AARON
Harold Cohen

AARON has been called the original software meta-art.

First launched in 1973, AARON is a piece of LISP software which Harold Cohen has programmed to draw and paint stylized images on its own - not from stored images, but from an algorithmically defined "imagination" and aesthetic sensibility. Over the past 30 years, Cohen has developed the project as research into visual representation. AARON raises a number of questions. Can a computer program really hold the answer to "How do people make art?" Can an artist's subjective aesthetic sense be translated into a formal instruction set? Should it be? If AARON is art, are AARON's drawings art? If so, are they AARON's art, Cohen's art, or both? Many of these questions have continued to arise over the history of algorithmic art.

Recent software discourse has questioned software's imposition of its aesthetic sensibilities on the human user. But, what if the software *is* the user, compelled to conform to the subjective aesthetics of its human programmer? AARON reminds us of the subjectivity and human-ness of programmers - that digital aesthetics come from human aesthetics. Its influence can be seen in contemporary software art, from generative and algorithmic works to projects dealing with authorship, as well as in digital aesthetics-centered projects.

Although AARON has spent most of its life as a studio artist, in recent years it's branched out and become a screensaver as well. The download link provided is to the screensaver. The homepage link is to Cohen/AARON's home page. Also see: http://www.cea.mdx.ac.uk/CEA/External/Researchers/Ed/Work/A.I&Drawing/A.I.&.Drawing.html. A web search for Harold Cohen and AARON will reveal more texts for the curious.

feature about this project: AARON


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project homepage: http://crca.ucsd.edu/~hcohen/
keywords: representation-lisp-authorship-subjectivity-process-
intuitive-archetype-seminal-imagery-1970s software for windows and the Internet
category: artificial intelligence
uploaded by amy, 07 Mar 2003




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