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 #002:[february issue] 

> aesthetic computing
exploration of artistic methods and processes



On the brink of a revolution, how do we think about models for computing, and ultimately, representation in mathematics? "Programming is typically viewed as a low-level activity underneath the umbrella of software engineering. This view should change if we are to more clearly represent programs as models, while relegating textual programs to the status currently occupied by assembly language -a necessary, but low level construct," explains Paul Fishwick. Aesthetic computing explores the use of artistic methods and processes within common representations found in computing.

[table of contents]:

> paul Fishwick, a model maker
> the aesthetic program

> seminar on aesthetic computing


> [source+references+grafik]


aesthetic computing, aesthetic programming, artistic computing, art computer, artist driven computer science, computer science, visual programming, 3D programming, scientific visualization, game-console generation


february 15, 2002


> press release


>paul Fishwick, a model maker

Paul A. Fishwick is the inventor of the term "aesthetic computing."

Fishwick is Professor of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. Has industrial/government production and research experience, doing CAD/CAM parts definition research and studying engineering data base models for structural engineering. His research interests are based in modeling, simulation and computer arts. Fellow of the Society for Computer Simulation (SCS), and Senior Member of the IEEE, he founded the comp.simulation Internet news group (Simulation Digest) in 1987. He has chaired workshops and conferences in the area of computer simulation.

"I am a model maker by nature. The craft of modeling is to exercise analogy and metaphor in the construction of scientific and artistic products. The terra cotta sculpture, differential equation, analog computer, and finite state machine are all models made of matter. Even the most abstruse model formalism is made of matter if one is to use it for communication, and non-manifested mental models are represented in those wet organic hardware synapses inside your head. There is no escaping models and their effect on your thinking. My understanding of a thing is largely dictated by the models I bring to bear on the situation; without the model, there is no familiarity mechanism."

At the University of Florida helped to create the Digital Arts and Science program, a collaboration between the College of Fine Arts and the College of Engineering, that prepare hybrid artist/engineers. Awarded with a grant from the National Science Foundation to study ways in which aesthetic media and presentations can be used in creating formal models for Computer Science. Paul Fishwick defined Aesthetic computing as "the study of artistic, personalized formal model structures in computing." For him, we can be "on the brink of a revolution in how we think about models for computing, and ultimately, representation in mathematics."

>the aesthetic program

"By marrying traditional methods for computer programming with an artistic temperament, we give birth to a new phenomenon: the aesthetic program. Our work builds on visual approaches in programming as well as modeling for software, where I envision a gradual evolution from program to model. The need for the aesthetic model is strengthened with the importance of personalized, individually-tailored, models. I, and my students, have formulated the rube Project methodology around the use of 3D web-based virtual world construction of models. Initial results suggest that these models are artistic, while containing sufficient symbolism and concise metaphoric mapping as to be executable on a computer

... More work needs to be done in inculcating the importance of the arts inside of the metallic computer box, and within the virtual spaces inhabiting the box. It's not just necessary that the box, monitor, and interaction devices be stylistic-we also need software that is aesthetic and of considerable sensory appeal. It is only by doing so, that we can reinvent programming to be more humane, and interestingly, to become closer to traditional engineering which has historically managed to forge alliances with style, as in the field of architecture

... In preparation for the game-console generation to enter University, and for their expectations of immersive environments, at the University of Florida we have created a new set of engineering programs in unison with our College of Fine Arts. These programs are called Digital Arts and Science (DAS), and their aim is to educate a new breed of student who is as familiar with sketching, textures, sculpture, form and music as with data structures, discrete math, and translation theory. Our vision is that these students will have the aesthetic sensibilities to take advantage of the rapid technologies that now support fast 2D/3D graphics and audio."
>from "Aesthetic Programming by Paul A. Fishwick" [pdf] , december 5, 2000 (to be published in Leonardo in 2002)

>seminar on aesthetic computing

Dagstuhl seminar 02291: Aesthetic computing. From july 14 to 19, 2002 (Dagstuhl, Germany). With Paul Fishwick (univ. of florida, usa), Roger Malina (leonardo, mit press, usa), and Christa Sommerer (atr media, japan).

This workshop represents an investigation in alternative, cultural and aesthetically-motivated representations for models found in computer science. Example model types include automata networks, flow graphs, software visualization structures, semantic networks, and information graphs. Models serve a variety of purposes from modeling the behavior and dynamics of software, or a physical system, to modeling the static information relations among concepts.

The motivation for the workshop is best seen in light of the wave of rich, personalized sensory modes being made more economic by the perpetual march toward faster and better interfaces. If it were possible to build software models from any material, and with great speed and agility, what new forms of expression would we craft? If the Holodeck from Star Trek were here today, how would we construct these models, or even the fundamental mathematical representations underlying them? An inherent assumption can be drawn that with the right economy for Holodeck-like 3D, immersive environments, we would be building our models much differently than exemplified by the textual and diagrammatic forms populating our existing media. Cheaper, faster and more expressive methods of representation will burgeon given recent trends in hardware and software, and this will lead to an emergence of aesthetics and artist-driven approaches to model representation. Flat, and relatively standardized textual, modes of communication are present primarily for economic reasons, and as the economies shift, we need to study new modes of expression in mathematics and computer science. Scientific visualizations tend to present output, and not the model structures that, when simulated or executed, drive the output. Aesthetic Computing heralds a new beginning for model representations where art and science come together, with art in direct support of science.

Aesthetic computing may also be understood to be "Artistic Computing" or perhaps even "art computer" to differentiate it from "computer art" -- the infusion of artistically motivated representational schemes into models for computing (i.e., art computer) rather than the employment of computing tools in support of creations of pure art (i.e., computer art).
>from "Introduction of 2002 Dagstuhl seminar on aesthetic computing"

Paul A. Fishwick site

Aesthetic Programming by Paul A. Fishwick
december 5, 2000 (to be published in Leonardo in 2002)

Introduction of 2002 Dagstuhl seminar on aesthetic computing

aestheticcomputing group at yahoo! e-groups

Aesthetic Computing Methodology


metallic box +
mathematics patterns by students at UH class +
aesthetic computing at visIT +
van leeuwenhoek microscope +

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