By George Stiny
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Extra info for Algorithmic Aesthetics: Computer Models for Criticism and Design in the Arts
This aesthetic system contains interpretations of sequences of sixteen tones. Interpretation algorithms and reference algorithms of similar aesthetic systems based on alternative modes of understanding are given in subsequent sections. The evaluation algorithms and comparison algorithms of these aesthetic systems are given in chapter 8. These aesthetic systems are presented for pedagogical reasons only. They are purposefully as simple as we can imagine. Even so, the details of specifying the algorithms of these aesthetic systems are fairly complicated.
The first tone in the sequence is encoded by an asterisk (*). Each subsequent tone is encoded by U, R, or D, depending on whether it is higher than the preceding tone, repeats the preceding tone, or is lower than the preceding tone. " For example, the URD-description of the first sixteen notes of "God Save the Queen" is *RUDUUURUDDDUDDU. The URD-description of the opening sixteen notes of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor is *RRDURRDURRDURRD. This method of describing sequences of sixteen tones is well defined but is rather coarse in the informational sense.
The original of a picture and a forgery might be indistinguishable by "merely looking" at them, but they may be aesthetically different for a criticism algorithm. Thus, we disagree with Beardsley because he would insist that two pictures that are indistinguishable by merely looking at them can have no aesthetic differences. However, a receptor might construct the descriptions of the two pictures by "merely looking" at them. In this case, their descriptions would be the same and there would be no aesthetic difference between them for the criticism algorithm.