Artificial Intelligence in Modern Art

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Artificial Intelligence in Modern Art

In my previous blogs I explained how Artificial Intelligence has been affecting different areas of art, like music, games and vfx. In this final blog I will talk on how Artificial Intelligence has created a new movement in contemporary fine art. This interests me a lot because as an artist I am also really fascinated by technology as a whole, and to see art and technology work this consistently together is really interesting for the future of art. Having said this, this also raises really interesting questions like, “Does it really classify as art if it’s produced by a computer?” and “How do you value artificial intelligence artwork?”

Google Deep-Dream

An image created by Google’s Deep Dream

Some contemporary artists and surrealists have started to use Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks as tools or as an automatism technique to create something else, exploring their artistic possibilities and in turn creating mesmerizing artworks. For example google has created an image manipulating neural network called ‘Deep-Dream’. The idea for creating this network arose when Google tried to construct an artificial network that searches for patterns from random subjects, like dogs and cats, in an image that does not have those subjects. The artificial network will try to find similar patterns from the random subjects in the image and enhance the patterns. When the image has gone through this process a number of times, it gives the image a dream-like look. One can find that in the result you can see surreal patterns from dogs or other animals. This is a tool which is easy to use by anyone and does not require any information in artificial Intelligence, you just input a picture and it will output a surreal dream (Rayner, 2016).

The Beauty of Artificial Intelligence Art

WDHC Dreams by Refik Anadol

Other artists are just using Artificial Intelligence to create something different and unique. German artist Mario Klingemann experimented with Neural Networks and Machine Learning to create different artworks in his exhibition Memories of Passerby I (2019). The neural networks he used are similar to the deep-dream network, and are two-part networks that are trained through a lot of different images. The first part tries to replicate the data given and the second part tries to compare the data given with the replicated one. This keeps on repeating itself until the second part cannot tell the difference between the different data. When the final image is created, the initial data is actually distorted or even juxtaposed which gives it a very surreal look (Schmitt, 2018) .

Another great artist that uses Artificial Intelligence as a medium is Refik Anadol. WDCH Dreams explores the orchestra’s 100-year history, and visualizes their future. Anadol and his team developed a unique artificial machine intelligence approach to apply to the entire LA Phil digital archive, about 45 terabytes of data. The results are large, mesmerizing and stunning visualizations.

There are a lot of other artists that are getting more popular because they are using this new and interesting medium. You can look more into these artists here.

What’s Next for Modern Art?

I think artificial Intelligence generated art is helping art be more available to more people, and at the same time AI more accessible. I think that is really important because oftenly people separate the creative world from the tech world. People have to decide which to prefer, either technology or art. Here we are seeing a hybrid and a connection between the two “stereotypical opposites” (Elizabeth, 2019).

Artificial intelligence art is normally compared to mass-produced prints of famous artworks. With artificial intelligence artworks, you have the potential to create infinite numbers of artworks at the click of a button. So is it really art? By definition art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” When thinking about it, even if the art is generated by Artificial Intelligence, it is the product of someone’s creativity in creating an algorithm and defining a training data set. So personally, I think yes, Artificial generated art definitely counts as ART.

References

arXiv, E. T. from the. (2020, April 2). Machine Creativity Beats Some Modern Art. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/2017/06/30/150666/machine-creativity-beats-some-modern-art/

Elizabeth, C. (2019, November 2). How Will Artificial Intelligence Influence Mainstream Modern Art? Retrieved from https://www.artificiallyintelligentclaire.com/artificial-intelligence-modern-art/

Rayner, A. (2016, March 28). Can Google’s Deep Dream become an art machine? Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/mar/28/google-deep-dream-art

Refik Anadol — Artist Profile (Photos, Videos, Exhibitions). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://aiartists.org/refik-anadol

Schmitt, P. (2018, January 9). Surrealist Networks: Machine Learning Art as Automatism. Retrieved from https://philippschmitt.com/archive/2018/notes/surrealist-networks

What Happens to the Surrealist Mindset in the Age of Artificial Intelligence? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://frieze.com/article/what-happens-surrealist-mindset-age-artificial-intelligence