Art created by the computer has been around for a long time. Even if the auction of a picture painted by an algorithm gives the impression that it is something special.
The picture fetched $432,500 at Christie’s auction, although “Christie’s estimates that the auction on Thursday (today) in New York will be 7,000 to 10,000 dollars (up to 8700 euros).”
The art market is a speculative market with its own rules. This is evident not least from the fact that da Vinci’s most expensive artwork to date was auctioned off by Christie’s for over 450 million dollars. The price, of course, is unjustifiable and does not show any particular interest or recognition in the artwork. The Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who won the bid and made international headlines most recently with the death of the journalist Khashoggi, has in the meantime swapped the work for a yacht.
It’s just a matter of money and perhaps it’s only a matter of time before art auctions no longer involve people with the works, but rather, as in the stock market, use algorithms that evaluate the works. They could analyse the works on the basis of existing data and try to predict how the increase in value could develop by means of patterns.
Does it make sense to create art for artificial intelligence?
As an artist, you might consider creating art for Artificial Intelligence. Art would be a purely speculative object and the appearance would be irrelevant. However, if the works are only an object of speculation anyway, the works of art will probably be stored and rarely shown. Then, on the one hand, it wouldn’t matter what they look like as long as the algorithm likes them, and on the other hand, it wouldn’t matter whether a work consists of a physical object or is digital. Digital would have the advantage that the works could be stored more easily and the transfer would also be connected with less effort.
This is, of course, music of the future and these thoughts will probably never become reality. But I took them as an opportunity to think about what images could look like that would be interesting for both man and machine.
How does art look for man and machine?
I am currently working on first drafts. But what would a machine perceive as art if algorithms were to determine their own patterns from the data of human works of art? The artwork that was auctioned at Christie’s was created by creating an algorithm based on portraits of the 14th to 20th centuries. A second algorithm analyzed the images and decided whether it was created by a man or a machine. The image that was auctioned was assigned to a human by the second algorithm. This shows that machines currently only learn and interpret our visual language and it is questionable whether there will be an aesthetics of machines of its own that is also perceived by humans as art and not as a scientific experiment.
But you can think about what art might look like that is created for human and artificial intelligence.