Q&A with Holly Grimm

Welcome to Q&A, a new series from the editors of Artists + Machine Intelligence. Each week, we’re featuring collaborators working at the intersection of art and technology. Follow us on Medium to read new posts every Tuesday. You can always reach us at artwithmi@google.com

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Holly Grimm in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Courtesy of the artist.

Holly Grimm is an artist and software engineer, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She began applying machine learning techniques to her own painting practice after taking an online course on creative applications of deep learning with Parag Mital. In 2018, Holly was one of 8 scholars selected for OpenAI Scholars’ inaugural class. As a freelance creative technologist at Google, Holly works closely with all six artist grant recipients to advance and refine their model development and deployment. You can follow her on Twitter at @hollygrimm.

What is your current state of mind? Excited by the positive results from the [AMI] artists’ projects so far

Describe a typical Tuesday: My day starts with 15 minutes of meditation, four rounds of Wim Hof breathing, yoga or spinning, a hot shower followed by two minutes of cold shower, breakfast. Downstairs to my home office/art studio for my first meeting at 8:30. I’ll then check on the training status of several machine learning models, write some code, run dataset preprocessing, and answer any questions the artists have. Lunch and two more meetings. Life drawing with friends from 6:30–8:30pm.

Currently reading: Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith — it puts me in a dream state right before sleep…

Just started watching: Better Call Saul Season 5

Album or song on repeat this month: Thurston Moore’s Spirit Counsel

Your favorite place on ‘the Internet’: The Modern Art Notes Podcast — Tyler Green’s interviews with contemporary artists and curators are enlightening, fun, and inspiring. I especially loved his interviews with Pipilotti Rist and Stanley Whitney.

What makes you happy? Plein air painting and hiking with my partner and our dog around New Mexico. And writing code!

Which came first for you: art or tech? Both art and tech. At age 4, I’d copy the drawings of cells from the blackboard in my mom’s cell biology class.

What are you working on? I’m training generative adversarial networks (GANs)on my plein air and life drawings. I’m interested in capturing the essence of form with quick gestures. With a proper dataset, a GAN can condense years of art practice into several days of training. You can see some examples of recently generated work: Subtle Bodies

Artwork you’ve been thinking about lately: I’ll soon be incorporating 3D GAN techniques into my practice, so I’m loving the 3D sea creatures that Sofia Crespo has been creating.

Artist not working with AI that should be: Mark Dion collects a huge volume of things ranging from rainforest plant specimens to trash on the beach. He could use machine learning to classify, analyze, or generate new and interesting work while maintaining the Victorian aesthetic of his work.

Most exciting development in AI that can apply to artists: Every month, there are exciting developments in machine learning for artists, and when there is a new model I’d like to run, I use RunwayML to quickly sample it.

Advice for artists working in technology: Things are just now getting interesting with AI. Don’t feel like it’s too late to jump in!

In 2020, I want to see more: cross-disciplinary collaboration between artists and scientists.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, tell us about a woman you admire: Xiye Bastida, a member of the Otomi-Toltec Nation, is one of many courageous young women facing the issues of climate change and social justice.

Artists + Machine Intelligence (AMI) is a program at Google that invites artists to work with engineers and researchers together in the design of intelligent systems.

Questions? Feedback? Tweet us or email: artwithmi@google.com

Artists + Machine Intelligence

Artists + Machine Intelligence

Written by

We bring artists and engineers together to realize projects with machine intelligence at Google.

Artists + Machine Intelligence

This publication showcases collaborations with artists, engineers, and researchers as part of Google’s Artists + Machine Intelligence program.

Artists + Machine Intelligence

Written by

We bring artists and engineers together to realize projects with machine intelligence at Google.

Artists + Machine Intelligence

This publication showcases collaborations with artists, engineers, and researchers as part of Google’s Artists + Machine Intelligence program.

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