I’ve never cared much for the work of Keith Haring, so perhaps its fitting that the artist whose work most resembles that made by a robot worried about a computer takeover. From the Keith Haring Journals:
“Do computers have any sense of aesthetics? Can an aesthetic pattern be programmed and fed into a computer so that it reasons and makes decisions based on a given aesthetic? Why not?
The role of the arts in human existence is going to be tested and tried. It is possibly the most important time for art the world has ever seen. The artist of this time is creating under a constant realization that he is being pursued by the computers. We are threatened. Our existence, our individuality, our creativity, our lives are threatened by this coming machine aesthetic. It is going to be up to us to establish a lasting position of the arts in our daily lives, in human existence.
If humans are expendable, then emotions, enjoyment, indulgence, creative aesthetic, and personality of human beings are expendable.
Question: As an artist aware of this situation, what should my position be?
Am I a comrade to the computer or to the entire history of humanity?
This is the question that the artist of our times has to ask, because it is we who will have to lead the fight against a machine aesthetic or prepare people for it”¦ The history of art rests on our shoulders.”
— October 14, 1978
There’s more where that came from. We’ll posting some choice quotes from the artist throughout the rest of the week in light of, well, our random interest and Art Basel Miami. Anyone looking to buy some Keith Haring will probably be able to find a few in the convention center.