Two Bitster Disagreement


Session Title:

  • Computing and Aesthetics

Presentation Title:

  • Two Bitster Disagreement




  • One of the least studied aspects surrounding the debates about AI is the one related to the creative process. It is not until 1994 that light is shed upon this particular issue with the GENESIS (Generation and Exploration of Novel Emergent Structures in Sequences: Derek Partridge and Jon Rowe, University of Exeter) project, which aimed to provide a computer with a “creativity” capacity. It was based on the idea expressed by John Minsky in his book The Society of Mind (1985) that embodied “the representational fluidity for a multiagent system”, in other words, a memory mechanism that showed an increased creative behavior, based on the input data and its output. Nevertheless, twenty years earlier there was already an interdisciplinary project that, facing the question of whether machines were able to think, gave it a turn and added (from an artistic point of view): “if so, are they capable of creativity?” This project was carried out by Manuel Felguérez and the engineer Mayer Sasson between the years of 1973 and 1975 – through a Grant sponsored by the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico and Harvard University – in the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. This essay discusses how science, art and technology interfaced in Mexico during that period and makes clear how The Aesthetic Machine was a very precise artistic correlate to the topics been debated during that time around technological development, mind studies and cognitive sciences.