In this video Philip Dyer compares three AI image generators: Dall.E Mini, Midjourney and Dall.E 2.
The Subject Changes
“The Subject Changes is a poetic live simulation of a capricious character, endlessly shape-shifting while negotiating his/her ambiguous world. The character sets out on an indefinite dérive – a frantic exploration – where fragile relationships with the world-cum-stage and its occupants are established or broken down. His/her state is ornately reflected in a constantly mutating attire, a fluctuating embodied masquerade — the virtual body as an encoded aesthetic artefact.”
Created by Vienna based Depart (Leonhard Lass and Gregor Ladenhauf).
Essai d’ouverture is a 1988 short French film by Luc Moullet. It’s about a man and his many bizarre approaches to opening a Coca-Cola bottle.
Heaven banning is not real, nor are the articles that people are sharing about it. But it is a fascinating concept nonetheless, that can be read as an extension of the Dead Internet Theory. According to some sources, it is just a resurrected joke post from HackerNews.
The future of image-making
When a harm ends, how can we make Amends?
In his latest work “Amends”, artist Kyle McDonald is auctioning three sculptures – from which the proceeds will pay to mitigate the historical emissions of three major art NFT marketplaces. The sculptures are both digital renders and physical handcrafted glass blocks, each filled with a material used for carbon removal and prevention. But they will only go on sale when Ethereum (finally? actually?) transitions away from proof-of-work. And the sculptures will be shipped to the owners of the NFTs—if they burn their NFT.
McDonald says: “The science shows that even if we end all emissions today, we still need to remove hundreds of billions of tons of historical greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and ocean. In tech the motto is ‘move fast and break things’, but those broken pieces are haunting us. Changing things going forward isn’t enough. This work represents a major opportunity to take responsibility for a small portion of our impact on the environment.”
AI and literature
I recently got an invitation to test the MidJourney beta, which is an amazing new AI app that generates images from text inputs. I’ve been playing with it for a while but I also spent hours just watching other people using it in a dedicated Discord server. It was a very funny and interesting experience and I got some amazing visual results, especially when I came up with the idea of feeding the algorithm a literary input instead of a merely descriptive sentence. Here are some images the app produced me based on some famous books incipits.
imagine/ The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. – William Gibson, Neuromancer, 1984
imagine/ It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. — George Orwell, 1984, 1949
imagine/ “Psychics can see the color of time it’s blue. – Ronald Sukenick, Blown Away, 1986
imagine/ Once upon a time , there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person. – Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups, 2001
VRChat, the Metaverse People Actually Like
I really enjoyed watching this video published on People Make Games YouTube channel. It gives an amazing perspective on the topic of virtual worlds beyond hype and corporate bullshit.
“Dracula Daily is an email newsletter by Matt Kirkland that sends you a chapter of the Bram Stoker novel Dracula, written as a series of dated diary entries, news clippings, letters, etc., in realtime on the actual date of each entry between May 3rd and November 10th, the dates between which the novel takes place. The newsletter launched in May 2021 and became increasingly popular during its 2022 run, particularly on Tumblr, where it caused memes and posts about Dracula to trend.” – more info here
Hide and Seek
Hide & Seek is a painting by Pavel Fyodorovich Tchelitchew, a Russian surrealist artist, that has gained a cult following of people who love to stare at it while taking Peyote.
Holly Herndon and Mat Dryhurst experimented with the new OpenAI DALL·E 2 software and they wrote a very interesting report about it. Check it here.
NFTs do not go bad
Michael Moynihan: “Can you explain to people who might be confused as why a very smart, sensible man like yourself, would spend 500,000 dollars on a jpeg?”
Metakovan (aka the most famous cryptoart collector): “I can have it forever because it’s on the blockchain, I DON’T LOSE IT and IT DOES NOT GO BAD”.
A microwave with a soul
YouTuber Lucas Rizzotto fitted his microwave with voice-controlled AI in order to resurrect his childhood imaginary friend “Magnetron”. But at some point things got scary…
Computer Art pioneers: Joan Shogren
I’ve been studying early Computer Art quite a lot in the past ten years, but I just discovered a new artist I never came across before. Click here for the story of Joan Shogren, a secretary who, back in 1963 (so before Micheal A. Noll and Frieder Nake, but also before Sol Lewitt’s conceptual wall drawings based on instructions), “suggested that computers should be able to ‘design a picture’“.
Joan’s artworks were exhibited two years before the famous “Generative Computergrafik” exhibition at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart in 1965, which is generally considered to be the very first computer art public show.
The Depths of Wikipedia
Depths of Wikipedia is an amazing resource. It is an Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok account dedicated to highlighting strange, obscure, and interesting facts from Wikipedia. It is run by Annie Rauwerda, a college student at the University of Michigan.
“Artificial intelligence company OpenAI has released its latest creation, called DALL-E2 — a genuinely impressive demonstration of the power of generative adversarial networks. The system can turn simple text descriptions into photorealistic images. While that may sound like a simple task, it’s deceptively difficult for a machine learning algorithm to pick up on the cues of natural language, nevermind produce the crisp, evocative images that OpenAI is showing off.”
Organic Smiles Cereal Commercial
“Organic Smiles Cereal Commercial” is an analog horror video made by Nathan Frost. With a great backstory:
“On August 23rd, 2015, a user posted on a message board and asked “what’s a scary story that freaked you out when you were younger?” a user responded by saying ” My grandfather used to always tell me a story about a commercial test screening that he and his friends went to when he was younger. He always told me that it was a Cereal advertisement from a company called Organic Smiles. I’ve looked up the brand and it literally does not exist. He said that the commercial had distorted-faced mannequin women and long blood faces. He didn’t watch the whole thing as he ran out of the theater crying but his friends did watch it all and were absolutely traumatized by it. Later that year he said all the people who attended that screening went missing. At the time I totally believed it but now I realized that he had to have been screwing with me, but he always had a serious look on his face when he told me about it.
The response at the time didn’t gain much traction until a year later on September 4th when the same user that posted the story said they found the supposed commercial on film tape that was mailed to him somehow. Later that day the user started posting screenshots of it showing its authenticity and proving it was real. Other users were getting excited and many were highly anticipating it.”
“The app’s premise is simple: Each day, every user worldwide gets a simultaneous, cartoonish notification, “⚠️ Time to BeReal ⚠️ 2 min left to capture a BeReal and see what your friends are up to!” Opening the app prompts you to snap a photo, which captures your front and back camera (no access to the camera roll) and posts to a simple chronological feed of friends’ posts which you cannot view until you’ve added a photo yourself.”
BeReal. The app that promotes aggressive normalcy.
Reddit Place 2022
Place is a collaborative project and social experiment hosted on the social networking site Reddit that began on April Fools’ Day 2017 and was revived again after five years on April Fools’ Day 2022.
Reddit Place (/r/place) – FULL TIMELAPSE 2022
Paris Filter Trend
“A TikTok trend where users apply Instagram’s Paris filter numerous times to a selfie video of them posing while the song “Fancy” by Drake plays, the filter applied to the point where the video is obscured and washed out in pink and purple. The videos are often captioned “no filter,” a joke about people who post obviously edited photos online under the guise of being natural”.