So, my husband showed me a video the other day. It was a montage of artistic movements throughout history as interpreted by A.I. (artificial intelligence). The video starts off normally enough with images of Ice Age cave art before it morphs into Ancient Egyptian Art, Greek Art, Roman Art, Christian Art, Renaissance Art, Romantic Art, Impressionism, and Surrealism. Then the video begins grasping for straws. It’s when A.I. reaches the modern age that it realizes that it doesn’t know what qualifies as art anymore. Here, let me take a moment to pause my thoughts and find this video that I’m talking about. Ah, yes, here it is. I suggest you take a 1 minute and 4 seconds break to watch the crazy video before moving on. I’ll wait for you. In the meantime, I will stare at this image of a cat.
Welcome back. I hope your eyes enjoyed that journey. What? Did I just hear you say that your eyes didn’t know what they just watched? So, where did your eyes lose you? Let me guess, they got confused when they saw the images of painted skulls? No? Did they get lost at the sight of potted plants? No? Okay, was it when the dinosaur head emerged out of what looked like a spaceship? Ah, yes, that had to be where your eyes officially gave up communicating with your brain.
And, yet the video goes on. There’s even more. The whole thing ends with a brain floating in space. I have no idea what conclusion I’m supposed to make of it.
“Ah, does A.I. think we’re living in space already?” I asked Ryan, who showed me this stupid montage. “Just because it lives in a computer, it doesn’t mean that we are.”
We both sat silently for a moment while we contemplated what we just watched.
“So, what artistic movement represents us today?” I genuinely wanted to know.
“Humph, that’s a good question,” Ryan mused. “I guess I would have to say graffiti art in the vein of Banksy.”
“Really?” I said. “You’d say Banksy over Ai Weiwei?”
“Oh, most definitely,” Ryan said. “Not everyone would know who Ai Weiwei is, but everyone has seen Banksy whether they realize it or not. His art is pervasive. His art is what defines this generation.”
“You do realize that his art is temporary?” I said. “Like, he puts his stuff on public buildings that eventually get torn down.”
“All the more reason why I say that the answer is him,” Ryan said.
“Huh,” I mused. “I guess I can’t argue with your philosophy. I mean, everything anyone does nowadays is so fleeting. Instagram posts have a shelf life that lasts for a day. By tomorrow, everything is old.”
“No one has the attention span necessary to appreciate art anymore,” Ryan explained.
“Wow,” I said. “It’s weird to think that appreciating art takes time. I never thought about that.”
“I guess that explains why A.I. thinks our brains exist in outer space,” Ryan mused. “Our distance from ourselves has traveled there.”
2 thoughts on “What is Art Anymore?”
AI has suddenly leapt to the fore, I have come across discussion of it many times over the past couple of months, in visual art, graphic design, journalism, prose, Its taking over, whether we like it or not and we will have to question our reality more than ever. It made me think about my brain, my thoughts a lot of the time, especially in the half awake state, or in dreams are such a random mismatch of stuff that when I push pause and take a good look at it makes no sense and yet it drifts on as if it is cohesive and flowing… are we AI?
Ha! That’s a good question. AI is plugged into our subconscious.