An activity in which perfection can be pursued
In discussion with Wendi Yan
What makes something “art” comes from its intention. How did the artist create the work? What is the personal experience or historical question their art responds to? Or did they seek to evoke certain emotions through their work?
In this sense, art is a form of derivative intentionality where the artist imparts it into the work. Is generative art still art? I still think so. You just have a fancier paintbrush.
True art doesn’t care to be appreciated, obsessed over with, or owned. It holds a certain self-respect that knows enough of its own value to not plea for attention.
True art is like a gift. They should not be explicitly marked with a monetary value. They should not be used as holds of value to be predicted and sold. “If art is important to you, you want to hold onto it, instead of trading it with others.”
On Crypto Art
Has a lot of money in it right now but most (keyword: most) of the ‘value’ derived is from speculation and not necessarily new ways of exploring the medium or good/interesting art.
Yet, this new form of ‘art’ still carries the burden of its past. Crypto art still has not solved the curation problem. There is so much art (just take a look at open sea). How does one ensure their art is discovered, other than pleading to the whims of Twitter and to constantly blast their work in hopes that someone will pay attention?
Art as entertainment
Most of what the crypto world calls art is entertainment. They snatch your attention. They care more about making a tweet or a headline declaring they SOLD OUT, they set a HISTORICAL RECORD, and they tell you this is the art’s value.
Situated at the top of the pace layers, true art should be much lower.
On AI Art
Horning observes, “presume that thought is entirely a matter of pattern recognition, and these patterns, already inscribed in the corpus of the internet, can [be] mapped once and for all, with human ‘thinkers’ always already trapped within them. The possibility that thought could consist of pattern breaking is eliminated.”
“The best art isn’t about pleasing or meeting expectations,” as Dan Cohen has put it in a recent essay about generative AI. “Instead, it often confronts us with nuance, contradictions, and complexity.”
On the contrary, Cohen concluded, “The desire of AI tools to meet expectations, to align with genres and familiar usage as their machine-learning array informs pixels and characters, is in tension with the human ability to coax new perspectives and meaning from the unusual, unique lives we each live.”
In other words, AI produces what it thinks we want to see
This is one way of thinking about what it means for a work of art to have depth. You can press in, and it won’t dissolve under a more attentive gaze. AI art does dissolve under deep attention
Questions to ask:
- How will AI-generated images train our vision?
- What habit of attention does it encourage?
- What modes of engagement do they sustain?