Incidental Courses on Formal Esthetics, Algorithmic Art, Perception and Visualization       IAAA     Remko Scha

Formal Esthetics and Psychology of Perception

Remko Scha

Course at the University of Amsterdam, Department of Computational Linguistics, Fall 1991.
Teaching Assistant: Rens Bod

"No matter how complex, profound and fecund a work of art — or even the whole realm of art — may be, it is incomparably simpler than life. So the theory of art is really a prolegomenon to the much greater undertaking of constructing a concept of mind adequate to the living actuality."

Susanne Langer: Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling, Vol. I, p. 244.
Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967.

". . . l'objet d'avant-garde, aujourd'hui, est essentiellement théorique . . . ce sont les positions (et leur exposé) qui sont aujourd'hui d'avant-garde, non forcément les oeuvres. . . . révéler comme passé ce que nous croyons encore présent: la théorie mortifie, et c'est en cela qu'elle est d'avant-garde."

Roland Barthes in an interview by Claude Jannoud, Le Figaro, July 27, 1974.

"Our minds normally create out of what memory suggests. Thinking subjectively, we tend to reassemble familiar musical patterns. To avoid this needs deliberate objective reasoning and the use of thought-processes into which memory cannot obtrude. This was precisely the main reason for the flourishing of integral serialism . . . Total organization was, at that time, the only way to create the tabula rasa on which completely new edifices could be constructed."

Reginald Smith Brindle: The New Music. London: Oxford University Press, 1975, p.23.


I. Esthetics and Reality

Mary McCloskey: "Kant's Methodology and Presuppositions." In: Kant's Aesthetic, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1987.

Marcel Duchamp: "Apropos of 'Readymades' " (1961) In: Art and Artists, 1, 4 (1966).

Walter de Maria: "On the Importance of Natural Disasters." (1960) In: La Monte Young and Jackson MacLow (eds.): An Anthology. 1963.

Herman de Vries: "My Poetry is the World."

II. The Linguistic Paradigm.

S. Dik and J. Kooij: "Noam Chomsky en het transformationalisme." In: Algemene Taalwetenschap. Utrecht: Het Spectrum, 1988.

Remko Scha: "Taaltheorie en taaltechnologie; competence en performance." In: R. de Kort and G.L.J. Leerdam (eds.): Computertoepassingen in de Neerlandistiek. Almere: LVVN, 1990, pp. 7-22. [English translation: "Language Theory and Language Technology; Competence and Performance."]

Max B. Clowes: "Pictorial Relationships — a Syntactic Approach." In: B. Meltzer and D. Michie (eds.): Machine Intelligence 4. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1969.

Ray Jackendoff and Fred Lerdahl: "Generative Music Theory and its Relation to Psychology." Journal of Music Theory 25, 1 (1981).

III. Gestalt Perception.

Max Wertheimer: "Laws of Organization in Peceptual Forms." [English Translation of: "Untersuchungen zur Lehre von der Gestalt", II, Psychologische Forschung 4 (1923), pp. 301 -350.] In: Willis D. Ellis (ed.): A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.

Irvin Rock and Stephen Palmer: "The Legacy of Gestalt Psychology." Scientific American, December 1990, pp. 48 - 61.

Emanuel L. J. Leeuwenberg: "A Perceptual Coding Language for Visual and Auditory Patterns." American Journal of Psychology 84,3 (1971).

R. Collard, P. Vos and E. Leeuwenberg: "What Melody Tells about Metre in Music." Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 189 (1981).

IV. Complexity.

G. Birkhoff: "A Mathematical Approach to Aesthetics." Scientia 50 (1931), pp. 133-146.

R. Gunzenhäuser: "Birkhoff's Anwendungen." In: Maß und Information als ästhetische Kategorien. Baden-Baden: Agis Verlag, 1975.

Frans Boselie and Emanuel Leeuwenberg: "A General Notion of Beauty Used to Quantify the Aesthetic Attractiveness of Geometric Forms." In: W. Crozier and A. Chapman (eds.): Cognitive Processes in the Perception of Art. Elsevier Science Publishers, 1984.

D. Boekee and J. van der Lubbe: "Discrete Informatie." In: Informatietheorie. Delft: Delftse Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1988.

R. Gunzenhäuser: "Die Theorie Birkhoff's unter Informationsästhetischem Aspekt." In: Maß und Information als ästhetische Kategorien. Baden-Baden: Agis Verlag, 1975.

R. Gunzenhäuser: "Superzeichenredundanz." In: Maß und Information als ästhetische Kategorien. Baden-Baden: Agis Verlag, 1975.

V. Interpretation.

Ferdinand de Saussure: "Nature of the Linguistic Sign." In: Course in General Linguistics. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966.

Roland Barthes: "Syntagm and System." In: Elements of Semiology. Boston: Beacon Press, 1970.

Roland Barthes: "Denotation and Connotation." In: Elements of Semiology. Boston: Beacon Press, 1970.

F. Thürlemann: "Paul Klee: 'Pflanzen-Analytisches'." In: Vom Bild zum Raum. Cologne: Dumont, 1990.

VI. Analogy.

Bipin Indurkhya: "On Computational Approaches to Metaphor and Analogy." In: Metaphor and Cognition.

VII. Artificial Art.

J. Pierce: "Information Theory and Art." In: Symbols, Signals and Noise. London: Hutchinson and Co., 1962.

François Morellet: "For an experimental programmed painting." In Exhibition Catalogue François Morellet, Nationalgalerie Berlin, 1977.

François Morellet: "From the spectator to the spectator or the art of unpacking the picnic." In Exhibition Catalogue François Morellet, Nationalgalerie Berlin, 1977.

Harold Cohen: "What is an Image?" Proceedings International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Tokyo, 1979, pp. 1028 - 1057.

Remko Scha: "Artificiële Kunst"
Informatie en Informatiebeleid 6, 4 (1988), pp. 73-80.