Artful Intelligence (AI)

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Richard Lowenberg
Davis Community Network

Artists and creative activists have a unique opportunity and ought to act with greater social responsibility today.


Within the broad framework of information theory, the arts are recognized for their communicative efficiency and transcendence. The processes of creativity, though elusive, have lead mankind through historical mazes of uncertainty. In an information based society, creative development may assume an economic value comparable to that of the military in an industrialized society. Having learned to recognize the complex ecological interdependence of living systems and the environment, creative individuals and artistic ventures now have an all-important opportunity to take full advantage of the great independence and freedom inherent in their calling, to take a more active personal responsibility to be proponents of a true sense of ecology; a cultural ecology.


Art has now become an almost indefinable term. It is the irony of the Information Age, that reflecting the crisis of meaning in our lives, the arts are being relegated to the marketplace of mass-appeal superficiality; having become popularly synonymous with entertainment, fashion and commercial product. At the same time, the richness and diversity of indigenous cultures around the world, is increasingly being valued for its scarcity and novelty, while being exterminated and replaced by the greed of progress and ‘new world orders’.
If we take the incentive of applying our creative talents towards an ecologically considered future, we must be comprehensive. Society is in need of clear, intelligent, inspired visions. Such nonmaterial information resources constitute the true wealth and aspirations of a culturally secure community. As technological development shapes our concepts of the future, those artists working with new tools and processes, need to weigh the eco-cultural worth of their endeavors, against their merely being narrow-minded advocates of media based consumerism.


To call oneself ‘artist’, is either a grand conceit, or a bold decision to assume greater individual creative freedom. That freedom ought to carry with it, a responsibility for honesty and transformatively influencing intelligence. Artists, having chosen a freedom of aesthetic and intellectual vision and pursuit, are almost always at odds or in conflict with the prevailing social norm. This is precisely the artist’s value. The artist is in a way, the personification of society’s means of checks and balances; the promoter of individuality and nonconformity, amid the ever threatening systematization of an information-based world. Many artists and cultural institutions are working with deep, sincere integrity and dedication. Their perseverance and efforts must be encouraged.

(This pattern will cite the work and examples of a number of today’s artists and cultural activists, working with relevance to science and technology, the environment, social and cultural issues, and the betterment of lives in their communities.)

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