Aesthetics, Language, History

It only takes a few colours, a few shapes for the human mind to impose order upon otherwise patterned chaos. Visual processing largely follows its own logical rules, not unlike language, physics or mathematics. Just as with language, visual aesthetics and the logical intelligibility of any specific imagery is partially hard-wired in the brain as structural predisposition; partially also absorbed and adopted or creatively interpreted from the stylistic vocabularies and taxonomies of any specific time, place or culture.

The biological evolution of neuroanatomical predisposition and perceptual processing implies a slow and lumbering potentiality for change over evolutionary time-scales and for this reason it is likely a relatively immutable system. Culturally-inculcated visual aesthetics are much more vibrant and dynamic. The incomplete logical flow and function of visual communication and symbol (or meaning) generation systems implies a rapidly evolving flux of image-based communications or processing systems and aesthetic conventions. The mass-density of such a system represents a self-gravitating, self-accelerating matrix of complexity and unfurling recursive convergence.

The image attached above was created by an unknown artist with the assistance of an Artificial Intelligence (Google Deep Style). I wonder if this particular constellation of colours and shapes would have been intelligible to a Renaissance-era visual sensibility. The art of previous eras maintains a certain retrospective or culturally-ancestral comprehensibility but would the art, communication or language of the far future make sense to us in the way that of the past does ?

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