Creative Agency as Executive Agency: Grounding the Artistic Significance of Automatic Images

Date

2021-09-15

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This article examines the artistic potential of forms of image-making that involve registering the features of real objects using mind-independent processes. According to skeptics, these processes limit an agent’s intentional control over the features of the resultant “automatic images,” which in turn limits the artistic potential of the work, and the form as a whole. I argue that this is true only if intentional control is understood to mean that an agent produces the features of the work by their own bodily movements alone. Not only is this an unrealistic standard to uphold, but I show that a definition of intentional control based on the skeptic’s position does not prohibit an agent from realizing the features of an image by means beyond their own actions. An agent can exercise intentional control over the features of an image if they successfully anticipate the effect that the remote consequences of their actions will have on these. This, I argue, entails that to exert intentional control over the features of an image is to exercise “creative agency,” which is a species of executive agency. Consequently, I defend the idea that the origin of automatic images in creative agency grounds their artistic significance.

Description

open access article

Keywords

Citation

Anscomb, C. (2021) Creative Agency as Executive Agency: Grounding the Artistic Significance of Automatic Images. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 79 (4), pp. 415–427

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Art and Design