The artistic in aesthetic and the politics of loyalty

                       (c) The New Yorker

                      (c) The New Yorker

The fuzz about robots producing "artworks" brings about actuality of fundamental dichotomy between art and non-art. Robots might (and surely will) be able to produce enjoyable and perfect aesthetic symmetries, enticing and attractive visually. They are able and will be to improve the technique of producing aesthetic material, which has little to do with art. Art is a language. This language manifest infinite number of poetic and visual appearances, forms and structures. I would say that this also applies to creative production retroactively, meaning that most of historical museums of "art" hold in their collections products of craftwork. Robots and craftsmen are in this sense synonymous. The richness of authentic poetry in creative production defines identification of the result as the piece of art. In this sense, furthering the statement of Peter Osborne's statement about all contemporary art being post-conceptual, I would say that all historical products of creative labour is either conceptual, or has little to do with art. We look at Hieronymus Bosch or Lucas Cranach oeuvre with admiration because both were not only are outstanding in technical production, but most importantly had the conceptual agenda, for instance, of eroding the institutions of power that dictated norms, aesthetic standards and specific functionality of the "artistic" production. 

                       (c) Denis Maksimov

                      (c) Denis Maksimov

The relation between poetry as artistic component in creative production is similar in the spirit to relation between loyalty as unconditional support (what Machiavelli was calling "love"), manifesting power, in politics. The aesthetic, functional component in creative production stands for design, where aesthetics is "tasked" to serve specific purpose - propagate specific  set of principles, etc.  In political it is similar to dichotomy between holding on to power versus possessing control - where power is sustained by loyalty and legitimate support, while control at the other end is resting on forced obedience and fear.