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Is it Art if it's Done by a Computer?

What makes something art? Does it need to be done by a human?

I was looking through my photographs the other day and found this computer-transformed version of one of my photos. While the image is of a culvert underneath the road we live on - a fairly mundane photographic subject - I liked the cheerful colors and "brushstrokes" of the computerized version. The colors are richer, and the plants have a beautiful texture and ability to hold light.

By contrast, here's the original:

It's accurate, but the colors aren't as rich and there's nothing ethereal about it. On the other hand, by contrast it makes the colors in the "painting" version look a bit too saturated at first. But after a few moments my brain normalizes the painting version and I enjoy it as a depiction of a playful world of light and color. There's something diaphanous or other-worldly about it that my eyes keep going back to.

Which do you prefer, and why?


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