I'm interested in the AI trends that shape how people and technology intersect and interact.
While the vast majority of developments in AI technology have centered around practical solutions such as self-driving cars and facial recognition, there's a growing number of artists using AI systems to develop new ideas for artistic projects and generate entirely unique pieces of work.
Many artists view AI-powered creations as an exercise in collaboration. While the human provides the dataset, the base idea, or the core of the project, the AI works as a way to reimagine, surprise, or take the creative work in new directions.
In this article, I've collected a selection of AI artists. Where possible, I've written a bit about the AI systems behind their work, and their reasons for working with automated systems.
Neural Synesthesia: Creator Xander Steenbrugge calls his art project a collaboration, stating "The AI does not fully create the work, and neither do I." Neural Synesthesia uses a generative adversarial network (GAN) to create unique images that transform to the rhythms of music, based on features extracted from the audio.
Helena Sarin: Software engineer Helena Sarin is the artist behind Neural Bricolage, a collection of artwork created with GANs. She is drawn to GANs in art because of the element of surprise that she feels is unique to the tool. This unpredictability results in inspiration, and sometimes the creation of something special and unexpected.
Lulu xXX: The video work of Lulu xXX is truly something to behold. A mind-bending mix of real video footage blended with psychedelic patterns and musical styles. A fascinating example of how visually surreal this art appears after a little (or a lot of) AI tinkering.
Quasimondo: The work of artist Mario Klingemann, Quasimondo is a collection of pieces that result from the artist's interest in AI, deep learning, generative and evolutionary art, glitch art, data classification, and robotic installations. His work with GANs has been likened to the distorted portraits of artist Francis Bacon.
AI Gahaku: This self-proclaimed AI artist takes portraits of people and turns them into pieces of renaissance art. The creator says, "I like programming, so I wanted to use what I liked to make something fun and interesting." AI Gahaku uses a pix2pix base model with a dataset of old paintings as reference.
Exquisite Corpus: This duet is considered an art performance centered around the drawings created by a human and a machine. From the website: "Exquisite Corpus is a performance installation exploring the feedback loop between bodies — the human body, the machinic body, and ecological bodies." Chung's work has continued to focus on collaboration with robots, and her talk in the video above gives a fascinating insight into her thoughts.
Melting Memories: An art piece created by Refik Anadol, Melting Memories is an exploration of data sculptures and data paintings. The work is created from a dataset of brain wave activity taken from an EEG (electroencephalogram), in which participants were asked to focus on specific memories. These were then run through neural nets to create the resulting visualizations.
If you know of any other artists collaborating with artificial intelligence or AI artists making unique work, let me know on twitter. The continued development of AI for creative purposes is something I'm very interested in and would love to discover more of.
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