Emergence, an important concept in science and philosophy – is the process of small, simple elements combining in some way to produce suddenly, wildly complicated and coherent forms, totally unpredictable from their simplest constituents.
In other words : the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Life is like that. The concept intimates that matter ‘wants’ to be alive and life ‘wants’ to be conscious, etc. Overuse of this useful notion can lead swiftly to ‘core belief confusion’ and madness – so it should be used with caution – yet there it sits!
Useful indeed: picking through a brain with tweezers, examining the single neurons, or the individual atoms of a dollar bill, or the binary state of machine code of a program, will not predict the startling effects at scale.
This is of great interest as we move into an utterly unpredictable future.
I have used some of this principle by having asked the software to radically simplify it’s rendering of shapes and prune much of the image away – the shapes are painted by a very thin, noisy spiral that conforms to the heavily abstracted seed contours. (You can easily see them if you look closely)
The formation of image fragments seems to fall into two forms : diaphanous and geometric. I don’t know why.
As it works its way through a huge stack of seed images, the program walks the line between diaphanous and geometric, rejecting some element of each seed and emphasizing others.
As usual, I have no idea of the result until it’s done.