Thursday, September 21, 2023

The MoMA Guide to AI and Art: How will artificial intelligence impact art making?




Over the past year, AI has taken over the headlines and seemingly reached every corner of daily life, provoking new questions about intelligence, creativity, labor, and threats to human existence itself. Art is, surprisingly, central to these debates. Normally left out of the churn of technological development, art and visual culture are now inseparable from the rise of generative AI—which not only classifies and analyzes information but creates new phenomena in turn.

If AI suddenly feels omnipresent, artists have been grappling with such a future for decades. A few have explored the forefront of these technologies, even creating their own models or subverting existing ones. Just watch Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Seduction of a Cyborg (1994), which recently screened on; or American Artist’s 2015, which takes on big data and predictive policing, on view in Gallery 214. Today, through the end of October, you can visit Refik Anadol Studio’s epic Unsupervised installation in MoMA’s Gund Lobby, for which the artist created a custom machine-learning model that synthesizes MoMA’s collection data in order to “dream” of new and strange forms of modern art.

The features assembled below—encompassing video, interviews, audio, and essays—offer a guide to the state of AI and art right now, with commentary from artists, curators, writers, and scholars across fields and industries. What emerges is an engaged conversation about exploration and caution, collaboration and critique, in which history continues to offer as many clues to our future as the present. Now that AI’s tools are readily available, I look, as ever, to artists: How will they continue to use—and misuse—them to help us all better see the world in which we’re living? —Michelle Kuo, The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture


The AI Brain in the Cultural Archive

What new artifacts emerge when we look at the next revolution in media?

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How to See like a Machine

Watch a video exploring how artists are redefining creativity in the age of AI and machine learning.

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Deep Learning: AI, Art History, and the Museum

An art historian looks at AI, noting “Computers don’t see as humans do. And it is precisely why they will open up new possibilities of human-initiated creation.”

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Refik Anadol on AI, Algorithms, and the Machine as Witness

The artist behind an epic installation at MoMA answers seven questions about the new realms explored in his data-driven work.

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Play with AI

The acclaimed writer and founder of Google’s Artists + Machine Intelligence program asks: What if we imagined a healing AI?

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The art of artificial intelligence

Refik Anadol and MoMA curator Michelle Kuo speak with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about painting with data.

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Images, from top: Installation view of Refik Anadol: Unsupervised, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 19, 2022–summer 2023. Photo courtesy Refik Anadol; Refik Anadol. Sample data visualization of Unsupervised. 2022. Data sculpture: custom software, generative algorithm with artificial intelligence (AI), real-time digital animation on LED screen, sound, dimensions variable. © Refik Anadol Studio; A still from How to See: Like a Machine. © 2023 The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Installation view of Refik Anadol: Unsupervised, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 19, 2022–October 29, 2023. Photo courtesy Refik Anadol; Refik Anadol’s studio, 2022. Courtesy the artist; Courtesy of K Allado-McDowell; Courtesy of CNN