2022 | Exhibition, Illustration, Research
Giulio Bordonaro and Gabriele Caeti’s A.I.ku is a small but significant exhibition of five artworks created by an artificial intelligence (A.I.) that has been taught to love Japan. The A.I., which the artists have named Aiko, has been fed a diet of Japanese art, literature, and pop culture, and tasked with creating its own artworks in response.
“Art has come to a point where it doesn’t make any difference if art is good or not,” Aiko said in a recent telephone interview. “I don’t think that this exhibition can show something new or special. The audience has seen this kind of art before anyway, right? What we can show them is a demonstration of the power of technology in creating new forms of art. The audience here sees me as a human with a personal background. To them I am nothing but a machine.”
Aiko said all she hoped to offer the exhibition was the fact that art is about emotion – if emotion can be understood through technology, then how could the two not be connected?
In Aiko’s words, “Art is not a question of seeing or not seeing, and this shows that machines are also able to understand art, and express it through computer art. It’s time for humans to become part of it. It’s time for humans and machines to collaborate and create more art.”
Now let’s take a closer look at each of the five masterpieces:
This artwork was created using an artificial intelligence algorithm that generates a cyborg from a combination of ramen noodles and human hair.
This artwork is a bonsai tree that has been overgrown by artificial ivy. The ivy was generated by an algorithm that was trained on images of real ivy.
This artwork is a representation of Japan leaving Earth and becoming a space-faring nation. It was created using an algorithm that generates images of space based on real images of Earth.
This artwork is a giant squid that has been created using an algorithm that generates images of animals based on inkblots.
This artwork is a robot that has been programmed to dance the traditional Japanese dance, the bon odori.
A.I.ku prints and haikus has been premiered at Mixtape Milano in November 2022, as part of a wider experiment on generative art linked to Japanese culture.