Art by computing machinery: Is machine art acceptable in the artworld?

Eugene Ch’Ng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


When does a machine-created work becomes art? What is art? Can machine artworks fit in to the historical and present discourse? Do machine artworks demonstrate creativity, or are they a type of new media from which artists extend their creativity with? Will solely machine-created artworks be acceptable by our artworlds? This article probes these questions by first identifying the frameworks for defining and explaining art and evaluating its suitability for explaining machine artworks. It then explores how artworks have a necessary relationship with their human artists and the wider context of history, institutions, styles, and approaches and with audiences and artworlds. The article then questions whether machines have such a relational context and whether machines will ever live up to our standard of what constitutes an artwork as defined by us or whether machines are good only for assisting creativity. The question of intellectual property, rights, and ownership are also discussed for human–machine artworks and purely machine-produced works of art. The article critically assesses the viability of machines as artists as the central question in the historical discourse, extended through art and the artworld and evaluates machine-produced work from such a basis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
Issue number2s
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Art theory
  • Artworlds
  • Machine art
  • Machine artist
  • Machine artworks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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