Category Archives: art

Why generative AI is a raw material, not a finished product

Seeing generative AI as a raw material might be the perspective shift you’ve been looking for to get your thinking get unstuck and help you make sense of the rhetoric around you.

The treachery of images in the age of AI

“Reality certainly appears to be cracking [under] the speed of generative AI expansion,” says Tim Stock, an associate teaching professor at Parsons School of Design, and founder of scenarioDNA, a consultancy that uses AI to map cultural trends. “We are engineering our future with very little attention to the cultural and sociological impact that might have.” To some extent, he adds, Nugent is contributing to this sense of confusion with his “idealised expression[s] of our collective imagination”

Harris Rosenblum’s Inorganic Demons explores fandoms and other alienated online spaces

In Inorganic Demons, Rosenblum presents 14 sculptures using a host of source materials, from WWII trench-based artisan weaponry to raw clay harvested from a Wendy’s parking lot during construction. Plant-based 3D printing resins and material made from surplus soybean oil that is trying to mimic the qualities of hyper-compressed algae are used to produce knock-off wargaming miniatures, a reference to Negarastani’s text, while blown-up World of Warcraft relic swords are made using a combination of XPS foam, sand, and the melted relic of a cross bought on Etsy.

ChatGPT Is Knock Knock Knockin’ on Spotify’s Door

If music AI’s Turing Test is good taste, the Blake-Endel album doesn’t pass mine. I prefer soundscapes that are a little less chilled. But I’m not Endel’s target audience. “Functional” music — whale song, white noise, anything designed to play in the background — garners 10 billion streams per month, Stavitsky says, double last year’s total and contributing between 7% to 10% of the entire streaming market. Real humans are listening to the machines: Endel says it gets more than 2 million monthly listeners across all streaming platforms, has struck a playlist partnership with Inc. and released an “AI Lullaby” with Canadian electronica artist Grimes.

AI and the American Smile

Why do you smile the way you do? A silly question, of course, since it’s only “natural” to smile the way you do, isn’t it? It’s common sense. How else would someone smile?

As a person who was not born in the U.S., who immigrated here from the former Soviet Union, as I did, this question is not so simple. In 2006, as part of her Ph.D. dissertation, “The Phenomenon of the Smile in Russian, British and American Cultures,” Maria Arapova, a professor of Russian language and cross-cultural studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, asked 130 university students from the U.S., Europe, and Russia to imagine they had just made eye contact with a stranger in a public place — at the bus stop, near an elevator, on the subway, etc.

Retro camera app Hipstamatic makes its return as an anti-Instagram social network

Hipstamatic will offer is a community that’s focused on sharing and engaging with photos and friends, and experimenting with creativity. The app will include Hipstamatic’s collection of hundreds of photo filters, which are designed to stand out, not add polish.

Africa’s comic book superheroes tell the continent’s forgotten stories

In 2018, Beserat became the publisher of the first Ethiopian superheroes — Jember and Hawi, each with an eponymous comic book — retelling episodes in his country’s 3,000-year history with a twist. With seven books in English and Amharic achieving $128,000 in sales, Etan Comics hails itself as the “home of African superheroes”.

Lapis Lazuli and the History of ‘the Most Perfect’ Color

Ground lapis lazuli was increasingly used by painters during the 13th and 14th centuries to make ultramarine and Cennino Cennini gives instructions on how to prepare this pigment in his “Book of Arts.” But it was not until the second half of the 16th century that large objects carved from lapis began to appear in Italy. The first center of production was Milan where the Miseroni brothers, Gasparo and Girolamo, became famous for their mastery of working this challenging material. Half a dozen of the pieces acquired by Grand Duke Cosimo I Medici are on show here, including the “Cup in the Form of a Shell” referred to in a letter of 1563.

Out-Game Flowers

Out-Game Flowers’ digital bouquets—15 large with audio and 150 small bouquets—are composed of flowers from the world’s most popular video games, including The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Minecraft, and more. Jill Magid traveled through these iconic digital worlds, plucking stems from each virtual landscape to craft her first NFT-backed artwork. In their respective worlds, these pixelated plants and photo-realistic flowers are tied to complex economies that drive their value in-game and out.

Magid’s work shines a light on the power structures that create and monetize these items. Extracted from their walled gardens and assembled into a bouquet, she introduces the flowers into another closed system—a digital artwork with a secured provenance through blockchain technology. By assigning each flower an out-game value based on its worth in-game, she challenges us to define our own metrics of worth — based not just on economics, beauty, and utility, but also on nostalgia, speculation, and taste.