until proven otherwise, it is allowed to explore all corners of the imaginary and parts of the unimaginable. That process increases the creativity field, which is today only limited by ignorance and practical unfeasibility. Enhancing intelligence is therefore an important issue for art, as well, of course, for humanity.
Bioart, biological inspired art, is a perfect terrain for this exploration of art and science recombination. In fact, viewing it as a mere scientific illustration is to be shortsighted. The generation and manipulation of living organisms, regarded as an artistic expression, is really transbiological since it intends to exceed the borders of life as we know it. This kind of art is merged with life as it could be and not as it is.
Such a process opens space for innovative recombinations of natural with artificial, living with metallic, electronic with neuronal, silicon with genetic. The new artificial, robotized, hybrid, symbiotic entities are agents of the ongoing reconfiguration of the planet. Artists can now put into practice the aesthetical society, as announced by philosophers and utopists. And this is performed, by morphogenesis, not by embellishing the world as it is now.
Hence, the new art paradigm can be defined by the concrete and deliberate construction of a new nature.