Art Is. AI.
This article is about my own exploration with AI supported art through the latest data sets and programmes such as Prose Painter, Mid Journey and DALLE2.
But first, a little back story...
AI back in 2019
In 2019 I had the opportunity to meet someone who said 'we could solve that with AI'. There was a highly in demand JPEG that people copied without paying license fees and I wanted a way of scouring the web to discover who they were. The first AI prototype was far more advanced than expected. It could find copies of the JPEG on the footer of websites, on social media platforms and incredibly, even on product packaging or products inside of a photograph.
AI managed all of this license protection work without breaking a sweat, something that would take our team a couple of days a week.
AI back in 2017
The first moment AI really took me aback was in a small tutorial room filled with 30ish people at NYU back in 2017. The presenter said that while AI had been mostly panned as a series of false dawns, we were about to see the real transformation of everything we do in society through the ability of automated everything. It struck me deep. Doubly so wen later that day in a session hosted by the New York Times, the audience was asked to guess which photo was real and which was AI generated. The audience was then asked who wrote the article, AI or a journalist. In both cases, it was a split room. AI was already able to hide amongst us... and that was back in 2017.
AI in 2022
Chasing trademark infringements for a licensed JPEG is firmly in the rear vision mirror for me now, yet here I am continuing to be fascinated by what AI can co-create with us humans. It was an obvious yes to incorporate AI into my recently rediscovered art practice as soon as Claire Silver kindly mentioned the tool she was using in her work; Prose Painter back in February 2022.
As an author, I was so excited to be able simply 'paint with words'. Using the Geodetic marker as a base material for AI inside of Prose Painter, I began to paint.
The words started to surface emotions that were bubbling under the surface. It felt good. I minted the collection calling it Geodetic Illusions as a nod to what we see is not often what is real... because we have to go one level deeper.
Collection Mint Date: 2nd March 2022
Dark hearts of kings and queens are geo-located by AI.
Collection: Geodetic Illusions (69 1/1s)
With Geodetic Illusions the base is a stylised light and dark Geodetic Marker found in much of my work. Its triangular shape is changed little as I used Prose Painter to reshape, shift and smudge the marker into a more grotesque version of itself. The concept was to create a series of base illusions to be incororpated into later works.
The collection did not sell well. OK. Let's be honest, it did not sell at all except one kind soul JusticChrist who purchased 'AI Knight' on March 2nd 2022. That was enough to serve as a morsel of artistic validation... although it was the feeling while painting with words that had gotten me truly hooked.
Collection Mint Date: 26th April 2022
Hidden Landscapes was my most personal work yet. Hidden landscapes are emotions painted with words. Each emotion is expressed in words by the artist then interpreted by AI. As the paint is guided across the pixels, a vignette opens up on a moment previously held beneath the surface.
Collection: Hidden Landscapes (series of 18 1/1s)
Hidden landscapes went beyond the default square format offered by Prose Painter to explore what could be painted with AIs support in a landscape format. Hidden landscapes are an exploration into the hidden emotions felt by the artist. The highly emotive words were secretly whispered to AI, representing a conversation that the artist does not share otherwise.
The collection did not sell. At all. I even got a Twitter art hater!
It is OK. I think wen you get your first hater, people are starting to consider your work...and art does not have to be for everyone. I will still be exhibiting these AI collab beauties in November in Auckland, New Zealand.
Then everything changed. On Tuesday August 9th Claire Silver picked up Marooned (shiprekt) via a Foundation auction.
The first sale from the Hidden Landscapes collection had taken three and a half months. In the meantime, MintFace decided to take a break from his artistic practice...and have some fun with AI. Introducing Nuke Headz.
Launched June 2nd 2022
The Nuke Headz was a fun illustrative exploration using AI to create crypto native characters that lived on the blockchain helping provide the power needed for our NFT trading ways. This project was to test whether collectors would enjoy Nuke Headz art without any knowledge that it was AI that generated the images and MintFace that provided the prompts.
Collection: Nuke Headz (46 1/1s)
The Nuke Headz are a talented team of 36 crypto native nuclear scientists (and a dozen Venture Carbonists) who formed a DAO to fund nuclear power for their blockchain creations. Each NFT helps fund the mellow, yellow nuclear energy for our foreseeable minting future. Nuke Headz love clock speed. At that speed they could cover their minting and trading needs for the next 33 million NFTs. wen nuke! 🔥
Nuke Headz were an instant hit and half the collection found a Nuklear family within a day or two of launch. The timing with the implosion of the NFT market probably helped in some way too. The style wasn't part of my artistic practice... and that was intentional. The word 'Geodetic' was not incorporated in to Nuke Headz. The Nuke Headz was a commercial experiment... and it showed an audience enjoyed what I could co-create with AI. Now back to the hard work of expressing my own artistic journey.
Launched July 9th 2022
Geodetic Memory is a single image minted as an edition, not a collection. The photography is unedited, except for two accents of AI that communicate something new going on here. The set location marks a new beginning after the last collection photographed 100 Geodetic Moments from exactly the same location during JPEG Summer '21.
Artist Narrative - Geodetic Memory (483 editions) & Signal (69 editions)
Geodetic Memory interprets our desire to dance with the unconscious mind, to bring forth an idea... and shape the Web3.0 experiment in the name of art. Scenarios that might be considered bizarre or impossible 'in real life' are made possible every day in Web3.0. Geodetic Memory draws inspiration from the surrealist work of Salvador Dali, celebrating the magic and strange beauty of our human existence.
The summit was recorded by MintFace on 3rd July 2022. The 'moon face' and 'mirror portal' were AI generated by Dall-E, and then introduced into the scene by MintFace for eventual minting and insertion into our collective memory.
Memory and Signals are the first minted work by the artist using DALLE2. The high fidelity of what DALLE2 could create opened up new possibilities to 'accessorize with AI' rather than simply feed it words.
The collection was a free claim and 838 Geodetic Memories were minted. I was blown away. Each Geodetic Memory could be shared with a new person and on sharing, I airdropped a new artwor, Geodetic Signal as a reward.
Geodetic Memory and Geodetic Signals reintroduce the concept of visiting a hightop mountain and paying homage to the Geodetic Monument...except this time we visit to see it already inhabited by AI.
In Geodetic Signal, we are watching AI interact with its own frens, and yet mimicking some of the same digital identity and status games we see humans playing in Web3.0.
In Geodetica, the base material is not imagery, but words selected from the descriptions in the first 100 minted photographs by the artist in Geodetic Moments. In each case we see that I must work with the constraints of giving AI preselected imagery or text.
Geodetica is not launched yet... it is a work in progress.
So far, the outputs are to my liking... but it is undecided what the final form factor will look like. Here is a sneak preview of the first 9 images generated that may or may not make the final Geodetica collection.
to be continued...
Links to previous collections
Geodetic Memory & Signal