Structure Mapping

Pronounce the word artist, to conjure up the image of a solitary genius. A sacred aura still attaches to the word, a sense of one in contact with the numinous. “He’s an artist,” we’ll say in tones of reverence about someone creating works of art.

Yet the notion of the artist as a solitary genius—so potent a cultural force, so determinative, still, of the way we think of creativity in general—is decades out of date. So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date.

In artificial intelligence and cognitive science, the structure mapping engine is an implementation in software of an algorithm for analogical matching based on the psychological theory of Dedre Gentner. The basis of Gentner’s structure-mapping idea is that an analogy is a mapping of knowledge from one domain (the base) into another (the target). The structure-mapping engine, or SME, is a computer simulation of the analogy and similarity comparisons.

The work “Structure Mapping” investigates the relationship between the artist as genuine and his artistic methods. The methods used for this work are non-artistic. Even more, these methods are no methods but algorithms, making the artist obsolete.