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Possibly a fact. Definitely an opinion. May 27, 2021   Art, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Observations, Photography

Untitled Project_05_0030.jpeg

Creation of something that is personally significant is an opinion. It is also a fact.

When I create a drawing or a painting, or even this small piece of writing, I base it on as much of myself as I can fit into it safely. There are typically not very many facts in what I create, as I would like to tickle the universe, not nail it down and strangle it. (Or put it into some jar.)

But by the mere fact of creating, I am “putting a stake in the ground”, I am creating a factual translation of something that possibly was not there before. Or something that has been around forever. Or something in-between. And it might be a good or bad translation, but it is suddenly a real thing. Even when it is just a digital something. Like this piece of text is.

I write the way I draw and paint. There is often a nucleus of a thought that then expands to fit a specific space. The drawings grow and adapt, and so does my writing. Circles from circles and lines near parallel lines. Once the space is claimed, the process reverses. I follow the lines, the idea, the whatever there is backwards, until I am back at the nucleus, the circle is closed, the cycle is completed?
It is a dance perhaps? A dialogue with the forces of the universe? Whatever I can get away with? Again and again?

I am very aware of my limitations. And perhaps writing pushes against those? Drawing and painting and even making photographs does too?

Photography used to be somehow closest to recording something that was part of a reality outside of myself. I could have taken pictures without actually looking for them, for instance. Some of my most beautiful images could have been captured with my eyes closed. Or from the perspective my bellybutton has when the camera is not in front of it.

Now, with the use of AI, my photographs are coming closer to the paintings and drawings. It is happening, I am enjoying it even though it is difficult. The process of creation is also a process of curation. When I write then I am using the vocabulary I have and the memories I seem to have and the consciousness and awareness I can somehow attempt to connect to. When working with AI to create photographs, I first select a library of “inputs”, curated from the many thousands of photographs and images I have created over the years. I then let the machines play with those following certain rules and come back to me with interpretations. And from these I am able to recognize the patterns I find most fitting for what I would like to translate from opinion to fact.
My intent and attention lets some of the results rise above the others and then more attention and intent is needed to turn the sketches into something worth expressing and recording.

This is not an easy process for me personally. I have discovered fairly early on in my life that I am better working in a mode of limitation and almost reduction or starvation, than in an abundance. It sounds more dramatic than it is. It is much easier for me to turn an almost nothing into an almost something than to take a flood and distill it into a spirit drop.

Or at least that’s what it feels like. A lot of AI work is about looking at thousands and thousands of images and then selecting the ones that fit the idea best and moving away from the ones that do not.
This is quite demanding psychologically. I am matching patterns. And loving certain sets of patterns, it is not easy to just throw them away.

The process of turning opinions that look like facts into facts that look like opinions is no easy feat. At least for me personally it isn’t.

Many challenges. Many challenges. Many challenges.

But that’s just my very personal opinion.
And that’s possibly a bit of a fact.


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