Re: Computer chicken

Subject: Re: Computer chicken
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Thu Sep 29 2005 - 19:35:02 EDT

bill thompson wrote:

>--- Eliot Handelman <> wrote:
>>>>it loops into
>itself, it's the kind of thing
>that AI's do." An in one short image you have the
>whole history and
>destiny of avant-garde art.
>not to be a complete nerd here, but wouldn't it be an
>image of postmodern art rather than avant-garde?
No, because the looping novel could only be Finnegans Wake, or at least
the kind of thing that's evoked for me. The postmodern image is the idea of
an AI doing this, rather than some brilliant tortured genius like Joyce.
The characters
in the Gibson novel have no interest at all in what the AI does, so art
has become
a computer intelligence specialization, which, in a certain way, it
always was,
in run of the mill civilizations, at least.

Gibson sort of dealt with that in his earlier Count Zero, which involves
trying to track down an artist that turns out to be a computer program.
"The real
artist," thinks the character, :"is the one who made that machine."
There you have
the impending metalevel on which all future creative activity is likely
to be predicated.
And that's certainly reflected in the early postmodern style of the late
80s, in, eg,
Seinfeld, and also in the appropriation people of the time etc.

 It's very complicated to say exactly what IS postmodernism, because you can
find everything you think specific to today in the creative explosion of

There's a lot more I'd like to say but I've got to work.


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