On AI art

An article, posted more than one year ago filed in art, intelligence, ai & stable diffusion.

If you love art, don’t bother reading any further. I’m stating the very obvious, but I felt I had to respond. It’s NFT-style hype (in Dutch) all over again.

My Twitter timeline contains probably more than average amount of generated AI images, and it is labelled as AI “art”, generated by tools like DALL-E, stable diffusion, mid journey, tools that allow simple beings to create a Monet style picture of a 21 century scene, or complete the scenery of the milkmaid. And the way it is presented angers me.

On AI art

While being quite impressive in terms of “how did the computer do this”, I hate to state the obvious, but: this is not art. In the end it is just more visual debris. You may put a frame around your Van Gogh 1000pc puzzle, it is not the creative work, even though you spend a day “creating” it. You’re also not an artist if you completed a 15 week course in landscape painting. Nor is probably your beautiful holiday picture, even though it is decorative and it reminds you of that nice time.

Art is less about the visual / nice picture, and more about what the artist tried to convey. Be it commentary on today’s society or a personal quest or something totally different; using materials which are not always pixels to best convey that message, which might inspire or evoke some other emotion, but good art is preferably more than ‘nice’. Art is so much more and if a society does no longer understand that, that would be not just the end of the job of an artist, but the death of culture.

And to counter some obvious commentary: * Yes, an artist could use AI tools to create art, but as a tool, not as a producer * Perhaps a poetic entry in a AI tool can be the art * A tech savvy artist can use AI to create a tool that generates the art (but then the tool would be the art work, less so the output) * No, I am not an expert who can answer what defines art, but it is easier to recognize what is not.

The noisy image was created by Dall-E :p

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