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On the Significance of Automaticity in Image-Making Practices

Anscomb, Claire Rebecca (2019) On the Significance of Automaticity in Image-Making Practices. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:76754)

Language: English
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Automatic image-making techniques, or techniques that agents use to assist or replace some aspect of image-making, have been used since ancient times. Yet, there has been little philosophical discussion on this kind of image-making except in contemporary aesthetics, where discussions have largely centred around photography. This thesis aims to rectify this situation. To this end, I explore the philosophical implications of the historic and contemporary use of automatic image-making techniques, including drawing devices and printing technologies, that agents use to create images. I define two distinct kinds of automatic image-making techniques: those that are "external object dependent" and those that are "intentional object dependent". The former have widely been conceived of as epistemically valuable, but not aesthetically valuable like the latter due to misconceptions about the nature of intentionality in art production. Consequently, I develop an original concept of "creative agency" to explain how agents employ external object dependent automatic techniques to produce particular aesthetic effects and modes of picturing. I elaborate on these findings and, by exploring hybrid art kinds, offer a classificatory framework to identify when it is aesthetically relevant to appreciate the use of automatic techniques in particular art practices. I consider whether viewers are changing any of their beliefs about art kinds in the digital age and what impact this has upon the kinds of epistemic value that viewers stand to gain from looking at images produced using automatic techniques. I examine how contextual factors in the digital age affect these and offer a set of criteria to determine when the beliefs formed about the representational contents of an image are warranted. I examine a related claim: images produced using external object dependent automatic techniques enable viewers to actually indirectly perceive the object. I reject this and construct a novel account of the "presence phenomenon" to explain the particular phenomenological responses that viewers may experience before such images. Altogether, this thesis provides a unified approach for explaining the aesthetic, epistemic, and phenomenological significance of images made using various automatic techniques.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Friday, Jonathan
Thesis advisor: Newall, Michael
Uncontrolled keywords: Automatic image-making techniques Photography Printing Casting Drawing devices Optical devices Art Aesthetics Epistemology Phenomenology
Subjects: N Visual Arts
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2019 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Anscomb, Claire Rebecca.

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