Muta – Morphosis
Germen, Murat (2013) Muta – Morphosis. In: Papanikos, Gregory T., (ed.) Issues on Education and Research. ATINER (Athens Institute for Education and Research), Athens, Greece, pp. 73-86. ISBN 978-960-9549-33-2
Official URL: http://www.atiner.gr/docs/2013PAPANIKOS_CONT.htm
Marshall McLuhan, Canadian professor of English literature once said: “We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us.” As soon as the use of digital tools and processes started in art and design, the creative output began to be influenced by these tools, processes and evolved into a new aesthetics. Computers seem to have very precise and strict rules about how one uses them and this concrete ‘mechanical’ aspect leads to the perception that abstract notions like spontaneity and serendipity cannot exist in the course of digital creation. This view is challenged both by scientists and artists. One of the early and significant efforts is ‘Cybernetic Serendipity’; the first large international exhibition of electronic, cybernetic, and computer art which took place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, UK, from 2 August to 20 October 1968. “The title of the exhibition suggested its intent: to make chance discoveries in the course of using cybernetic devices, or, as the Daily Mirror put it at the time, to use computers ‘to find unexpected joys in life and art.’” (Usselmann, 2003). Creativity is stochastic and assumptive in nature. The importance of randomness in the creative process must not be ignored, underestimated or intentionally disregarded in a condescending way. Notions of chance, randomness, or unpredictability are much important, especially when it comes to artistic creation. For instance, artistic movements such as Surrealism and Dadaism “used impossible, incongruent images to provoke unexpected truths and sentiments through metaphor, mistake, absurdity, spontaneity, and serendipity.” (Hinrichs, 1995) This dimension of unexpectedness can be taken to the apparently paradoxical conception of ‘aesthetics of failure’ level; where, be it good or bad, you find accompanying abstract concepts of surprise, luck or chance. These concepts are quite in harmony with the phenomenon of internet, where non-linear navigation is of intrinsic nature. Internet surfing is a fantastic practice of serendipitous discovery, in which getting lost to find an unanticipated result or content is highly typical.
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