A Perspective on Perspective and on the Genesis of Generative Narrative

Work presented at GA2011, Generative Art Conference, Roma (5-7  December 2011)

Aesthetic artifacts produced by computational systems have been the focus of our previous work, namely through the development of an analytical model that addressed the procedural affinities found in these systems. This model attested to the importance of computational characteristics and of procedurality as conceptual foundations and aesthetic focuses on their own right. By studying sets of inherently multimodal artifacts, we discovered that sensorial modalities are more than aesthetic or communicational resources: they also mediate the logical and mathematical structures that are found in the artifacts’ processes. The methods through which we – the human counterparts in the cybernetic aesthetic experience – build an awareness of the processes within the artifacts, displace and remold our sensorium and result in what we may call a procedural modality. This is dependent on sensorial modalities but unlike those it is for the most part an intellectual process: reception happens sensorially, while perception is a cognitively developed epiphenomenon. The sensorium mediates the experience of the artifact and the brain fabricates perception, developing simulations of varying accuracy that through processes of patternicity and agenticity try to reduce the sensed complexity and to anticipate the outcomes of the witnessed processes. When experiencing an artificial aesthetic artifact, we watch it perform while we simultaneously perform it, we probe its structure and draw the connections needed to participate in and comprehend it. Even if most of the times unwillingly, we simulate its processes and create our own parallel sequences of probable events as the artifact unfolds. In the interaction with these systems, anticipation, the validation of simulations and the eventual violations of expectations, play a major role in the creation of narratives or narrative-like experiences. As with other aesthetic constituents of these systems, narrative and drama may either be hard-coded — much as they are in traditional or non-procedural media — or they may be emergent. This paper proposes an approach to how the creation of narrative can be understood in the context of performative or interactive generative systems, in an attempt to integrate in our model the perspective variable, originally proposed by Espen Aarseth in his study of ergodic texts.

Year 2011
Type Conference Proceeding
Publication GA2011, Generative Art Conference
Pages 332-334
Local Roma
Language English