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Light and Machines: Aesthetics of Autonomous Behaviors in Light-Based Art


Light and Machines: Aesthetics of Autonomous Behaviors in Light-Based Art

Saunier, Alexandre (2022) Light and Machines: Aesthetics of Autonomous Behaviors in Light-Based Art. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This dissertation presents an examination of artistic practices with light that incorporate principles of autonomy, emergence, and interactivity. Through a combination of historical and practice-based case studies, it proposes a novel approach to conceiving, designing, and experiencing light as the product of material-technological-perceptual ensembles of elements that operate under regimes of real-time computation. The discussion draws on the fields of history and theory of technoscientific art practices, science and technology studies, and computer science and complex systems science to demonstrate how technoscientific light creations are characterized by the types of cooperative behaviors and actions shared between machines and humans.

The dissertation has two objectives: (1) propose a set of concepts and terms adapted to the practice and analysis of light works based on real-time computation, and (2) describe the establishment of a new interdisciplinary field of “light studies” that embraces the heterogeneity of practices that accompany the artistic use of light.

The dissertation is composed of four chapters. The first chapter traces the historical and theoretical evolution of technoscientific light practices through the twentieth century. The second examines Thomas Wilfred’s lumia, a pioneering body of work that introduces the temporality of machines into light-based art. The third delves into a series of works based on artificial neural networks to illustrate different forms of human-machine distribution and cooperation. Finally, the last chapter narrates the creation process of SenseFactory, a large-scale multimedia installation to illustrate the hybridity of material-technological-perceptual couplings that bring light into being.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Saunier, Alexandre
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:11 November 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Salter, Christopher and Howes, David and Hughes, Lynn
Keywords:light art autonomy complex systems lighting audiovisual arts emergence machine art Artificial Intelligence Artificial Life Composition cybenetic art instrument human-machine performance performance
ID Code:991741
Deposited By: Alexandre Saunier
Deposited On:21 Jun 2023 14:11
Last Modified:21 Jun 2023 14:11
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