Is AI art really art? This California gallery says yes

CNN Business

As artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly popular for creating images, a The question has gripped the art world: Can AI create art?

At Bitform Gallery in San Francisco, the answer is yes. An exhibit called “Artificial Imagination” is on display until the end of December and features works created or inspired by the generative AI system DALL-E as well as 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.

2022 digital image of August Camp

Steven Sacks, who founded the original Bitform Gallery in New York in 2001 (a San Francisco location opened in 2020), has always focused on working with artists at the intersection of art and technology. But it may be the first art show to focus on DALL-E, which was created by OpenAI, and it’s the first Sacks has presented that directly focuses on work created with AI, he told CNN Business.

Using technology such as 3D printing and Photoshop is common in art. But new text-to-image systems like DALL-E, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney can pump out stunning-looking images at lightning speed unlike anything the art world has seen before. In just months, millions of people have flocked to these AI systems and they have already been used to create experimental films, magazine covers and images to illustrate news stories. Yet while these systems are gaining, they are also conflicting. For example, when a painting done by Midjourney recently won an art contest at the Colorado State Fair, it caused outrage among artists.

For Sacks, emerging AI systems like DALL-E are “just another tool,” he said, noting that artists throughout history have used past work to create new work in different ways.

“It’s a wonderful partner creatively,” he said.

“Artificial imagination” spans many mediums and many different styles, and includes artists who are known for using technology in their work, such as Rafik Anadol, and others who are new to it. It ranges from Anadolu’s 30-minute video loop of a computer’s take on an ever-changing nature scene to Marina Zorko’s vivid photo collages, created with the help of DALL-E, that almost feel like Soviet propaganda. Mixed with old story books.

Said the coins The exhibition, which is being presented by bitforms and venture-capital firm Day One Ventures, is in many ways an educational show about the state of DALL-E and how artists are using AI.

Marina Zorko used DALL-E to help create her 2022 piece

Several pieces are more sophisticated in their use of AI and DALL-E in particular, such as August Kemp’s 2022 print, “New Experimental Version, State of the Art,” which looks like a close-up of a retro-futuristic stereo. A spaceship. Kemp said she begins by typing what she calls a primer — a series of words like “grainy,” “detail,” “cinematic,” “movie still” — intended. To convey the aesthetic she wanted, the goal in this case was to look as if she was watching a movie and just paused it, she said. Then he added words in hopes of creating an electronic synthesizer that “looked as weird as they sounded,” he said.

The final piece is a collection of 30 or so differently rendered images, extracted section by section—a process that uses AI to enhance the image by adding more elements to it. Camp also used Photoshop to tweak the overall image.

Kemp pointed out that the general idea of ​​art galleries gives the impression that good art is rare, but she sees emerging AI tools like DALL-E to help people realize that art can be much more (like making it (Anyone can wake up from a vivid dream, type in a description of what they were imagining, and draw a picture expressing their thoughts).

“Art for me is and should be a lot because I see it as an expression of love and emotions, which I think are many things,” she said.

Alexander Ribon, Ceci N'est Pas Une Barriere, 2020.

Some of the pieces on display use AI in a more indirect (and perhaps silly) fashion, such as Alexander Rabin’s 2020 sculpture called “Sissy Anist Pass Un Barrier.” Reuben used AI as a kind of art director: He used the text generator GPT-3 and a custom set of algorithms to generate a description of a non-existent artwork that hangs on the wall of the bitforms gallery. It includes the title, the name of a fictional artist — Norifen Struggenberg, listed as “Swedish, born 1973” — and text such as “It has so much depth, and yet it’s so cruel” and “Using the Police Problem.” Handcuffs are on. In the context of society, they are used to restrain prisoners, and still, they are used to create a barrier between sight and work.

Ribon designed his sculpture, which also hangs on the wall, around the details, with elements including green roof flashing, a porch light, metal grab bars, and handcuffs.

“I want to put it out there: There’s a range of artists, there’s really different ways of presenting this kind of work, of being with this kind of work, of connecting with this kind of work,” Sacks said. . “I want people to ask questions about it.”


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