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12.10 The Arts

Computers have long been used to create purely aesthetic artifacts. Much of today's computer art tends to ape traditional drawing and painting, producing static pictures on a computer monitor. However, the immediate advantage of the computer screen -- movement -- can also be exploited. In both cases evolutionary computation can and has been exploited. Indeed, with evolution's capacity for unlimited variation, evolutionary computation offers the artist the scope to produce ever changing works. Some artists have also worked with sound.

The use of GP in computer art can be traced back at least to the work of Sims (Sims1991) and Latham.1 Jacob's work (Jacob20002001) provides many examples. McCormack ( 2006) considers the recent state of play in evolutionary art and music. Many recent techniques are described in (Machado and Romero2008).

Evolutionary music (?) has been dominated by Jazz (Spector and Alpern1994). An exception is Bach (Federman, Sparkman, and Watt1999). Most approaches to evolving music have made at least some use of interactive evolution (Takagi2001) in which the fitness of programs is provided by users, often via the Internet (Ando, Dahlsted, Nordahl, and Iba2007Chao and Forrest2003). The limitation is almost always finding enough people willing to participate (Langdon2004). Costelloe and Ryan (2007) tried to reduce the human burden. Algorithmic approaches are also possible (Cilibrasi, Vitanyi, and de Wolf2004Inagaki2002).

One of the sorrows of AI is that as soon as it works it stops being AI (and celebrated as such) and becomes computer engineering. For example, the use of computer generated images has recently become cost effective and is widely used in Hollywood. One of the standard state-of-the-art techniques is the use of Reynold's swarming "boids" (Reynolds1987) to create animations of large numbers of rapidly moving animals. This was first used in Cliffhanger (1993) to animate a cloud of bats. Its use is now commonplace (herds of wildebeest, schooling fish, and even large crowds of people). In 1997 Reynold was awarded an Oscar.

Since 2003, EvoMUSART (the European Workshop on Evolutionary Music and Art) has been held every year along with the EuroGP conference as part of the EvoStar event.


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