Back in May 2018 i wrote something about Artnome and Robbie Barat and meanwhile the Portrait of Edmond Belamy sold for an incredible $432,500 at Christie’s in October 2018 signalling the arrival of AI art on the world auction stage. There was a decent article somewhere about the actual quality of this painting and the concept of cashing out somewhere, i can not find it right now.
Jason Bailey has been busy not only writing about Exploring Art Through Data. He has curated an exhibiton on the history of AI and Generative Art in Switzerland called Automat und Mensch. And i was very tempted to buy a print by Frieder Nake. In fact i had printed out one of his very early works earlier and framed it. I guess there is a certain irony to printing an early plotter art work from the internet.
There is another exhibition that Bailey is working on. And the documentation of the work progress is worth a read. For example when Bailey cites Jared Tarbell: "Let’s imagine in this system that we create a line and we allow this line to draw. The line will continue to draw until it hits the edge of the screen or another line and then it stops and then two new lines form. New lines will also only form at right angles to existing lines. So those are the rules. But if we repeat this process over and over again, something amazing happens, so I am just going to let this go."
Of course Wunderkind Robbie Barrat will be part of the exhibition. Bailey writes: "Barrat has always been careful to describe machine learning as a creative tool and is hesitant to anthropomorphize the machine as an artistic partner. Barrat points out that with generative art made using machine learning, and specifically GANs (generative adversarial networks): A human chose the data set, A human designed the network, A human trained the network, A human curated the resulting outputs.
Barrat’s framing of GANs as a tool and his emphasis on the human contribution helps to explain why art made with machine learning varies so much from artist to artist despite using similar models. It is predominantly human creativity that is driving the creation of the work and human creativity that supplies the work’s purpose and meaning."
This perfectly sums up what is currently repeated by experts of the field over and over again. For example in this important text that made its way into my Twitterfeed only to finally bring me back to Artnome. Keep in mind: There is no such thing as “an artificial intelligence”. AI is a collection of methods and ideas for building software that can do some of the things that humans can do with their brains.
I will stop here. And start reading Rethinking the intelligence of machine minds. There is an intriguing question in the forweord: could it be possible that machine learning models also have a collective unconscious? Still reading. Still processing...