[Humanist] 26.70 aesthetic computing

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jun 9 22:46:05 CEST 2012


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 70.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>                      (110)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.68 aesthetic computing

  [2]   From:    James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>                      (29)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.68 aesthetic computing

  [3]   From:    Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org>                               (8)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.68 aesthetic computing


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 16:19:32 -0400
        From: Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.68 aesthetic computing
        In-Reply-To: <20120607200824.C348F283DEF at woodward.joyent.us>


As serendipity would have it, a colleague of mine here at UF (Sophia Acord)
alerted me to this list. So I just joined and look forward to learning more
about relationships between computing and the humanities. I am just now
trying to dig into some of the archives.

I also wanted to let readers know that there is a very recent online
encyclopedia chapter on aesthetic computing with five critiques, including
Sophia's.

http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/aesthetic_computing.html

All of your criticisms are most welcome on this chapter which admittedly is
skewed toward aesthetics as strongly influencing grounded (embodied)
cognition. Kelly's encyclopedia (and critique) is more comprehensive:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclopedia_of_Aesthetics

-paul (from the funded coven :)

On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 4:08 PM, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 68.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>        Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2012 15:38:38 -0700
>        From: Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>
>        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.67 aesthetic computing
>        In-Reply-To: <20120606210633.D3B4A28243E at woodward.joyent.us>
>
>
> The only difficulty in this notion is that Æsthetics, as a branch of
> philosophy, traditional, is even more vague and ambiguous a realm, and
> resistant to [the absolute of] definition that is the Moral branch [pace E.
> Kant].
>
> How can it be blithely assumed that more than a [funded(?)] coven may have
> a useful clue about the matter?
>
> Jascha Kessler
>
> On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 2:06 PM, Humanist Discussion Group <
> willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:
>
> >                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 67.
> >            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
> >                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
> >                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> >
> >
> >
> >        Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2012 07:04:20 +1000
> >        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
> >        Subject: aesthetic computing
> >
> >
> > Some here may know of a movement known as aesthetic computing, begun by
> > Paul Fishwick and others at the University of Florida, launched at a
> > conference in Dagstuhl, Germany, in July 2002, and now discussed in an
> > edited volume, Aesthetic Computing (MIT Press, 2006) as well as in
> > numerous other places, including Fishwick's site, "The Content is in the
> > Machine", http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~fishwick/aescomputing/. The following
> > is quoted from his introduction to the book:
> >
> > > Aesthetic computing is the application of aesthetics to computing.
> > > The goal of aesthetic computing is to affect areas within computing,
> > > which for our purposes, will be defined broadly as the area of
> > > computer science. With respect to aesthetics, this goal also includes
> > > the idea that the application of aesthetics to computing and
> > > mathematics, the formal foundations for computing, can extend beyond
> > > classic concepts such as symmetry and invariance to encompass the
> > > wide range of aesthetic definitions and categories normally
> > > associated with making art.
> >
> > It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with computing in the
> > arts that the journal Leonardo and its executive editor Roger Malina are
> > deeply involved.
> >
> > What seems to me especially significant about this movement for the
> > digital humanities is the reversal of the usual tendency to think of
> > computing as an external impacting force coming down on the disciplines
> > of the humanities to which the disciplines then respond. And this is
> > much more than formulating interesting problems for computer scientists
> > to solve so that people in the arts can get on with their work. This, it
> > seems to me, is a partial realisation of the much overlooked fact that,
> > as Michael Mahoney used to insist, Turing's gift is a scheme for the
> > devising of indefinitely many computings, limited only by the human
> > imagination (which of course has no limits).
> >
> > So what about the other disciplines with which we are concerned? How
> > about a *literary* computing in Fishwick's sense? Or, to bring back a
> > discarded term, how about a *humanities* computing?
> >
> > Comments?
> >
> > Yours,
> > WM
> >
> > --
> > Willard McCarty, FRAI / Professor of Humanities Computing & Director of
> > the Doctoral Programme, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
> > London; Professor, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics,
> > University of Western Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
> > (www.isr-journal.org); Editor, Humanist
> > (www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/
>
>
> --
> Jascha Kessler
> Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
> Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648
> www.jfkessler.com
> www.xlibris.com




--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 16:24:33 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.68 aesthetic computing
        In-Reply-To: <20120607200824.C348F283DEF at woodward.joyent.us>


I don't think the idea of aesthetic computing is too far out there.  While
aesthetics broadly defined seems vague and ambiguous, this field of study
is capable of generating specific principles for the evaluation of beauty,
ugliness, or for helping us understand how an artistic product generates an
emotional effect.  These principles don't have to be universally held, just
coherent within a specific context.

However, since code is always going to be a combination of words, numbers,
and special characters, I'm not sure that aesthetic computing could ever be
distinguished from literary or humanities computing: I think it is the way
that literary or humanities computing would be understood.

The idea of an aesthetic computing is very interesting to me, but I'm
wondering how the scholars working in this field answer some obvious
questions: if we're applying aesthetic principles to coding beyond
symmetry, simplicity, and invariance, what form would these take and what
difference would they make?  Why does it matter if coding is pretty beyond
these three principles?  If it's not about the coding but about the final
form of the products of coding, doesn't that return us to the traditional
domain of aesthetics -- literary and artistic products, even if they only
exist digitally?

Jim R


--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2012 19:51:13 +0100
        From: Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.68 aesthetic computing
        In-Reply-To: <20120607200824.C348F283DEF at woodward.joyent.us>

On 06/07/2012 09:08 PM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>
> The only difficulty in this notion is that Æsthetics, as a branch of
> philosophy, traditional, is even more vague and ambiguous a realm, and
> resistant to [the absolute of] definition that is the Moral branch [pace E.
> Kant].

Clearly it needs the rigor of digital methods. :-)

- Rob.





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