Gradient Descent

Tom White. Electric Fan, 2018. Nature Morte

at Nature Morte

Nature Morte presents the first ever art exhibition in India to include artwork made entirely by artificial intelligence. Curated by 64/1, an art curation and research collective founded by artist Raghava KK and economist Dr. Karthik Kalyanaraman, Gradient Descent, explores the intersection between artificial intelligence and contemporary art. B ringing together artists who address how contemporary art can create a dynamic human-machine relationship, this groundbreaking exhibition provides us with a vision of what art could be in the post-human age.

The term artificial intelligence, or AI, is defined as an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Since the inception of Google’s DeepDream in 2015, an algorithm devised to visualize data representations of neural networks, and the creation of tools for image-to-image translation, there has been an explosion of artists working with artificial intelligence to create artworks that address the very foundation of visual art: visual creativity. Unlike traditional technology-driven artworks in which artists utilized technology as a tool for their own creative vision, AI Art takes into account not only the artist’s vision, but the machine’s as well; thus allowing the machine to become a peer and collaborator in this process for the very first time.

The show brings together seven pioneering artists from USA, Japan, Germany, Turkey, India, UK and New Zealand with experiences from a variety of academic institutions including, IIT, MIT, Oxford, Harvard, Chicago Art Institute, MIT Media Lab, University College London, Royal College of Art, University of Arts London and University of Tokyo. This group of artists, some of whom are pioneers in the field and others who are new additions utilizing unique and innovative practices, question this form of art making and the ownership of the creative vision. While the visual side of the creative task is now shifted to an algorithm – a machine – the machine can only create works based on its own experience and its exposure to visual languages. It is here, in the art of teaching the machine and in designing the humanly interpretable concept of the artwork, that the locus of the human’s creativity lies within this genre.

Our entire future – economic, political, social – is already being revolutionized by artificial intelligence. We commonly fear how this new technology will negatively impact our lives as we know it, yet we rarely consider the positive social possibilities created by its use. How can we reimagine creativity, human purpose, and society in this future world using artificial intelligence? The pioneering artists in this show grapple with these complex questions and prove creativity and human labor need not be replaced by machine, but can be reinvented and evolve further with the rise of new technology, allowing artificial intelligence to become one our greatest collaborators. Like every important paradigm shift in the history of art and art making before it, AI Art challenges us to rethink what art is and how it is made.

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