Computers and Creativity

edited by Jon McCormack and Mark d’Inverno
Hardcover, 2012, 430 p., published by Springer, Berlin. ISBN 978-3-642-31726-2 (Book) 978-3-642-31727-9 (eBook)
With a foreword by Margaret A. Boden.
Available now from Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), the Book Depository or Springer direct. Publication date: 3 September 2012.

required reading for everyone involved in the creative arts and interested in the role of technology towards shaping its future

—Professor Luc Steels, Director, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Paris, France.


This interdisciplinary volume introduces new theories and ideas on creativity from the perspectives of science and art. Featuring contributions from leading researchers, theorists and artists working in artificial intelligence, generative art, creative computing, music composition, and cybernetics, the book examines the relationship between computation and creativity from both analytic and practical perspectives. Each contributor describing innovative new ways creativity can be understood through, and inspired by, computers.

The book tackles critical philosophical questions and discusses the major issues raised by computational creativity, including: whether a computer can exhibit creativity independently of its creator; what kinds of creativity are possible in light of our knowledge from computational simulation, artificial intelligence, evolutionary theory and information theory; and whether we can begin to automate the evaluation of aesthetics and creativity in silico. These important, often controversial questions are contextualised by current thinking in computational creative arts practice. Leading artistic practitioners discuss their approaches to working creatively with computational systems in a diverse array of media, including music, sound art, visual art, and interactivity.

The volume also includes a comprehensive review of computational aesthetic evaluation and judgement research, alongside discussion and insights from pioneering artists working with computation as a creative medium over the last fifty years. A distinguishing feature of this volume is that it explains and grounds new theoretical ideas on creativity through practical applications and creative practice.

Computers and Creativity will appeal to theorists, researchers in artificial intelligence, generative and evolutionary computing, practicing artists and musicians, students and any reader generally interested in understanding how computers can impact upon creativity. It bridges concepts from computer science, psychology, neuroscience, visual art, music and philosophy in an accessible way, illustrating how computers are fundamentally changing what we can imagine and create, and how we might shape the creativity of the future.

More information on the Computers and Creativity web site.

The book was launched on October 19, 2012 at Goldsmiths, University of London.

See also: an article in Monash news and a recent article in ‘The Conversation’.

Endorsements for Computers and Creativity

If I had to pick just one point out of this richly intriguing book, it would be something that the editors stress in their introduction: that these examples of computer art involve creative computing as well as creative art.

—Professor Margaret A. Boden, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Sussex.

A wonderful collection of articles from some of the best in the field. The book fantastically illustrates what an exciting time this is for the interaction between computers and the creative process. Computers are really starting to surprise the people who programme them.

—Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.

Full of information and insights about the creative partnerships between computers, artists and musicians, Computers and Creativity is a timely book that does not shy away from tackling tough questions like where the creativity lies in art made by machines and how improvisation between human and non-human performers can be modelled.

—Jane Prophet, Professor of Art and Interdisciplinary Computing, City University of Hong Kong.

This is a challenging, thought provoking, and important book. Challenging because it forces us to confront issues about our relationship with intelligent machines; thought provoking because it asks many difficult questions, some of which do not as yet have answers; and important because it tackles the issues of machine intelligence and artificial creativity in a non-trivial, non-hysterical profound manner.

—Rob Harle, Review in Leonardo journal

This volume serves as a great example of the diversity of ideas, technologies, and projections that characterise the study of computers and creativity in the early 21st century. The book is a welcome source for any researcher or student of computational creativity and is likely to become a central reference within the field.

—Thor Magnusson, Review in Computational Culture: a journal of software studies

Reviews