We believe that a new generation of creators will rise, one that will know how to best build and manage algorithms as part of the fundamental innovation process. We also want to promote a new level of collaboration between artists and their tools, where the hands of the artist and the machine are joined in the search for a new type of aesthetic. The first stage of this democratization process is the demystification of the word Artificial Intelligence, still perceived by many as involving features that are yet exclusive to the brain, such as self-consciousness and intention. By staying up to date with the latest research, we wish to reduce the gap between our beliefs and the knowledge is currently being achieved in machine learning.
Science and art have always been complimentary. We can observe examples of this symbiosis everywhere from the geometric models that helped artists create exacting perspective in their work, to chemical development of new pigments that allowed fading oil paints to maintain their intensity, and the invention of the camera that multiplied the facility of access to visual creation. We are committed to advancing this dynamic by exploring different types of art through the lens of a set of algorithms, thus reconciling the old and the new, and ultimately promoting a sense of relentless entrepreneurism.
Technology has always been at the service of human ambitions and limitations. The technology itself doesn’t necessarily have any impact on our society, nor on our lives. It is the way humans use it that will shape the future of our society. This is why Obvious focuses on accompanying the emergence of benevolent and harmless ideas, by demystifying artificial intelligence, promoting alternative uses for it, and unveiling its true creative potential.
“Electric Dreams of Ukiyo”
This second series of 22 unique artworks, composed of 11 portraits and 11 landscapes was created using GANs algorithms, trained on two different datasets of Ukyo-e stamps. These algorithms were trained to create an entirely new and unique image, by repeatedly confronting trials to actual stamps created in Japan during the Ukiyo period (1780-1880). The resulting artworks display a new synthetic view of an entire art movement.
We decided to explore Ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblocks and paintings that depict "pictures of the floating world"), as this period represents one of the most influential movements in art history. The end of this period corresponds to the arrival of electricity in Japan, a new technology full of promises for a better future, which was also a frightening development in a conservative Japan which had just opened its gates to the outside world.
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