If you think of the range of adjustable parameters for something like the paint synthesizer or MSG, then you can think of that as being a spatial landscape that you explore when you adjust the parameters. So any given location in that parameter landscape has an associated visual image or paint effect. Just blindly randomizing parameters can lead you to parts of the parameter landscape that aren't very visually appealing to you.
We have thought about trying to provide some sort of learning to the Evolution controls to try to incorporate user learning or feedback on good vs bad images or paint effects.
genetic type competition where the user can select a few winners and the machine "learns" would be vey cool-- after a couple of "generations" of selection the machine should be pretty adept at hitting the terrain the user is seeking. Similar to cellular automata only with a bit more user input.
That's more or less what I was thinking only stated with somewhat elevated vocabulary. My vocab has gone to the underworld for vacation as I've had little use to call upon it for years now... I've had more mental stimulation on this forum I think than any time in perhaps the last 3 years or so... I need to hang out with people who actually make me think... Unfortunately, I have difficulties finding any nearby.
Thought i would pass on this link to a 4 part 'Everything is a ReMix' video series. It's take on the elements of creativity (copy-transform-combine) and how it's based on recombination of what has come before (remix) has relevance to this discussion.
Passing on a link to an interview with Allan Snyder. Allan believes that some forms of creativity might be related to certain brain areas being de-activated, allowing the output of other brain areas to take precedent. He uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to temporarily turn off portions of people's brains while they perform different tasks. His results associated with using this while people are drawing are very interesting.
There's an interesting article in The Atlantic right now called 'The Creativity Pill', which discusses how people taking dopamine for Parkinsons's disease actually begin to develop an intense interest in visual art and start generating a lot of visual artwork. It provides some interesting insights (maybe) into the neurological components of 'what is creativity', and maybe what fuels or drives creativity in some individuals.
Of course the 'pill' apparently only works if you have parkinson's disease, so i would not recommend pursuing it as a creativity enhancer.
Anyway, it's an interesting article, and maybe of some significance for this general extended conversation on 'what is creativity'.
I have just posted a piece with text on the Nature of Creativity. See "On the way to the Center of Nothingness"
I thought some people might be interested in this new book on creativity. It's called The Runaway Species : How Human Creativity Remakes the World. There's a review and an interview with the authors on The Verge. They try to model creativity as being composed of 3 cognitive strategies, bending elements, blending elements, and breaking.
Here's a short quote from the interview about what they mean by those 3 strategies.
"In music, bending is a theme in variations, just taking an original and remodeling it in some way. Breaking is fragmentation of a theme, it’s motifs. And blending can be counterpoint where you’re playing multiple melodies at the same point. What we found as we’re researching is that those basic principles could be just reimagined and reapplied and sort of endlessly be fulfilling themselves."
They are using a musical analogy in that quote, but you could easily think about how to do the same thing when working with Studio Artist. Let's say by how you work with different presets in a PASeq to build up a final artistic effect. Or what's going on under the hood when working with a particular gallery show setup to strategically build up new effects. Or if you just do manual painting, how you might vary your normal multi-step approach to building up a finished painted canvas in a particular style.