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      Towards a Philosophy of Post-creative Practices? – Reading Obvious' “Portrait of Edmond de Belamy”


      Politics of the Machine Beirut 2019 (POM2019)

      Politics of the Machine

      11-14 June 2019

      post-anthropocentric creativity, artificial intelligence, art, philosophy, sociology



            As an emerging experimental subfield of AI in general, artificial creativity—that is, acts of creativity performed (semi-)autonomously by algorithmic/software robots—poses a particular set of problems. Most notably, computational/artificial creativity conflicts with the anthropocentric ways in which we have historically invented ‘creativity’ as something uniquely and quintessentially human; hence the term ‘post-creative’. Yet, when seeking to replicate the kinds of activities (or products) that we are prone to label ‘creative’, we often tend to forget the contingencies of the ‘creativity dispositif’ (Reckwitz 2017) and its contested and conflictual character. This amnesia includes the ways in which labelling something as ‘creative/not’ also, perhaps even primarily, is an aesthetic judgement—either in the traditional sense of philosophical aesthetics, or in the new (Ngai 2012)—rather than merely an ontological statement. To this end, the paper discusses how theories of how art comes into being (sociology of art, the institutional as well as the anti-essentialist theories of art) might have relevance to the issue of creativity as well. Using the recent, heavily debated auctioning of the AI generated painting, “Portrait of Edmond de Belamy” (by Obvious, 2018) as a case this paper will discuss how research into simulating creativity as a productive human activity will have to address not only the new challenges this phenomenon poses, but also some of the older aporias that have long marked our theoretical dealings with the concept ‘creativity’.


            Author and article information

            June 2019
            June 2019
            : 21-30
            [0001]Department of Culture and Communication

            Aarhus University
            © Stephensen. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of POM Beirut 2019

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Politics of the Machine Beirut 2019
            Beirut, Lebanon
            11-14 June 2019
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Politics of the Machine
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing


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