I thank Alan Johnson for his last comment focusing on the future. Our dialogue is to seek new ways of thinking about how art can be a transformative process to see the natural world, the universe and us in different ways.
One artist whom I admire is Agnes Denes. She embraces the transformative process in art. As one of the first to explore concept-based art, and the relationship of science to art, Denes also pioneered the environmental art movement. In all her endeavors she viewed herself as an artist “…to create an art that is more than direction, commodity or political tool—an art that questions the status quo and the directions life has taken…”(p.ix, Krause Ottman, “Introduction”, in “The Human Argument: The Writings of Agnes Denes”, 2008. Edited with an Introduction by Krause Ottman. Putnam, Connecticut: Spring Publication).
In my understanding of Denes, she expanded her practice of art by incorporating knowledge from different disciplines, which opened pathways for new visions for humanity. More than a generation ago, Denes wrote about new thinking processes regarding what it means to be human. In her book “Book of Dust: The Beginning and the End of Time and Thereafter” (1971-1987), she talks about how being human will need to be redefined, especially in relation to AI (artificial intelligence). Her future speculations are now our current reality. Ai-Da, an AI robot, is exhibiting her paintings, drawings, sculptures and video art at Saint John’s College, Oxford University (June 12-July 6, 2019).
From an evolutionary perspective, Denes sees the future “…when H. Sapient has long been extinct and only our descendants are intelligent machines, those sentient beings may remember us with awe and reverence, for humanity was but a form of organic life with such a simple chemistry that it could be created spontaneously from the dusts of the earth, and yet through random forces of evolution it somehow, wondrously, developed a good enough brain to create machine intelligence, the higher form of intellect that eventually succeeded its creator” (pp. 50-52), “Book of Dust”).