Public debate on artificial intelligence today oscillates between the emergence of superintelligence, where mathematics solves all problems, and the apocalyptic scenario in which machines run amok, wrest control from humans, and, in the worst case, destroy them. This dichotomy permeates the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and art, constricting our understanding of the interplay between algorithmic and human processes. Moving beyond the perception of machine learning as a mere statistical inference tool, the research looks into a particular configuration from the theory of emergence and complex adaptive systems (CAS), in which algorithms act as cognitive entities entangled with humans.
Following this paradigm, the thesis examines an alternative mode of “being-with” with algorithms, grasping them as material artistic processes where the libidinal operates in the form of artificial desire, foregrounding sensuousness in coding and training as an indispensable component of cognition. Therein lies its original contribution: through the implementation and examination of adaptive algorithms, from a simple 2D random walk to the complete CAS, that fuse human experience with AI’s reinforcement learning, it carries a potential to redefine philosophical discussions about creativity, authorship, and the nature of art itself.
Methodologically, the enquiry draws from postmodern, new-materialist, and old new-materialist approaches of Lucretius that all reside outside of dialectic divisions between subject and object or active form and passive matter. In particular, the research amalgamates concepts of non-linear and non-integer (multi-)dimensionality and the libidinal to advance the framework of libidinal geometry which enables a form of algorithmic expression that is not miming human expression, but is the result of emergent processes and artificial cognition. Moving away from traditional aesthetics towards notions of “found” (à la Duchamp) and my own take on 3D printed objects, where a form is produced through material flows of algorithmic trace, the art emerging from libidinal geometries of complex adaptive systems is truly a product of 21st Century.
Keywords: found object, complex adaptive systems, emergence, 3D print, libidinal geometry