September 11
    With Partnership of the Embassy of the State of Qatar to the Russian Federation
    September 11
    With Partnership of the Embassy of the State of Qatar to the Russian Federation.
    Generative Aesthetics results from the reconfiguration of ordinary experiences and concepts, which typically serve as givens to be utilized in constructing new worlds. As a project interested in the remaking of perception and experience, Generative Aesthetics also relates to what philosopher Nelson Goodman calls Worldmaking, which implicate the myriad practices of constituting worlds through our aesthetic, scientific, philosophical, and political forces.

    Often we build worlds to understand the mindset of others. Even if we insist that there is only one possible world, we might want to explain how those who oppose our views arrive at their counter realities and how our views relate to theirs? Here, Worldmaking can paint a picture of the world, which inhibits diverse sets of logics.

    In just what sense there are many worlds? How are worlds made? What role myths and culture, as well as symbols and signs, play in the making? How is Worldmaking related to knowing? Many different world versions are of independent interest and importance, without any requirement or presumption of reducibility to a single base. Worldmaking does not underrate construction and reduction. Reducing one system to another can make a genuine contribution to understanding. The interrelationships amongst world-versions; So long as contrasting world-versions not all are reducible to one. In a world made up of other worlds, unity isn't an ambivalent or neutral fact beneath world-versions but in a larger organization encompassing them.

    Throughout the history of philosophy, worldbuilding transpires vis-a-vis its constitution, a practice that is manifest historically via the transformations of dominant and hegemonic structures of the world as they pass through the structure(s) of the mind. In turn, through such mutual constitution, history and mentality unify into the structuration of concepts until, finally, everything from the structure of symbolic systems of sciences, philosophy, the arts, perception, and everyday discourse are implicated. What we call the world is, in fact, nothing but a diversity of conflicting versions of many worlds in the making. Worldmaking starts from the multiplicity of worlds, the spaciousness of the given, and the creative power of understanding. This process, on the one hand, requires an emphasis on myth and the comparative study of cultures and, on the other hand, on an analytic and differential understanding of multiple systems of symbols and signs, and methods of naming and representation.
    We can have words without worlds but no world without words or other symbols. Worldmaking begins with the already existing worlds; thus its making is always remaking.
    Art, even in some of its most unsophisticated forms like drawing, painting, and sculpture, also engages worldmaking, though the angle of construction and material practice. This approach, sooner or later, finds itself entangled in the problems of symbols, signs, and, more importantly, our everyday realities. However, since the judgment of art is subject to the primary categories of perception and aesthetics, worldmaking in art on the sensual level plays out according to its ability to conjure possible worlds with precise and cohesive formal claims. It is through creating visual and sensual systems of logic, images and situations that make new sense, art manages to create new worlds.

    As different aspects of Worldmaking as outlined by Goodman, the works in the exhibition are divided into the following themes.
    1. Decomposition & Composition

    Let's start with the question of the sensible and take seriously the metaphors that artists use to restructure how we understand our experiences. Art history identifies sensibility as a creative force and external to our rational pre-concepts, as the basis of all understandings. This process is not a search for knowledge but recognizing the world's plastic essence outside the pre-ordered unity between the world and its image situated in nature. Through the process of composition & decomposition, we hack the existing world to create new worlds, shattering the unity between man and nature, between art practice and intellectual thinking. Thus, Art-making decomposes our past and recomposes a new becoming, not only to match our new politics and ethics but also to implicitly usher new historical forces from the past into the future which are only unconsciously at play.

    When the artist takes an image, a structure, or an environment as their source for worldmaking, they are engaging in the process of decomposition and composition. Decomposition transpires as the process of taking apart certain elements of an environment or structure, removing the ordered logics that prexist to open up an aperture for re-composition. Consider the re-imagined public square, human body, items of clothing, or architectural facets, which, when separated from their original source material, are decomposed and pushed into a new order of possibility. After such sources are decomposed and, therefore, taken apart, they are converted into the realm of appropriative world-building. The canvas, the sculptural semblance or the installation space shows how recomposition comes into being, a novel space of possibilities.
    2. Weighting

    To weigh is to consider how certain elements are prioritized in worldmaking. This is, often, an inventive and intuitive process that goes unrecognized due to its subconscious form but reflection shows that weighting always precedes ordering. To weigh is the critical intellectual step that comes before ordering. For the artist, in particular the artist who takes their surrounding world as source material, weighting is the process of distinguishing those relevant and pertinent truths to unspool upon a medium of choice.

    The common sense idea of truth accompanies a ready-made world, equipped with built-in structures, which art and sciences reveal itself in many forms of realism through measurement and knowing. However, the world is nothing without the artefacts that give it weight and prioritize its elements in time and space. This process turns worldmaking into a real practice by making tangible only certain objects, allowing them to be exhibited in museums or simply photographed or digitally documented and shared in the global sphere. Thus, the artist's responsibility is to survey our moment, engaging in the act of weighing to bridge the gaps and the asymmetries of our time.

    Consider, for instance, sculptural works: emptied out luggage, where only the structural bones remain, or an object study with the original source material reconceived by unconventional substances. Certain logics are retained, with different orders given unique "weight"; this process of weighting is precisely what tethers us to the real world: we may see a distorted bust or two sketched faces, one hallowed out with a path weaving through where the eyes, nose, and other such indexes of personhood would be. Certain indexes are given more weight, more critical purchase, than others. In turn, weighting is what allows us to, despite the process of reinvention, keep us grounded with certain cues and recognizable elements.
    3. Ordering

    If "weighting" is a pure and intuitive unconscious process that only reflection reveals, "ordering" is the active facet that accompanies "weighting." "Ordering" is an experimental re-construction, it is the engine driving composition and takes those ingredients separated and prioritized in "weighting," stitching them together to produce a new world-image. Every work of art is "ordered," so to speak, such that distinct elements of the artist's foreign world of worldbuilding are underscored.

    The first step in ordering the world is to accept that there is no meta-perspective that might grant it objective factitude. The artist does not seek to do the work of the scientist and, thus, the artworks do not seek to simply reflect those physical, chemical or mathematical causal processes which preoccupy natural science. Rather, ordering accepts that the aesthetic reimagined logic that the artist brings to the world by way of the artwork has equal critical purchase.

    Worldmaking, as a generative aesthetic task, is a diffracted mosaic rather than a uniform mirror, with the pieces coming into form through human agreement. Thus, even given the world's realist backdrop, it is "ordering", as it relates to the intentionality of observers that allow for new compositions to become stitched into a common backdrop. In an open and pluralist universe, any ordering reveals the fabricated nature of the artist's claim to aesthetic truth. Ordering seals crevices, with the need to conform to veridicality replaced by distinctly human play. Often, ordering will reveal certain indexes to the literal world: a completely abstract sculpture with variegated colors, entirely foriegn to the natural world, will nonetheless remind the viewer of a human face at times, due to two eye-like slits. Similarly, an ambiguous and abstract landscape with inverted colors will, nonetheless, feel familiar. The artist is, thus, the figure of the deconstructivist par excellence. In their deconstructing any presumptive order, the artist proves by way of their artwork that just when we may presume we have understood our social fabric, our political sphere, or the "laws of linguistics" properly and thoroughly, there is always a hitherto neglected viewpoint. In making the familiar look strange, if only for a moment, ordering demonstrates the certainty of our taken-for-granted beliefs, understandings, and prejudices. If ordering is always an implicated artefact in-itself, it serves as an asymptote.
    4. Adding & Subtracting

    If ordering is put under the microscope we see that it is, in fact, a processual and mutual arrangement made up of adding and subtracting. Consider the abstract landscape painting, perhaps reminiscent of a cave painting or architectural study, where certain liberties have been taken in worldmaking. There are, thus, elements added from the artist's field of imagination and, simultaneously, facets of the real world subtracted to allow for the canvas and the artwork to come into their own. For the artwork to speak to truth, any notion of objectivist reality must be subtracted and subordinated to the will to invention. This can occur on a far more abstract level as well: stratified vertical lines of verdant green and soft hues of blue are interrupted by splotches of bleeding paint; adding and subtracting weave in and out of one another, allowing for such interruptions and displacements.

    Adding and subtracting are not simply visual phenomena but occur on the level of truth-making as well. This is precisely why this process is not merely limited to the artwork but to the world within which the artwork is posited; worldmaking seeps far beyond the gallery space or the space of the viewer. In turn, neither the artist nor the art-goer is not safe from such "additions" either, as worldbuilding "subtracts" the art-goer from the neutral space of observation into active participation and, for the artist, precisely the opposite occurs. Perhaps the neologism viewser [viewer + user] is more apt, because addition and subtraction occurs at the level of invention, with the artist and art-goer exchanging roles within the newly fabricated world. Thus, viewership is a necessarily social act within the malleable space of aesthetic possibilities and epistemic reasons, profoundly context-dependent.
    5. Metamorphosis

    Quantum scientists may tell us of a world of mechanical interactions that are unobservable to the naked eye and beyond our ordinary concepts. Newtonian physics gives us a different version of the world, one marked by a distinct causal profile and determined by "equal and opposite reactions." Outside the laboratories of science, however, playwrights, poets, and writers prod us forth into a world of the sensible, a world where we are ushered into the emotional import that the artwork unfurls. Thus, metamorphosis is the final step in worldmaking, as it reveals a newly fabricated world within a diffuse and pluralist constellation of many-worlds.

    As the previous steps each detail, the painter, sculptor, or filmmaker plucks moments from this sundry world through a mix of conscious and unconscious operation, taking familiar slivers as their imaginative springboard. Within this new space of reasons, letters from the alphabet can be seen escaping open crimson lips and ambiguous object-studies suggest the weightiness of furniture; that is, certain remainders of the past world allow us to navigate this open space with some degree of familiarity while, simultaneously, we have metamorphosed alongside the artwork, occupying its reality.

    The artwork, with its suspended logic, does not lay claim to "rightness" any less or more subjective than the kinds of "truth" proclaimed in the sciences. For the artist, the generative aesthetician, this means that the world of the artwork is equally a "world-as-given" and, at the same time, a "world-as-possible." Such is the metamorphosis of generative aesthetics, where we step into a blend of reality-with-fiction, remainders of the familiar bedaubed by abstraction, surrealist shadows and shapes.

    Thus, the metamorphosis that concludes worldmaking demonstrates that we must first see a ''world'' cloaked in idiosyncratic features of a specific representational scheme that we can decompose and then recompose. By weighting and then ordering, we add and subtract certain familiar logics, using artworks to render a new atlas-like descriptive system that scales all the way up to our set of beliefs. This is the true critical nature of generative aesthetics, for so often the logic of art and abstraction defies our handed-down logics. The metamorphosis of generative aesthetics can ward off the descriptive empirical evidence that we have grown accustomed to.