AI Art Exhibition

AI Art Exhibition: April 2024

The highly controversial art show “Autonomous” opened at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod on April 2, 2024. It features a variety of digital and AI-assisted artworks by 17 artists from the region. 

About a year ago, Val and I heard about a new technology, AI Art, and the Midjourney application you used to make it. As with almost any new technology, We raced to check it out for ourselves and immediately became addicted. Over the next few months, our new AI toy became an unbelievably powerful tool, like something from another universe. It revolutionized our thinking about art and our process of making it. We knew it would do the same for others. We told friends and family that it was like having all the skills and knowledge of every artist that had ever lived at our disposal.

One day, while visiting the Cultural Center, we told Molly about our discovery. We told her we wanted to sponsor an AI art show. She was excited and agreed it was a great thing to do. We started planning that very day. The show you see today is the result of that inspiration. It has been a fantastic experience, and we’re thrilled with the artists that entered and the art they produced. There are spectacular objects here tonight that the show helped bring into existence.

We’re not interested in defending AI art as art. We do not see it as a threat to artists. It is a tool we should embrace and incorporate into our process to make amazing new things the world has never seen. To protect our creations, we may have to develop new forms of copyright that create licensing agreements before our work is scanned and incorporated into large databases. We must get busy creating AI art usage solutions, not trying to destroy the great gift of our era.

Join us in embracing this new technology to make the world a better, more beautiful, and more fascinating place.

Autonomous: An AI Art Exhibition Awards

Best of Show: Donna Mohan: Donna’s process is an excellent example of the power of AI and how it can enrich our lives and work as artists. She uses cutting-edge technology to make deeply personal pieces that are sophisticated yet wonderfully homey and approachable sewn art objects.

2 Awards of Merit: Beth Johnston for Leo and Mike and for the body of work submitted.: Beth Johnston is a traditional artist who plays around with AI and creates diverse artistic moments and statements. She does not seem worried about maintaining a consistent style, which is rare in today’s art world, where everyone tells you to stay in your lane. Beth doesn’t!

2 Awards of Merit: Josh Gorton’s work is an outstanding example of how artists can use AI to expand their horizons and produce stunning new images. To quote Josh, “Lost in a sea of monotony, my soul yearned for expression beyond the confines of traditional mediums.” Both pieces Josh submitted are elegant, complicated, original, and beautiful, but in a strange way.

Award of Merit: Jon Goldman submitted a wide range of pieces to the show and uses AI in many ways to create amazing things, like his graphic novel and The Fuzzy Truth. In his work, he uses AI to visualize the world he is forming in this project.

Award of Merit: Rachel Sokolowski’s piece grabs you from across the room. It’s wonderfully conceived and executed, and the presentation is perfect.

Award of Merit: Ned Sonntag uses AI to create highly personal, unique, and evocative works. These are powerful women.

Award of Merit: Vince Quevedos quilts are wonderfully unexpected, striking, and elegant. He creates disturbing works that belie the definition of a quilt.

Award of Merit: Russ Prices works are engaging and beautiful. They are graphic and digital works that have a huge impact, and the presentation is superb.

Award of Merit: Michael Kolitsky‘s AI Indigenous is a mysterious, oddly beautiful, and elegant sculpture. It was precisely conceived and constructed. 

Participating artists for the show were: 

Annemarie Baldauf, Nikyra Capson, Casey Figueroa, Val Gerischer, Jon Goldman, Josh Gorton, Ondrea Hidley, Beth Johnston, Michael Kolitsky, Donna Mohan, Russ Price, Vince Quevedo, Ben Sisto, Rachael Sokolowski ,Ned Sonntag, John Stringfellow, and Joe Tantillo

Here is the statement from the show.

Welcome to the intersection of creativity and technology, where pixels become poetry, and algorithms weave masterpieces. Step into the captivating realm of AI Art, where the boundaries of human imagination are redefined through the lens of artificial intelligence.

This exhibition celebrates the fusion of art and technology, showcasing how machines can interpret, innovate, and inspire in ways never imagined. From mesmerizing digital landscapes to thought-provoking abstract compositions, each piece invites you to contemplate the symbiotic relationship between human ingenuity and machine intelligence.

Prepare to embark on a journey through the ethereal landscapes of the digital canvas, where innovation meets imagination in the most unexpected of ways.

The show is sponsored by Cape Cod Star, which serves the Cape with real estate, websites, and art. Jurors of selection and awards were John Stringfellow and Val Gerischer. Awards were presented by Cape Cod Star: Homes, Websites & Art.

Images from the show

image captions: Donna Mohan, A(n) Eye on You Three: [thread and polymer clay button on canvas]

Vince Quevedo, Confused  [art quilt]

At bottom: Jon Goldman, Fuzzy Truth  [mixed media] and above: John Stringfellow, Demigods: Anatomical Chart: AI and digital print banner

John Stringfellow’s Art Statement:

I hate talking about technique and process. I prefer to talk about ideas and philosophy. 

My process can be summed up this way: determined iterative experimentation. I start with a concept. For this series, I started with “Hercules and Black Samson Embrace.” For these pieces, the prompt was something like: “God-like figures of African Samson and bald Greek Hercules, style of Rauschenberg, Tom of Finland and Lyendecker,”

From there, I trained the robot by hitting it repeatedly with slight variations of the same prompt, liking one or more of the four versions it came up with. This sometimes took hundreds of iterations to achieve the right final product. Over time, the robot went through spells of hyper-censorship and mediocrity. On some days, this same prompt would produce content warning stop signs; on other days, it would produce saccharine romance novel covers of a heterosexual couple in tight three-piece suits and flowing dresses.

Recently, the robot has gotten better, is no longer anti-gay or hyper-skin sensitive, and is producing some stunning works. I am delighted with my robotic art partner at the moment.

The stylistic influences here are crucial. The series combines the raw expressionism of Robert Rauschenberg, the smarmy comic Uberman homoeroticism of Tom of Finland, and the finely drawn and painted beautiful men of J.C. Lyendecker.

One Year with Midjourney

This slideshow represents an entire year’s work with the Midjourney AI robot. Most of the pieces represent Val’s work on his Shell Series and my work on my Demigods, Ubermen, and Icons Series. Some are wonderfully fun pieces representing artistic paths we have yet to pursue.

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