Tag: art (page 1 of 11)

Serious art, influencers, and AI

This is quite the article by Rob Horning. It begins with a social media spat between an influencer and an art critic, takes a brief detour into the philosophy of modernism, and ends with a discussion of AI-produced representations of the world.

I think Horning could turn this into a short book, particularly if he considers studies which show that the historical value of artworks and the critical reception of artists’ works tends to be as dependent on their ‘social networks’ and standing.

What, then, do “serious” critics expect “serious” art to do, given that it is not to make money or to provide emotional comfort or culinary enjoyment? One answer to that (and I’m deriving this from the Adorno-driven art criticism in J.M. Bernstein’s book ‘Against Voluptuous Bodies’) might be that art brackets off a space in which our ways of thinking and experiencing and representing the world can be tested for their continued coherence and validity. Art allows for epistemological problems to be articulated, if not solved.

Another related answer is that art holds open a space between experience and how it is conceptualized, seeming to manifest the otherwise indescribable, ineffable aspects of experience — the stuff that resists discursivity — and assures us that such a realm (the realm of freedom, if you believe Kant) really exists. If something can be completely described, then it is subject to full, mechanized determination; it can’t be free. Proper artworks can’t be fully described or “put to use” — they can’t be exhausted by critical discourse or ordinary consumption — so they reveal freedom to us. A critic’s work, from that perspective, succeeds by failing — when its strenuously efforts to describe a piece serve to reveal its inexhaustibility, its ability to renew its meanings from some impenetrable, possibly noumenal source.

An artwork itself embodies the same paradox: It may most succeed when it “eludes and fails visual and perceptual claiming,” as Bernstein puts it in describing a piece by Jeanette Christensen. A work’s “own power of proliferating discourse” is what it both “wants and refuses” because its significance ultimately depends on manifesting and holding open the gap between what there is and what can be described (or mediated, or simulated, or reproduced, or predictively generated), the gap between words and things, between the meanings we project onto things and “things in themselves.” That is, art can make palpable what Bernstein calls an “aporia of the sensible,” which makes it a reflection our experience of the crisis of modernity: the rationalizing disenchantment of the world, the scientistic instrumentalist mode of grasping reality, the commodification of experience under the pressures of capitalism, the “all that is solid melts into air” condition.

Source: Empire of the senseless | Internal exile

AI generated images with subliminal messages

You’ve probably seen some of these already. Someone discovered that if you use the generator for QR codes but feed it something different, it can create words from images.

There are lots more examples at knowyourmeme and you can try creating your own using KREA.

Nike subliminal AI images

ControlNet uses the AI image-generating tool Stable Diffusion, and one of its initial uses was generating fancy QR codes using the code as an input image. That idea was then taken further, with some users developing a workflow that lets them specify any image or text as a black-and-white mask that implants itself into the generated image—kind of like an automated, generative version of the masking tool in Photoshop.

“What happened there was that this user discovered that if they used the QR Code ControlNet but instead of feeding it a QR code, they fed it some other black-and-white patterns, they could create nice optical illusions,” said Passos. “You can now send a conditioning image and the model blends in a pattern that satisfies that while still making a coherent image at the same time.”

Source: AI-Generated ‘Subliminal Messages’ Are Going Viral. Here’s What’s Really Going On | VICE

The world’s largest climate-positive artwork provides food and nesting spots via algorithm

It’s interesting that this is being conceptualised as an ‘artwork’ rather than a technological intervention. Perhaps this is the way to deal with the climate crisis, by bringing algorithms from the cold, sterile environment of technology into the warmer, more joyful world of art?

This multidisciplinary project by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg explores the relationship between humans, nature, and technology and aims to draw attention to the importance of insects in pollination by creating an algorithmic solution for planting designs that serve a diverse range of pollinator species.

The project changes depending on location, debuting at the Eden Project in 2021 and includes 7,000 plants across 80 varieties. These provide food and nesting spots for insects with the aim to create the world’s largest climate-positive artwork.

This is not a natural ecosystem planted outside, there are plants from all over the world. With the expert group, we chose not to focus on native plants only because they are locally appropriate so they’re not invasive. So that’s the first thing⁠—it’s an artificial landscape designed for nature, so it’s a very different way of creating an ecosystem. The other big challenge to the art world that I’m proposing is creating a climate-positive artwork. I also show in museums and I use digital media and that’s all very carbon-consuming. Here, we actually have an artwork fabricated in plants. It has its own climate impact because of the soil we’re moving, the plastic pots, the shipping of plants, but it’s here for at least three years, so it starts to outweigh that negative. There’s also a question of how we measure that, and that’s something I’m really interested in.

The other thing that’s really important to me is upending the idea of value. The art market is all about the one, the singular, the limited edition. This is an unlimited edition. The idea is: the more people who have one, the better each one is because each one supports the other. For me, that’s a strong statement to make to commissioners and when I’m trying to get more partners involved. It’s a very different way of thinking about how we create art and what its purpose is. For me, this is about playfulness, joy and celebrating nature. I call it an artwork and not a garden project because I think situating it in that context makes a powerful statement in itself.

Source: An Interview with Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg | Berlin Art Link