From now through December 29, Bitforms Gallery presents “Artificial Imagination,” an A.I. art group show it’s calling “the first DALL-E-inspired art exhibition.”
The intergenerational, eight-artist show opened at Bitforms’s new permanent home in tech-friendly San Francisco in October, in partnership with Day One Ventures. The venture firm got OpenAI, the creator of DALL-E, onboard to promote the showcase, though Bitforms itself boasts a two-decade-long record in staging new media art exhibitions.
While DALL-E serves as the show’s jumping off point, “Artificial Imagination” hardly stops at the now-ubiquitous text-to-image tools. “It was really about DALL-E being the lead-in to the show and then showing how other artists are utilizing A.I. in their practice,” Steve Sacks, the founder of Bitforms, told Artnet News.
The participating artists range from buzzy digital creator Refik Anadol to tech exec and developer Suhail Doshi, who created his first-ever artwork for the exhibition. MIT-trained roboticist Alexander Reben is showcasing work he produced by using a custom GPT-3 model by OpenAI to process and re-process text until he achieved an intriguing starting point for an actual sculpture. “It was a complete flipping of the creative process,” Sack observed of Reben’s work.
“Artificial Imagination” also proposes new avenues into physical presentation. One of Marina Zurkow’s A.I.-animated scenes is available on Hahnemühle bamboo, while Ellie Pritts’s work is projected at 10 feet tall. Each piece is available with an NFT option, tailored to make sense for each artist’s practice.
The display of A.I.-generated works naturally engenders that age-old question: is it art?
For Sacks, the skepticism that has greeted A.I. tools is on par with the initial resistance to photographic or video technologies. “There always seems to be controversy when advanced tools come out and artists take advantage of them,” he said. “You can make a beautiful image or an interesting image using DALL-E, but that doesn’t mean you have a large body of work.”
See some views of the show and the featured works below.