Based on materials from The Verge
Artificial intelligence art is at its peak. It breaks auction records and sparks fierce controversy in the art community about the nature of creativity. But it's too early to think that there is nothing to surprise us with. Just take a look at this artifact: a sculpture created by artificial intelligence, the material for which was the remains of the computer on which it was developed.
The work is by New York artist Ben Snell and is currently on sale by the Phillips Auction House in London. This seems to be the third lot in recent months, which is a work of art, the author of which is artificial intelligence, at the same time, for the first time, it will be a sculpture that will go under the hammer. In October last year, Christie's auctioned a printed portrait authored by AI, and this March Sotheby's responded with an AI-created video installation among the lots.
But back to Snell's sculpture. It is called 'Dio' (Dio), and at the heart of its creation is the same methodology that was used in the above works. Machine learning algorithms were used to scan and process a database of world art, and then try to reproduce the data, under the guidance of an artist.
In the case of 'Dio', the data used for training was an archive containing over a thousand works of classical sculpture (such as the famous 'Discobolus' and 'David' by Michelangelo), but Snell is silent about his own contribution to the formation of the algorithm for creating a sculpture.
“I prefer not to describe the technical solution and its application in detail, since such things in themselves lead to alienation,” Snell replies to Verge's question. – My role is to communicate and form a familiar context around Dio's actions. I'm sure these are processes very similar to what is happening to us: fundamentally different, but strikingly similar. My goal is not to make Dio more human, but to help us become digital. '
Since humans and machines share certain common traits (why not, since machines are made by humans?), It is possible to give AI too much power. Some artists do just that, claiming that they only direct the creativity of computers and algorithms. But others oppose this approach and argue that such systems are just a tool in the hands of the artist, like all others created and used by people.
Snell leans towards second position. “I consider myself more of an artist, not a computer,” he says. But he also enthusiastically evaluates the work of the algorithms he created. Dio began by trying to reproduce from memory every sculpture he saw. But then, as the artist says, he asked the computer to “close your eyes and think about a new form” – so to put it, he said, he preferred to clothe digital processes in a more human-readable form.
But whatever the interaction between Snell and the machine learning systems he created, he stated that Dio would remain the “first and last” product of their work.
After the artist finished creating the 3D model, he took apart the computer he was working on and ground it into dust in a specially designed sealed box – case, hard drive, RAM, and graphics. Then he 3D printed a mold for Dio's casting and poured resin mixed with the remains of the computer into it.
Snell says he did this to limit his control over the algorithms. Now that the data and learning algorithms that were used to create Dio literally turned to dust, the sculpture has been given life as a unique and unrepeatable artifact.
Can you imagine yourself as a buyer of such an art object, dear readers? Is the 'uniqueness and uniqueness' condition enough for you to consider it a work of art? You can also think about what kind of equipment you would buy for five thousand dollars to use, love and in no case grind – no one will judge you.