Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

Art created by artificial intelligence has emerged.

With a presentation this week at New York’s Museum of Modern Art – arguably the world’s leading institution dedicated to contemporary art – artificial intelligence technologies that have revolutionized trillion-dollar industries around the world over the past decade will receive official recognition. introduction.

Created by pioneering artist Refik Anadol, the installation in the soaring lobby of the Gund Museum uses a sophisticated machine learning model to interpret publicly available visual and informational data from the MoMA collection.

“Now we are experiencing a renaissance,” Anadol said of the Refik Anadol: Unattended presentation. “Having AI in the environment is completely and profoundly changing the profession.”

Anadol is a digital media pioneer. Throughout his career, he has been intrigued by the intersection of art and AI. His first exposure to AI as an art tool came at Google, where he used deep learning and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti to create dynamic digital artwork.

In 2017, he started working with one of the first generative AI tools, StyleGAN, created by NVIDIA Research, which was able to generate incredibly realistic synthetic face images.

Anadol was more intrigued by the ability to use the tool to explore more abstract images, train StyleGAN on modern art rather than face images, and manage AI synthesis using data streams from optical, temperature, and acoustic sensors.

Digging Deeper with MoMA

These ideas led him to an online collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art in 2021, presented by Feral File using over 138,000 records from the museum’s public archive. The Feral File exhibition made a splash online, reimagining art in real time and inspiring a wave of AI-generated art that has quickly spread across social media communities on Instagram, Twitter, Discord and Reddit this year.

This year, he returned to MoMA to dig even deeper, once again collaborating with MoMA curators Michelle Kuo and Paola Antonelli on a major new installation. From November 19 to March 5, 2023, “Refik Anadol: Unsupervised” will use AI to interpret and transform over 200 years of art from the MoMA collection.

This is a study not only of the world’s largest collection of contemporary art – almost every pioneering sculptor, artist and even game designer of the last two centuries – but also a look inside the mind of AI, allowing us to see the results of the algorithm’s processing. data from the MoMA collection, as well as ambient sound, temperature and light, and “dreams,” Anadol said.

At the heart of the system is a full set of NVIDIA technologies. It uses an NVIDIA DGX server equipped with NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs to train the model in real time. Another machine, equipped with an NVIDIA RTX 4090 GPU, translates the model into computer graphics, driving the exhibit’s display.

“Bending Data”

“Refik transforms the data we normally associate with rational systems into a realm of surrealism and irrationality,” said Michelle Kuo, exhibition curator at the museum. The newspaper “New York Times. “His interpretation of the MoMA dataset is essentially a transformation of contemporary art history.”

The installation comes amid a wave of excitement around generative AI, a technology that has been made available to both amateur and professional artists thanks to new tools such as Midjourney, OpenAI’s Dall·E and DreamStudio.

And while Anadol’s work intersects with the surge of interest in NFT art that made the world buzz in 2021 as AI-generated art, it goes well beyond it.

Inspired by cutting edge research

Anadol digs deep into the MoMA archives and cutting-edge AI technologies, backed by NVIDIA Research’s StyleGAN technology. David Luebke, vice president of graphics research at NVIDIA, said he was first fascinated by the artistic and creative possibilities of generative AI when he saw NVIDIA researcher Janne Hellsten’s StyleGAN2 demo trained on stylized artistic portraits.

“Suddenly it was possible to seamlessly explore the content and style of the generated image, or make it react to environmental effects like sound or even the weather,” Lubke said.

NVIDIA research has been driving cutting-edge advances in generative AI since at least 2017, when NVIDIA developed “progressive wide area networks,” which pioneered the use of AI to synthesize highly realistic, high-resolution images of human faces. This was followed by StyleGAN, which achieved even better results.

After that, every year NVIDIA released an article promoting the current technology. According to Lübke, StyleGAN has proven to be a one-stop platform, allowing countless other researchers and artists, such as Anadol, to bring their ideas to life.

Democratization of content creation

Much more is to come. Current generative AI models have shown the ability to generalize beyond specific objects, such as images of human faces, cats, or cars, and to embrace language models that allow users to specify a desired image in natural language or in other intuitive ways, such as drawing, explains Lübke.

“It’s interesting because it democratizes content creation,” Lubke said. “Ultimately, generative AI has the potential to unleash the creativity of everyone, from professional artists like Refik to amateur and casual artists and schoolchildren,” Lubke said.

Anadol’s work at MoMA gives an idea of ​​what’s possible. “Refik Anadol: Unsupervised”, the artist’s first solo museum presentation in the US, features three new digital artworks by the Los Angeles-based artist that use artificial intelligence to dynamically explore the MoMA collection on a huge 24-by-24-foot digital display. It is as much a work of architecture as it is a work of art.

“Often, AI is used to classify, process and create realistic representations of the world,” exhibition organizer Michelle Kuo said in an interview with Archinect, a leading contemporary art and architecture publication. “Anadol’s work, in contrast, is forward-thinking: it explores dreams, hallucinations and irrationality, offering an alternative understanding of contemporary art – and art itself.”

“Refik Anadol: Unsupervised” also hints at how AI will change our future, and Anadol believes it will be for the better. “It will only heighten our imagination,” Anadol said. “I see it as an extension of our mind.”

See our study for more information. Artwork by Refik Anadol at the NVIDIA Artificial Intelligence Art Gallery.