w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

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Re: w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

Post by christinekim » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:04 am

Cohen came up with a program called Aaron that concludes that art is created with a set of rules. There must be direction and reason for all types of art. The organization to this program is hierarchical with artwork on top and then mapping and planning, followed by lines and sectors, and finally movement control. These different types of levels make it impossible to know what type of artwork will come out when creating a piece. Aaron does not include any data or input so no one knows what kind of artwork it will come up with, as art should be. "It is a complete and functionally independent entity, capable of generating autonomously an endless succession of different drawings." Due to these different levels of hierarchy, Aaron is like a human being creating his own work of art because the brain consists of different parts that think of different things when creating a piece. "I believe that the constant shifting of attention to different levels of detail and conceptualization provides this human process with some of its important characteristics".

My example is a picture of a simple and creative activity anyone can do for fun. Balloons with different water color paint in them are spread across a canvas and all one needs to do is throw darts at them to pop. With this, different colors will splash all over their place and create a different piece every time. No one artwork will look like another one. Like Aaron, this piece of art can never be specifically planned and no one will know how the colors will all turn out.
after a few pops .jpeg

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Re: w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

Post by kendallecrawley » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:35 am

In his article “What is an Image?,” Harold Cohen discuses the process of art-making in attempt to define what an image is. He introduces the development of his computer program AARON, is a knowledge based program designed to model a human’s process of making art. By studying his own painting process and the decisions he makes, Cohen was able to establish a set of rules for AARON. The program AARRON is intended to create free-hand drawings, without any memory no two drawing are the same.

Cohen describes the images produced by AARON's artwork, as consisting of three photographic properties pertaining to view. The first is representational, which involves what the image’s appearance represents. The other tow are abstract, one regarding appearance with interest in other properties, and the other being abstract without representing anything specific.

Cohen explains how he created a set of rules for AARON to follow based on the idea that image-making and image-reading is mediated by cognitive processes. The state the program must have the ability to differentiate between figure and ground, to differentiate between open and closed forms, and to differentiate between insideness and outsideness.

Cohen then defines an image as something which represents something else. He suggests that when people draw something they attempt to represent what they see, or they think they see in the world, but their drawing does not correspond to what is actually there. Cohen notes that representation is defined senses of likeness, “in his meaning of the work is not like the thing represented. Images reference aspects of the world but consist of their own structure based on how the artist sees and interprets them. The image does not suggest that that the world is like this, but instead was interpreted to have been like this by the artist. who In general, an image is what the image-maker creates according to his understanding of his reality.

Here are several representations of images. They are shown side by side of a drawing of a photograph. As you can see they do not actually represent the image as it exists in the world, but instead represent the artists rendition of what they see. Cohen notes that the image-maker tries to record what exists for them as a cognitive unit.

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Re: w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

Post by kithugstrees » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:14 am

AARON, Harold Cohen's computer program discussed extensively in his article "What is an Image?", is programed to make art by following a set of rules that mirrors the artistic thought process of human beings. AARON creates free-hand drawings and, much like real artists, it is never truly known what AARON will create nor is any two image the same. There are three different artistic properties that it follows: representational, non-objective and abstract.

Cohen notes that the importance of image-making and image-reading and their differences to each other are what help him create the set of rules for AARON. These rules are actually the rules that I follow myself, sometimes even unconsciously: a focus on figure and ground and open/closed space.

I personally have reservations about machine made art. Even art created solely with photo-shop or any other art processing program kind of bothers me, but that may just be because I hardly know how to work such programs. And it's not to say that some of the art created by machines or programs are any less beautiful that those created by living, breathing artists. There's just something special to me about creating the art with my own hands. I feel a thousand times more accomplished if I persaonlly spent hours upon hours working on a piece of art, if I can look at my hands and see the paint and ink marks that are evidence of my hard work.

Here are a couple of AARON's creations, which I will admit full heartedly are pretty freaking awesome:

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Re: w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

Post by ewoodworth » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:16 am

In his article, Harold Cohen begins with a description of AARON, a drawing machine that is able to make images through mathematical algorithms. AARON is an interesting creation because it takes the image creating process, a process that has always been reserved for the sensible spectrum of human touch, and reduces it to mathematical calculations. AARON does not take into account aesthetics. It does not sense when one image will be more successful than another, it cannot prefer this drawing over the next. All of its movements are random and calculated through an algorithm; they are meaningless in the sense that they were unintentional. Why then, do we as humans try to push meaning onto images that carry no meaning to begin with?

The example of AARON helps underline the main argument in Cohen’s essay. An image is more than just a visual representation of something else; it carries with it the subjective, unintentional clues that we as human beings then transform into our interpretation of the image. It is within this interpretation that the true meaning of an image comes to life. Cohen refers to this phenomenon as an image’s “standing-for-ness.” He explains that there is a multitude of ways in which an image can stand for something else.

Because of the inherent differences in people and their perceptions, an image’s standing-for-ness is not always black and white. The way we perceive images is influenced by a number of things including culture, age, beliefs, and so forth. Sometimes an images meaning is completely unintentional at the time of creation, but then comes to life through the viewer's mind. That is why we see objects in clouds and religious fiigures in our toast like the example below. As Cohen states, “the intended meanings of the maker play only a relatively small part in the sense of meaningfulness.”
Virgin Mary Grilled
Cohen even mentions AARON having an artistic personality. It seems like a ridiculous claim; a machine with personality based solely on its construction of meaningless images. Yet as a human observer, the existence of a personality in AARON’s images is almost undeniable. This is the power of the image, the power to bring life to impossible assumptions of our own mind.

Because of its ambiguity, it might be easier to define an image by what it is not rather than what it is. According to Cohen, “a representation may be about appearance, but we never confuse the representation with the reality, no matter how ‘lifelike’ it is. In fact, we might rather believe that all representations of a given class are more like each other than any of them is like the thing represented. Life follows its laws, representations follow theirs.” The human eye can never confuse a representation with the object it is trying to represent. In the attachment below is an example of a vector image created by a program (Illustrator) in order to mimic reality. However, as close as the vector image gets to its photograph counterpart, it never truly compares. And to take it a step further, the human eye will never confuse a photograph with the real life object it is trying to depict. However, as technology advances, images are becoming closer and closer to reality, shifting away from representation and closer towards a “replicant” of reality.
vector example

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Re: w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

Post by jessicalaw04 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:53 am

Harold Cohen defines an image as an art-making process that is rule based. He created a computer program that would model how human behave in the process of art making with free-hand drawings, ARRON. Cohen categorizes art works in three photographic properties, which are representational (appearance), abstract (appearance with interest in other properties), and abstract (not representing anything specific).

Cohen states that he cannot find a particular meaning for art because of its constant changing and development based on culture. The ARRON project represents randomness of how art changes with the influences of medium, time, and culture. Below is an image of how people’s standard of beauty has changed over time, and artist Anna Giordano's 'Venus Project' gives the goddess a photoshop makeover to look more like todays 'standard' of beauty "in order to reconsider both the subjectivity of cultural standards and the inclination of modern society and advertising companies to edit most images of the feminine body in order to reach a fake perfection, corresponding to an unreachable reality."


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Re: w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

Post by karenyliu » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:32 pm

In the beginning of the article, Cohen starts by talking about his newly developed computer which was called AARON. It is a computer that analyzes human artwork and makes free-hand drawing. He continues to states that this computer he made was not an artist tool, not a transformative device, and does not learn…etc and hopes the audience could understand and appreciate his work as an individual identity just like an artist itself. The images AARON produces are consisted of three photographic properties: representational, abstract, and abstract with regards to not representing anything specific. We have to understand these properties that the images carried on in order to understand the drawings AARON makes. The cognitive programme of AARON helps it to differentiate between figure/ground, inside/outside, and open/closed forms. These rules along with cognitive function jelp explain how AARON works and the message that Cohen wishes to deliver to the readers how the cognitive process fuels images making and image reading. Over all, the program that determines AARON’s actions consist of cognitive function, randomness, planning/mapping, and many much more that even Cohen says that he does not fully understand the knowledge behind AARON’s actions. Cohen’s point of discussing his invention here was to clarify that “image-making will be discussed here as the set of modes which contains visual representation as one of its member.” Thus we know that Cohen focuses a lot on the visual representation.

Here’s an illustration I saw on the web. In this illustration you can see that people on running on the gears which are all connected together. The gears imply work and process, and the running figures on the gears represented the need to work together and move toward the same goal. I thought this illustration was pretty meaningful.
StickFiguresOnGears.jpg (8.95 KiB) Viewed 3850 times
Another image I chose to talk about is the image with a guy looking at his shadow which had wings on it. I thought this is a representation work of a kid desiring to be free from his life since this image was made in black and white too, which could also represent the feeling of dullness.

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Re: w05 What is an Image" harold Cohen

Post by j_j05ham » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:15 pm

Within the essay titled "What is an Image?" by Harold Cohen, the author/ artist speaks about his creative invention named AARON. The essay briefly explains the way AARON functions, mainly establishing that it is not an artistic tool but rather an artist. The purpose of AARON is to show the differences between different art styles or techniques, not necessarily to create artistic masterpieces or stay towards one art form. AARON simply draws and is no way automatically assumed to create works of art. In order to fully show the distinction of art and image, Cohen identifies exactly what an image is creative of and how an image is classified as art rather than simply an image.
Early in the essay Cohen identifies three key categorical misconceptions that images are usually identified under; "1. representational (concerned with the appearance of things), or 2. an abstraction (i.e. fundamentally appearance-oriented, but transformed in the interest of other aims) or,3. abstract (i.e. it doesn’t stand for anything at all)." Cohen understands that images can be vast in criteria and are usually immensely perplex and complex, thus not all can simply be categorized under one simple understanding.
Ultimately the essay goes on to say that the distinction between imagery and art is all perception. Within the article Cohen states, " Art-making is almost always a highly sophisticated activity involving the interlocking of complex patterns of belief and experience, while in the most general sense of the term image-making appears to be as "natural" as talking. All the same, art-making is a case of image-making." The two are intermingled and it depends on the audience ton determine weather an image is to be viewed as a higher piece or rather remain art the state of imagery. Basically art is create through the work of an artist and the audience processes those different ideas presented in the art and determines weather its unique or aesthetically pleasing enough to be considered art.
Cohen created AARON to function much like a living human artist in that it uses a thought process in developing its images. Thus, its up to the audience to determine weather AARON has created art or is simply developing images.
Image that seems less like art to me
Image that seems more like art at least to me

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