The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Virtually Virtual - How Machines Redesign Art

Robots have certainly found their way into our hearts and everyday lives. Be it through the TV screen, media, entertainment or house appliances, utilising robots has ironically become our second nature.

Netflix recently launched a TV series that has had mind-blowing success across the globe. The name is symbolically Love, Death & Robots, and it is a visually striking and storytelling-wise compelling hybrid of 18 shorts that have science fiction, horror and comedy abiding in them at the same time. The animated masterpiece pushes boundaries in stylistic sense and allows artificial intelligence to enter our subconscious.

When a concept so strong is unleashed, it drills into all walls and flows into the cracks of all corners. Artificial intelligence and its kin have proven themselves terrifyingly beneficial to human beings, not only in a practical sense.

Our robotic counterparts have already touched upon the entertainment industry and improved our mental well-being through their presence in VR games playable at numerous casinos online through products which mix the traditional art of creation with computerised science.

Small Steps
Humanoids and similar machines are not that new to the cinema, but they do have us flabbergasted at their presence in art.

It was quite a shock when Sotheby's announced an exclusive auction of pieces signed under the name of Mario Klingemann. There is nothing out of ordinary in that name, and by the way he looks, the German artist would not appear much different than any of us. However, there is a lot hiding beneath the surface, as Klingemann adds another dimension to our perception of modern art.

Namely, the conceptual art maestro decided to blur the line between the artist and the machine, and has for ages had his paintings done with the assistance of artificial intelligence.

Klingemann has in fact tamed the technology and trained it to play along with his ideas. According to the artist himself, "If you hear someone playing a piano, would you ever ask – is the piano the artist? No." His unconventional approach to a traditional concept such as art has had diverse responses. Myriad museum visitors raised a brow at his creations, questioning whether they could ever be called his own. Conversely, the less conservative type of art lovers admired his exhibition and saw the inventiveness he had strived for in the first place.

Deranged faces looking like a cracked mirror has been placed betwixt them are commonplace in this GoogleArts' craftsman's portfolio. His piece Memories of Passersby I has grown to become his hallmark and his nonchalant attitude towards the skeptics is in accordance to the cynical temperament that he boasts. "Just because it is a complicated mechanism, it does not change the role [of the artist]," Klingemann declared.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole
The same notion translates into our quotidian existence. As a species, we incessantly continue to pursue new ways of entertaining ourselves.

Casino table games, a big fan of which Klingemann is himself, have been robotised and can now be enjoyed with the help of a real or virtual dealer. For instance, right now you can play a game of Blackjack online whilst a simulated croupier deals for you. And these are merely common examples.

Digging deeper into the impact of AI will have you dazed and bewildered. Our kind persists on being curious and adroit, looking for refreshing ways to impress itself and the nature around us, leaving a permanent mark in history.

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Virtually Virtual - How Machines Redesign Art

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