Art & Meaning:
Mood, Vibe, System, and Data Geometry

Instructor: Peli Grietzer
Program: Art & Curatorial Practice
Credit(s): 1
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

In 1962, amateur literary theorist and mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov wrote, “A story is art only if the characters and situations it describes stand a chance of becoming standards of comparison, helping our intuitive (not only conscious) understanding and evaluation of people and situations from our own personal memories.” This seminar will present a mathematically informed interpretation of this thesis, using the conceptual framework of Kolmogorov’s own algorithmic information theory for inspiration, and a model of intuitive cognition based on a generalization of ‘deep learning’ (“artificial intuition”) systems. The resulting model of what we might call a literary work’s artistic meaning is especially resonant with Modernist and avant-garde ideas of artistic meaning and art-making, and invites us to integrate traditionally “metaphysical” ideas about the holistic, ineffable nature of the knowledge conferred by artistic meaning into a broadly cultural-materialist, broadly naturalist perspective on human cognition.

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