Is ‘artificial intelligence art’ really art? Yes, says this California gallery

By Rachel Metz, CNN Business

When artificial intelligence became popular for creating images; a The question of whether AI can create art has rocked the art world.

At the bitforms gallery in San Francisco, the answer is yes. The exhibit, called “Artificial Imagination,” is on display until late December and features works created or inspired by the next-generation AI system DALL-E and other types of AI. With DALL-E and other similar systems like Stable Diffusion or Midjourney, a user can type in words and get an image back.

Steven Sacks, who founded the original bitforms gallery in New York in 2001 (a San Francisco location opens in 2020), has always focused on working with artists at the intersection of art and technology. But this may be the first art show focused on DALL-E created by OpenAI; This is the first exhibition from Sacks that focuses directly on work created with AI; he told CNN Business.

3D printing and the use of technologies such as Photoshop are common in art. But DALL-E, New text-to-image systems like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney can pump out impressive images at the speed of light unlike anything the art world has seen before. In a matter of months, millions of people flock to these AI systems, piloting movies to illustrate news stories. They are already being used to create magazine covers and illustrations. While these systems are on the ground, They are also courting controversies. for example, When Midjourney and recently won an art contest at the Colorado State Fair, there was an uproar among artists.

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For Sacks, Next-generation AI systems like DALL-E are “just another tool,” Throughout history, he noted, artists have used past works to create new works in various ways.

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“It’s a powerful creative partner,” he said.

“Artificial Imagination” encompasses many mediums and many different styles, and includes artists known for using technology in their work, such as Refik Anadol, and others newer to it. It ranges from Anadol’s 30-minute video loop of a computer to Marina Zurkow’s brilliant visual collages created with the help of DALL-E. It almost feels reminiscent of outdated storybooks and Soviet propaganda.

Sacks said. Presented by bitforms and venture capital firm Day One Ventures, the exhibition was in many ways an educational showcase of the state of DALL-E and how artists are using AI.

Many pieces are simpler in their use of AI, most notably August Kamp’s 2022 print, which is DALL-E. “New trial version; State of the Art,” a close-up of retro-futuristic stereo; A spaceship. Kamp says she starts creating what she calls a primer—by printing a series of words like “grainy”, “detailed”, “cinematic”, “movie still”. To miss the beauty she wants, In this case, she said, she intended to look like she was watching a movie and paused. She then adds words, hoping to create electronic synths that are “as weird as they sound.”

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The final piece is a composite of 30 or so different images that are painted piece by piece — a process that uses AI to amplify the image by adding elements to it. Kamp also used Photoshop to tweak the entire image.

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While the general idea of ​​art galleries implies that good art is rare, she sees next-generation AI tools like DALL-E as a way to make people think that art can be abundant (by making anyone, for example, able to wake up from a vivid dream, type in a description of what they’re imagining, and create an image that expresses their thoughts).

“For me, what I think art is rich in is the expression of love and emotion,” she said.

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Some of the pieces on display implicitly use AI, such as Alexander Reben’s 2020 sculpture titled “Cesi N’est Pas Une Barriere.” Reben used AI as a kind of art director: he used text-generating GPT-3 and custom algorithms to generate a description of a non-existent artwork hanging on a gallery wall in bitforms. It has the title, The name of a fictional artist—“Sweden; Norifen Storgenberg, listed as born 1973” — and includes lyrics such as “it has a very domestic feel and it’s very oppressive” and “uses a police problem”. The handcuffs are visible. In the context of society, They are used to hold prisoners, and here they are used to create a barrier between the viewer and the work.”

Reben’s green roof windows; porches, He constructed a statue of him that hangs on the wall, including metal chains and handcuffs.

“I want to put it out there. Here are all the artists, This kind of presentation work and live This kind of connection with work, There are different styles here,” Sacks said. “I want people to question it.”

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