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STATEMENT


Behavioral Art

Both of the images below are comprised of the exact same number of black pixels and white ones - binary values of on or off, one arranged, one in random order. Which do you recognize and which is meaningless? Actually, objectively (in the a priori universe) both are. Meaning comes from people, not the stuff people look at. Intelligence is not an inherent property of external entities to be passively recognized, but an active projection onto sensations we interpret as behaviors, organized by what we assume (in a ToM fashion) are other minds.

There is nothing inherently 'depictive' about a list of binary options. Though non-humans (probably not other animals and definitely not computers) do not organize meaningful sensory data, so much as enact instructions by rote as if they understood, human audiences and observers tend to impulsively project meaning onto meaningless sensations.

This is the Heider and Simmel (1944) experiment in attribution theory. They noted a type of anthropomorphization, where people recognize personalities in most any inanimate stimuli.

For instance, we might interpret a meaning from lists of binary values, whether a pixel is on (white) or off (black). All graphics (any sensory input we might think organized, for that matter) are just arbitrary translation of objectively meaningless lists of data, for audiences to make into something sensible - for themselves.

This is the Richard Gregory (1979) experiment that is recognizable in motion, but rarely from stills. These experiments are related examples of borrowed intelligence.

In reaction to this experience of meaning-making, people subtly alter their behaviors (both conscious and unconscious). In this system we call Behavioral Art [BA], the object is fairly trivial, accept that it might initiate an experience that would result in a mental performance by the audience. A simple example of BA would be an animal one sees in the clouds, though this is not art, in that it is not an intentionally created artifact. An artistic embodiment might be dance (the behavior), in response to music (the BA).


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