Hyperreality and Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Contemplating Arts and AI
October 2, 2023
Boris Eldagsen is a German “photomedia artist exploring the unconscious mind.” He was awarded Sony World Photography Award in 2022 for his work, The Electrician, part of his Pseudomnesia series. Boris wanted full acknowledgement by Sony that AI was used in his work. That request was not granted, so Boris refused the award because of his commitment to full transparency in this world of arts and AI.
[AI-generated] artwork should not copy the human condition but should tell us about the AI condition.
– Boris Eldagsen
At the beginning of our conversation about arts and AI, the two artists mentioned cultural inspirations from their childhoods. Jason mentioned being a true child of the 80’s as a fan of the animated cartoons like Transformers and Mask and of course Star Wars.
Boris was inspired by the album cover photography of Brian Griffin, particularly the cover for the Depeche Mode’s, Construction Time Again. Inspired also by the Frankie Goes to Hollywood album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, where Boris was first exposed to the ideas of Friedrich Nietschze by a reading of translation of Nietschze’s The Birth of Tragedy at the beginning of the song.
Cultural entities, people, and philosophies referenced throughout:
- Jean Baudrillard, a French philosopher, sociologist and poet, best known for works such as Simulation and Simulacra. Baudrillard is also known for developing the concept of “hyperreality”.
- Hyperreality is a concept in post-structuralism that refers to the process of the evolution of notions of reality, leading to a cultural state of confusion between signs and symbols invented to stand in for reality, and direct perceptions of consensus reality.
- Promptography – a term promoted by Boris meaning using artificial intelligence “prompts” to generate art.
- MidJourney – the AI platform used to generate and manipulate images.
- ChatGPT – the AI platform used to generate and manipulate writing.
- Alex Gray, former Harvard Anatomy Department worker and artist who completely defies limitations and who espouses the power of art to bring personal catharsis and spiritual awakening.
- Boris refers to German psychologist Carl Gustav Jung’s theories of the “collective unconscious” when he says, “What I find fascinating in working with AI is that it ts a mirror of mankind. For me, it its what Carl Gustav Jung in his psychology 100 years ago called the “collective unconscious”.
- Plato’s theory of forms
- Alan Watts – English writer, speaker, and “philosophical entertainer” who pondered why humans cease to be creative after childhood. (See video below.)
- Boris references his participation in the international organization, Writing with Light, to create code of ethics in photojournalism to fight deep fakes and misleading manipulation:
Writing with light, the original meaning of photography, is a movement by visual journalists and documentary photographers to clearly differentiate their photographs from other images that appear to be photorealistic but are highly manipulated or generated by artificial intelligence systems. The icon placed next to the photographer’s name in the credit, indicates to readers that the photographer upholds the Statement of Principles, striving for fair and accurate reporting of what they experience while acknowledging the subjectivity inherent in their work. – Writing with Light
Join us as we chat with Hilary Perkins, founder of Whippoorwill Arts (www.whippoorwillarts.org) a nonprofit advocating for music and musicians that recently underwent a comprehensive report on recommended wages for working musicians. We talk about the report that makes suggested base and graduated pay for musicians of all types, stripes, and locations.
4A Arts recently chatted with Mathew Boudreaux, known in the online crafting world as the “Themperor of Crafting”, @mx.domestic.
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