Art As Increase In Being

“A work of art belongs so closely to what it is related to that it enriches the being of that as if through a new event of being. To be fixed in a picture, addressed in a poem, to be the object of an allusion from the stage, are not incidental and remote from what the thing essentially is; they are presentations of the essence itself.”

Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method (2013)

Compare this with the discussion about AI-generated art and what it means for human creativity. Is it still art if artificial intelligence generates a visual output after processing a few words entered as a prompt by a human? Does the fact that the technical process of creating changes so that it is less dependent on specific human skills mean that the result is no longer art because the process involves less human creativity in the sense of craftsmanship? There were similar worries when photography became widely accessible. Yet, are all photographs the same – just images – or do we consider some art while some mere snapshots? This reveals our assumptions about what is the being of art. Gadamer saw it as an act of being that presents an increased being of that which it is about. Here is what he thought about photography, and I wonder if he would say the same about AI:

“Even today’s mechanical techniques can be used in an artistic way, when they bring out something that is not to be found simply by looking. This kind of picture is not a copy, for it presents something which, without it, would not present itself in this way. It says something about the original [e.g., a good photo portrait].”

Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method (2013)

keep exploring!

One thought on “Art As Increase In Being

  1. Pingback: Spreading the Word: Art, Understanding, Meaning – humanfactor

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