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Exhibition: ‘I’m Not A Painter’, Alexander Reben’s & human-machine collaborations

Text by CLOT Magazine

Artist and MIT-trained roboticist Alexander Reben’s work probes the inherently human nature of the artificial. He uses artificial philosophy, synthetic psychology, perceptual manipulation, and technological magic to allow us to understand who we are and consider who we will become in our continued co-development with our artificial creations.

From September 9 to October 8, Reben presents his new exhibition, I’m Not A Painter, at GAZELL.iO, the digital arm of Gazelli Art House. The exhibition is the second to be titled by an AI. Across a mixed-media wallpaper and oil painting installation, the exhibition displays an amalgamation of surreal imagery that feels familiar and remote at once.

The artworks in this exhibition directly result from Reben’s experimentations in human-machine. Reben presents a series of paintings generated by an AI which are based on the description of the painting created by another AI. The title refers to the fact that neither of the two participants in the collaboration is a painter and to the non-traditional nature of the collaboration and describes the curatorial process as “a conversation” between the AIs and him.

Reben uses a neural network combined with a text generation AI (GPT-3), then curates from these outputs and inputs the selected artwork descriptions into text-to-image AIs, such as DALL-E-2, to ​​explore fundamental ideas surrounding the creative process. Authorship, control, authenticity, communication, enthusiasm: where do these definitions sit within this brave new world of AI technologies? He asks. 

I’m Not A Painter runs from September 9 to October 8, 2022. 

(Image courtesy of Gazelli Art House)
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