Between Art and Technique lies a no man’s land. Where is the frontier, if any, that divides the engineering structure and the work of art? Does the artifact materializes out of the creative impulse or is it the outcome of a continuous accumulation of knowledge? Where does it end the device’s appeal and begins the creative act? Is the work of art nothing more than the environment pruned by the human action with the aim of communicating ideas, like a medium where past culture and conscience are gathered? (And if so, is the environment, shaped by other animals for intraspecies’ communication, just a natural object, that can be captivating but it sure lacks conscience?) Architecture has been, for several centuries, the vortex towards most of these questions converge. Recently, Photography and Cinema broadened the discussion by introducing an apparatus (the camera) and its complexity, and the chemistry that sustains the recording medium. Moreover, in the 20th century, leading visual arts’ experiments, such as the Gestalt theories explored in Bauhaus [1], dealt with research fields usually related to cognitive sciences and psychology. In this paper, we will try to address these issues via the analysis and discussion of a population-based Artificial Life [2] model and the observation of the images that result from its collective behavior.


The complete text was accepted by Leonardo journal (MIT Press) for publication (by the beginning of 2010).

This text is part of an Arts and Science project based on a Artificial Life model designed by Dante Chialvo and Mark Millonas, later extended to black-and-white images by Vitorino Ramos and Filipe Almeida, and then improved by Carlos M. Fernandes.