The author presents the idea that all human attempts to reproduce natural objects (“exemplars”) or their functions—that is, to build artificial objects or processes—unavoidably result in a transfiguration of the exemplars. After introducing the main concepts of a theory of the artificial, the author extends the theory to communication and the arts, both of which provide compelling examples of the generation of artificial objects or processes. The author conceives of art as a paradoxical communication process by which transfiguration does not represent a failure of the reproduction process but, rather, the true objective of the artist.

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