Mandeloculars - A.I.
random walk in a fractal 3D world, again
About AI generated art
Ten years ago now, I created a series, Mandeloculars, composed of 43 fractal images generated with Mandelbulber. The idea at the time was to let the software create, and to confine myself to the role of "artistic director", choosing the point of view, but leaving the subject to the computer. Even if computer generated, asking the machine to do this required technical skills, adding "value" to the work.
Today, AIs have become so powerful that it's almost enough to simply "ask" to get a result. So the question arises : can we take credit for "creating" an image if all we had to do is ask?
AI is, technically, better than me. Nourished by so many references, trained to mix them to create new styles, new forms. It's hard not to see this as "creativity". It does the same work as a talented artist, faster, relentlessly, without creative bias. Faced with this, why should I continue to create? How can I claim to be an "artist" while publishing a series, created by an AI, that imitates one of my own series?
Precisely because I ask myself these questions. Unlike AI, artists have a will, they are looking for meaning.
AIs, as talented as they may be, do not have a message to deliver, nor even a will to do so.
This question of the importance of the message vs. the technical skills has been central to artists since long before the arrival of AIs. Cezanne said about Monet: "It's only an eye, but what an eye!". Some, like Monet, consider the technical skills as being essential to transmit their message, to the point of devoting their lives to it. Others, on the contrary, think that technique takes away from the purity of the initial message. Picasso spent his life trying to "unlearn" what he had been taught in art school to return to a purer form of expression.
In the next years, AIs will surpass our technical skills. They will produce "better" than us, faster, cheaper. It's thus around their use that this recurring question will take place. Each artist will have to position himself, decide to be enthusiastic about this new technology or to fight it fiercely.
As for me, all my work is based on procedural creation: I have spent my artists life trying to explain to machines what I want them to create. So AIs are just another step, an extremely powerful new tool to help me achieve my goal: to create images that speak to people, to you. I didn't model this series by hand, nor did I need to program a complex process to create it. I just asked for it. But no one else did, no one else had the desire to share this with you. This desire, this need, is what makes me an artist.
So here is a series that I proudly claim to be created by me, using the incredible tool that is the Midjourney AI.