What are some artworks relevant to EA?
post by Lizka
This is a question post.
[Question motivated by personal interest: I’m asking for myself, not for my employer.]
I’m interested in a wide variety of media; the two most important factors here seem to be relevance to EA and the inherent coolness of the artwork. We could use this an opportunity to crowdsource examples and kick off a conversation about art and EA if there’s one that “wants to happen.”
Some things to consider:
- Creative data visualizations
- Animations or videos
- Comics or graphic novels
- AI-generated art
- Symbolic art
- Especially cool scientific art
- E.g. penicillin art, or pretty scientific illustrations like this and this (although they might be less relevant)
- Relevant photography
- Fiction or other writing
- Musical works (although there’s already a question [EA · GW] on the topic)
- Board and video games?
- E.g. the paperclips clicker game (warning: don’t click if you’re easily addicted to something and don’t have a few hours)
- Random EA-related art
- Inspirational art
- Visual art that inspires compassion towards the very neglected
- Insightful art
- ...including parodies and satires
If you don’t think the relevance of your answer(s) is obvious, you might consider explaining it.
If you’ve made some art you think is relevant, I’d really love to see it. I realize that it’s quite intimidating to post art (at least to me), but even if you don’t want to share publicly, I’d really appreciate any private sharing you’re comfortable with. (But I do encourage you to share it on the Forum if you can!)
Some relevant tags and posts:
answer by CarolineJ
) · GW
We could make a collection of pictures that capture the concept of "caring for future generations". I have been moved and inspired by this picture of John Kerry signing the Paris Agreement with his granddaughter on his lap. He said that she represented future generations.
answer by ag4000
) · GW
Ted Chiang's "The Lifecycle of Software Objects" (included in one of his collections of stories, Exhalation) is a fascinating exploration of digital sentience.
Apuleius's The Golden Ass is an ancient novel (the only complete surviving Roman novel!) in which the protagonist accidentally turns into an ass. Although I haven't read the novel, Peter Singer seems to think that it is a good vehicle for conveying empathy towards other animals.
J.M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals is a peculiar story of a novelist (much like Coetzee himself) delivering a set of lectures on humans' treatment of the other animals, along with surrounding tensions and encounters.
↑ comment by Lizka ·
2022-01-17T18:52:19.641Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
I absolutely love that Ted Chiang story (and so many of the others, in both that collection and the other).
Thank you so much for the other recommendations!
answer by david_reinstein
) · GW
I thought you might also highlight classic, historical, and even ancient works that convey important ideas?
↑ comment by Lizka ·
2022-01-17T06:45:03.031Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Good point. Here are a couple of historical pieces & thoughts on types of things historical art can do.
[Disclaimer: written quickly, links are half-assed.]
- Picasso's Guernica (see Wikipedia -- it's a very famous anti-war/anti-Fascist painting from 1937). I think it probably deserves its fame as a powerful way to communicate the horror of the war.
There are many more extremely moving pieces of art from other terrible historical events. Notebooks from GULAG camps by Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya survive. (Some images here --- note that they're quite graphic.) There's Goya's Disasters of War. There's a ton of cool (and sad) plague art of various kinds (some of "plague" art is leprosy art, actually)
There are paintings and depictions of awesome (or interesting) historical figures. E.g. you can search for cool paintings of Frederick Douglass (there are many).
I could make the argument that some forms of art are EA-related because they can give viewers today a sense of connection with the relatively far past, and then we can extrapolate into the far future. Fayum mummy portraits often make me feel this way; these are paintings of people who lived 2000 years ago, some of whom look like people I know. I also sometimes feel this way about reconstructions of ancient people. On the flip side, really ancient art that's minimalistic & modern-looking also sometimes gives me this feeling.
Some Fayum mummy portraits:
I think some art illustrates thinking-of-the-time in interesting ways. Take this painting that depicts proverbs (iirc, it was made for a collector-- it should definitely not be thought of as "folk art"). There's a bunch of "scientific art" that's interesting (or interesting to study).
Some really old art (e.g. 1, 2) just impresses me so much (by surviving, still being beautiful) that I too want to make things that will last.
Some art is tied to fascinating historical events. For instance, Galileo's drawings of the moon (or Robert Hooke's fly eyes).
While we're sort of on the topic of art history: I remember going to an exhibition that explains how much different objects of art would have been worth to Northern Europeans in the ~16th century (in terms of how many cows things would cost), and reading the associated blog post, and found it really interesting. (This was a while back, so I don't remember how relevant it was, but it might be.)
Replies from: Stephen Clare, TobiasH
↑ comment by Stephen Clare ·
2022-01-17T13:44:09.606Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
There's lots of great paintings of utopias or apocalypses too, like the Garden of Earthly Delights (though not clear if it's utopic or apocalpytic!)Replies from: Lizka
↑ comment by Lizka ·
2022-01-17T19:04:14.157Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Good point. Also, Bosch's stuff (e.g. the Garden of Earthly Delights, which you linked) has a bunch of moralizing/satirizing that's arguably relevant. For instance, his famous "Ship of Fools" painting is an illustration of Plato's allegory representing "the problems of governance prevailing in a political system not based on expert knowledge" (or generally coordination issues, rhetoric-vs-demonstrated-skill, etc.).
answer by elteerkers
) · GW
I loved this post!! This website has a bunch of art collected that people have submitted because it inspires them to feel existential hope: https://www.existentialhope.com. It's not been updated for a few years now but I work for Foresight Institute who created the website and this year we are going to do a big re-vamping of it. If you have more of this type content I think it would be great to feature on the XHope web :)
answer by EricHerboso
) · GW
At Effective Giving Quest, we’re aware of several video and board games that are relevant to EA, either because they deal with the topic of EA directly or because the developers behind the games are EAs themselves.
We have not yet launched, and so are still in the process of standardizing a way for EA-friendly developers to commit to giving a set percentage of their profits toward EA causes. Once we do this, we should have a much more comprehensive list of relevant-to-EA video and board games that we can share with the EA community.
I'll come back to edit this post with a list of EA-relevant games after EGQ launches.
↑ comment by Tyner ·
2022-07-01T20:31:24.696Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
What are the EA games you mentioned here?Replies from: EricHerboso
↑ comment by EricHerboso ·
2022-07-02T03:41:04.187Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Effective Giving Quest hasn't quite officially launched — when we do, we will be certain to post an announcement on the EA Forum. But EffectiveGivingQuest.org did somewhat quietly go live today.
Unfortunately, we're not yet ready to host a full list of games either about EA or created by EAs, but I can share a smaller list of non-commercial games if you're interested.
Right now, Effective Giving Quest is in the process of working with several game developers and publishers that are receptive to EA. When we finally get to our hard launch, you'll be able to see several commercially available games listed on our site. But until we get to that point, all I can offer is this unofficial short list of non-commercial games.Replies from: Tyner
answer by Harrison Durland (Harrison D)
) · GW
I’ve actually had a concept for an EA/EA-adjacent drawing/painting stuck in my head for a while now, but 1) I can’t recall/determine whether it is just closely related to something someone has already made and I saw, and 2) I suck at drawing/painting, so I was hoping to see if there were any more-artistically inclined people who might be interested in realizing the concept.
Basically, it’s a symbolism-heavy painting about anti-death/longtermism/human striving, with most (~80%) of the left side darkened/shadowed, followed by a line of people on the right edge of the shadow, containing a variety of scenes of humanity/life, including one or two people trying to pass on a torch to someone/somewhere off the canvas.
(I have plenty more details written down, but I’ll leave it at the basic idea here. If anyone 1) has seen something similar that I may just be forgetting, and/or 2) is interested/inspired to work on it further, just let me know! I would be personally very interested in seeing such a painting, but I totally lack the artistic skills to make it happen)
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