You Press The Button,
Artificial Intelligence Does The Rest.
”Sold! Mario Klingemann’s pioneering Artificial Intelligence artwork sells to an online bidder for £40,000 in the artist’s auction debut. The race for AI generated art moving into the space of museums and galleries seems to get traction.”¹
More and more pieces of art emerge on the internet and show us the capabilities of artificial intelligence and their “creativity,” being it machines that write poems or rendering artworks. Are those artificial explorations, pieces of art or tech demonstrations? Should we classify pieces of art that materialized through or in collaboration with artificial intelligence as art? Does this AI-Art belong in a museum or gallery?
In 2018 the auction house Christie’s for the first time offered a work of art created by an algorithm. The AI-Artwork “Portrait of Edmond Belamy” sold for $432,000 and was created by Obvious, a Paris based collective. With the auction, the conversation shifted to the role of the author and creator. Obvious famously reused a GAN or generative adversarial network from Robbie Barrat. Who counts as the real creator or artist of “Portrait of Edmond Belamy,” Obvious, Robbie Barrat or the GAN itself?
As a result of the auction, Christie’s offers us a possible definition of AI-Art with their statement about the portrait: ”This portrait, however, is not the product of a human mind. It was created by an artificial intelligence, an algorithm defined by that algebraic formula with its many parentheses.”
With every technology that we use for creativity, the same questions about originality, authorship, and dependence on machines as a creator rise. Should we consider I-Art a new tool or medium?