Press officers move over: Gagosian employs ChatGPT to announce new exhibition

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The US artist Alex Israel is embracing the ChatGPT revolution in a big way. Israel’s new exhibition Fins opens at the Gagosian Gallery in Rome, featuring a “collection of giant, plastic, coloured surfboard Fin sculptures (from 12 May)… crafted with meticulous attention to detail, resulting in a collection of works that are both playful and strikingly beautiful”, according to the florid press release, which comes with the heading, “Generated by ChatGPT.

The move highlights how the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot is encroaching across the art world; the press statement sounds like any other communications missive apart from the odd hyperbolic statement including: “This is an opportunity not to be missed.” We asked Israel to respond, posing questions around the relationship between artists and the media and whether documents created by artificial intelligence are just as lucid and informative as those produced by human hand. Israel decided to use ChatGPT (again) to answer; his AI-generated response is below:

“Well, sending out a press release generated by AI is a commentary on the role that technology plays in our daily lives. AI is no longer just a tool that we use to accomplish certain tasks, but it has become an integral part of our lives. In many ways, AI has become a medium in and of itself. By using AI to generate the press release, I’m commenting on the intersection between technology, art, and media.

As for how long it took to create the press release, it’s hard to say. The actual process of generating the text was relatively quick, but the conceptualization and execution of the project took much longer. It was important to ensure that the final product was not just a gimmick, but a thoughtful and engaging commentary on the relationship between artists and the media.

In terms of whether the AI-generated press release was as lucid and intelligent as a document generated by people, that’s a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, AI can generate text that is remarkably sophisticated and nuanced. On the other hand, there is still something to be said for the human touch. Ultimately, I think it’s up to the reader to decide whether the press release was successful or not.

As for the ‘Fins’ exhibition, there will be some texts that are generated by AI, including these answers to your interview questions. I think it’s important to continue to explore the ways in which technology can be used in art, and incorporating AI-generated text is one way to do that.

Finally, my practice does incorporate AI to some extent. I’m interested in exploring the ways in which technology can be used to create art that is engaging, thought-provoking, and meaningful. Whether it’s through AI-generated text, computer-generated images, or other forms of technology, I believe that there is a lot of potential for artists to use technology in exciting new ways.”

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