23 - Playing With Objects: Digital Edition
But, is it "art"?
What if Van Gogh painted the image on a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder box?
Crazy idea, right?
Over the last six months or so, a slew of AI text-to-image generators have more or less opened up for public use. They include DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, Craiyon, and Midjourney.
Depending on one’s point of view, reactions range from “miraculous” to “tragic.” My personal experience has been: WOW!
Revelation: I have zero artistic ability. I cannot, nor have I ever been able to, draw anything beyond rudimentary shapes. I marvel at people (including Karen, my amazing wife!) who can simply sit down with a pencil and paper and actually produce images that resemble people, places, and things. To my eyes, artistic ability is magic!
So, having a chance to use technology to produce images that…well…you be the judge. Here’s a DALL-E image I “created” with the prompt: “sculpture of Bugs Bunny drinking a bottle of Coca -Cola.”
Online discussion of this technology has been fascinating. Topics include, “is this art?”, “what will happen to human artists?”, and “who has rights to these images?”
It shouldn’t be surprising that similar reactions followed the introduction of photography, sound recording, and graphics software. Experienced oil painters, musicians, and graphic designers howled that these technologies were “dehumanizing” their art and replacing them with soulless mechanical platforms. Yet, art survived, if not thrived, after their introduction.
As the means of creating and producing images and objects (via 3D printing) becomes more readily available, artistically…ahem…limited people such as myself will increasingly be able to have the experience of thinking of something and magically having it appear on our screens. I may never be a Van Gogh, but I do have the DALL-E prompt book to help me create fun images! Thanks, DALL-E!
I mean, when else could I possibly have produced this: “Albert Einstein as painted by Caravaggio”?
(Warning: AI image-creation platform use may devour substantial chunks of time!)