Explorations of AI Art — Episode 04
A collective based in Dublin, Ireland, diavlex is an amalgam of AI artisans, scientists, engineers, and machines inspired by AI. The collective’s vision of using Artificial Intelligence as a tool and a medium goes beyond the intention of creativity augmentation and aesthetic novelty. It is a fresh view on the use of AI and machine learning in art.
We met for an informal chat to understand more about their work, their exhibition at Cueva Gallery, and their ideas behind the use of these technologies. I share here our conversation.
Beth Jochim: What is the role of technology in your work? Do you think that Machine Learning (ML) and AI can make artists more creative?
diavlex: Technology is a key component of what we do. Our art, although deeply focused on the realities of our time, is inspired by AI and allows us to see the world from a new, colorful, and creative perspective. That being said, it is of supreme importance to us to maintain an active and fruitful collaboration between artists and AI. We truly believe that through AI and ML artists can explore new compositions, colors, and styles that offer different sources of inspiration and learning, which consequently improves the creative process as a whole.
This interactions will also benefit how new AI algorithms can learn and become better creative machines.
Beth J.: What can AI art bring to the spectators that is unique and different compared to more traditional art? Why should people collect AI art?
diavlex: This is a good question and there is not a single answer. In part, living in a digital age, it was only a matter of time before the art field became interested in incorporating technology into its practice. The use of technology has marked how digital art is created.
The emergence of digital art generated entirely or inspired by AI allows the public to live a unique and interactive experience, to overcome limits of perception and has the potential to enable the same public to co-create the experience by involving it in the process. That is, AI art has the potential to offer unique pieces that are personalized to individual taste.
The artist-public communication becomes more articulated and rich in meaning. Relating personally to the artwork seems to be a very good reason to collect.
Beth J.: We could say AI art has its own language and the tech savvy artist can modulate it. What’s your opinion about this? Do you feel to carry a special message for the spectators? Do you think there are still prejudices in accepting it as a form of art?
diavlex: Art can become an effective tool to convey ideologies, ideas and thoughts. Artists are not always understood by contemporaries, and this has been also the fate of great thinkers and writers. However, nowadays technology is an integral part of every person’s life and modifies collective behaviors and ways of thinking. We could, therefore, say that we are in a more advantageous situation to make the public understand a genre that is a child of its time. Certainly, doubts remain about the value of digital art. It is a matter of understanding, as with any other issue. Understanding can lead to accepting something that we initially refuse because we do not have the means of “reading” it.
Our point of view is that Generative AI Art, with its infinite possibilities, brings a different language and is able to stimulate not only the creativity of the artist, but also the ability to develop “divergent thinking” in the observer. Seeing the same things with different eyes is a step towards change. And we want the public to reflect on problems using new reading lenses.
Beth J.: “Residual” is a collection of works exhibited at Cueva Gallery. Can you guide us through it?
diavlex: Wildlife in this planet is threatened by human predatory actions across the Globe. If endangered and vulnerable species disappear what is their residual image and memory that remains? What is such image? Could a machine paint it? The artwork in “Residual” answers this question.
We taught a machine how to paint, not at the level of pixels, but as painter with brush strokes. Our technique involves a class of models called Neural Painters. Our Neural Painter together with a specially trained Super Resolution deep neural network are the main technology used in this collection. The results are bright color paintings depicting the main characteristics or ‘residual’ image of Jaguars, Turtles, Owls, Pandas, and others.
The AI artwork of this collection is very different from other AI art pieces, such as distorted portraits usually covered by the media. We want to show that generative AI art goes beyond such distorted dark images.
Note that each of the images in the collection is one of a kind, that is, no more than one exemplar can or will ever be produced. This offers the opportunity for collectors to own a truly one-of-a-kind work of AI art.
Chatting with diavlex has been interesting. It has confirmed how this new generation of artists are using technology to express deep meanings and touch the minds and souls of the public. AI becomes the way to reach a different point of view about problems, and the essential tool to express them. But at the same time it allows us to see the world from a new, colorful, and creative perspective stimulating a way of thinking “out of the box”.
The future of art is open, dynamic, democratic and ready to experiment. Stay tuned!∎
About the author: Beth Jochim is the Creative AI Lead at Libre AI, where she works at the intersection of technology and arts. She is currently exploring how AI can enhance the creativity of artists through an inspiring collaboration between the human mind and the artificial one. Beth is actively involved in different activities that aim to democratize the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, bringing the benefits of AI/ML to a larger audience. Connect whit Beth in LinkedIn or Twitter.