I know why you’re here.
You’ve come for the 5 quick points on A.I Art, and if you scroll down you’ll see them highlighted but if you have an extra minute I’d recommend reading the short story below about a chance meeting first.
Think of it as a palate cleanser before the main course.
Alvaro meets Pablo
It’s 6:57am, the sun is on the last leg of its scheduled ascent and a train is just pulling out of Málaga-María Zambrano station, destination Sevilla.
In one of the first-class cabins, Álvaro Ibáñez, a leather goods merchant, is gazing out the window at the rapidly changing landscape.
He turns to take the first sip of his Café con leche with 3 cubes of brown sugar, when home, Isabella, his new wife, insists he has his coffee black with no sugar, and so for Álvaro these business trips are a welcome opportunity to indulge in his small vices.
He smiles at the thought and starts to think of the other vices he’ll be able to treat himself to while in Sevilla… obscene amounts of Solomillo Al Whisky, washed down with litres of Cruzcampo Gran Reserva, packets of Camel Azul, early mornings spent in the Flamenco bars in Triana…
His pleasant daydreams are soon interrupted when a man sits down across the cabin from him, Álvaro looks up to say Buenos días when he realises it’s Pablo Picasso looking back at him.
“Buenos días, Pablo” he blurts out before he can stop himself. Picasso smiles back at him, evidently used to this reaction from strangers and returns the greeting.
Álvaro stares out the window again into the comfortable reassuring landscape he knows so well. It’s the great Picasso! He screams internally, he has so much he would like to say to him and yet he’s afriad to.
After 6 minutes of a deafening silence, he can’t help himself any longer, his curiosity defeats his fear and opens the locked gates of his mouth to release his courage.
He looks up to face Picasso and says, “Senor, you are a great artist, the greatest in all of Spain but why is all your art, all modern art these days, so strange and screwed up? Why don’t you paint reality instead of all these fantastical distortions?”
Picasso hesitates for a moment and asks, “What do you think reality looks like?”
Alvaro thinks for a moment and then grabs his wallet to pull out a picture of Isabella. “Here, like this. It’s my wife, this is what reality looks like”
Picasso takes the black and white photograph, looks at it for a moment, and with a twinkle in his eye replies. “Really? She’s very small. And flat…My friend she doesn’t even have any colour….”
The Future Will Be Pixelated
A.I is set to transform every aspect of our lives over the coming decade including the creative sectors, and as with all rapid transformations there is a mixture of excitement and push back.
In the art world, hundreds of artists are upset and fearful of the impact A.I art will have on ownership their art and their livelihoods as the A.I algorithms draw on their artwork to create new images.
These artists do have valid concerns and on a macro level I would also add the danger of us outsourcing our imagination to an algorithm written by a very small, specific group of people.
On balance however I believe we should be more excited than fearful of the future of A.I art based on the answer to the question, What is the purpose of art?
I can already hear the eminent Art historians from our most esteemed universities dusting off their leather-bound books to enlighten us but I’ll keep my answer very simple ‘The purpose of art is to share an emotion by inviting the viewer to either see something for the first time or take a second look with fresh eyes’.
A.I art does this very well. If you don’t believe me, take a look at some examples below.
To my artist friends worried about A.I drawing inspiration from their artwork, I would remind them that artists have always ‘burrowed’ from other artists, Picasso for example was heavily influenced by African art , I would point to the development of new technology in the 19th century, photography, challenging the idea of what it meant to be an artist and giving rise to Camille Pissarro, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Van Gogh and the other impressionists for example.
I would argue that technology on the whole has always enabled us to better express our creativity instead of hampering it.
Imagine how much more enlightening cave paintings would have been if our ancestors had access to paint or consider the impact of an American portrait painter named John Goffe Rand.
You probably haven’t heard of him, but John’s creation of a new technology transformed art and our world today.
Up until the 1840s the life of a painter could be very frustrating as the shelf life of oil paints was very short and in fact they often dried up before they were even used.
The very unsatisfactory solution for artists at the time was for them to store their oil paints in pig bladders, which artists would fill with pigments and seal with string.
To access these colours, artists like Rand had to poke a hole in the pig’s bladder and scrape out as much paint as possible—but because the hole couldn’t be re-sealed, whatever paint they didn’t use went to waste.
In 1841, Rand had a clever idea: Why not use small metal tubes to make storing the paints simpler, cleaner, and more accessible, while increasing their longevity.
He wasted no time in taking out patents on his “metallic collapsible tubes,” and they soon became a hit.
Thanks to John’s invention, artists were able to bring as many shades of paint they wanted, wherever they wanted—whether that was by the beach, a café, or an open field.
The new technology also let artists work in completely new ways, such as applying thick layers of paint directly from the tube and gave the emerging Impressionists the ability to paint outdoors, directly from the world before their eyes.
As Renoir once remarked, “Without colours in tubes…there would be no Impressionism.”
You could well argue that A.I enables artists to paint directly from their imagination straight onto the Pixels on your screen and we are at the dawn of a new Art age.
Here are the 5 benefits of A.I Art you were promised:
Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way we think about art and creativity. AI art, which is created using machine learning algorithms and technology, offers a range of benefits that traditional art forms cannot match. Here are five key benefits of AI art:
- AI art is highly expressive: One of the key advantages of AI art is its ability to generate highly expressive and complex artwork. Using machine learning algorithms, AI art can generate an almost infinite range of styles and aesthetics, from photorealistic to highly stylized. This means that AI art can be used to create a wide range of visual effects, from the sublime to the surreal.
- AI art is highly adaptable: Another benefit of AI art is its ability to adapt to different contexts and environments. For example, AI art can be used to create interactive installations that respond to the movements and actions of the viewer. This makes AI art highly adaptable to a wide range of settings, including galleries, public spaces, and online platforms.
- AI art can democratize the art world: AI art has the potential to democratize the art world by making it more accessible to a wider range of people. For example, AI art can be used to create affordable prints or digital artworks that can be purchased by anyone with an internet connection. This can help to level the playing field for artists and give more people the opportunity to own and appreciate art.
- AI art can push the boundaries of creativity: AI art ca also be used to push the boundaries of creativity and explore new artistic possibilities. For example, AI art can be used to create abstract or surrealist works that are difficult or impossible to achieve using traditional techniques. This can help to expand the range of artistic expression and open up new avenues for artistic exploration.
- AI art can facilitate collaboration: Finally, AI art can facilitate collaboration between artists and creators from different disciplines and backgrounds. For example, AI art can be used to create collaborative projects that involve artists, designers, and engineers working together to create new and innovative works. This can help to foster a sense of community and collaboration within the art world and lead to the creation of new and exciting artworks.
Overall, AI art offers a range of benefits that are difficult to achieve using traditional art forms. From its expressive power to its ability to adapt to different contexts and facilitate collaboration, AI art has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about art and creativity.
Discover more A.I and Carbon-based lifeform Art at Pixel Gallery
"Bad artists copy, great artists steal" (Steve Jobs quoting Pablo Picasso)