The influence of artificial intelligence in the art world is often discussed, a topic that takes a vacillating and controversial stance in many cases. Like us, many others are wondering what the presence of AI in the artistic field entails. Whether it affects human creativity in a negative way or whether it can have the power to become a true medium. This time it is the Villa Reale in Monza that is hosting an exhibition that poses these questions. The genAI project, conceived by Francesco Stranieri and curated by Vittoria Mascellaro, opened on 1 September with an exhibition entitled ‘The Rights from Future Generations – A perspective on (A)rt and (I)nnovation‘, which will remain open until the end of the month.
The project compares works created without the support of AI with works created thanks to Artificial Intelligence. The intention is to explore and discuss the ethical questions surrounding the use of this medium. The focus is particularly on the effects that AI is having on the new generations of artists and thus on the future of contemporary art. In this sense, the first part of the exhibition is dedicated to the newest generations. In fact, a committee of experts has selected the works of young artists from higher education institutions, creating a dialogue with more established artists, who are exhibited in the second part of the path.
Francesco D’Isa, Roberto Fassone and Andrea Meregalli are the protagonists of this second section. Looking at the works, it is clear how AI is an integral part of their artistic research, but it is necessary to delve deeper to understand its use. Through the analysis of the works on display and their creative process, it emerges how AI becomes a real medium without replacing creativity and genius.
In the case of Francesco D’Isa, the focus is on error. His artistic production makes use of Midjourney and/or Stable Diffusion, two text-to-image software. In the series presented in Monza – entitled ‘Errori‘ – D’Isa emphasises the margin of error of a medium that is not yet fully honed and chooses to make this very aspect the protagonist. “The works are the result of mistaken prompts, i.e. constructed in such a way as to give rise to unforeseen, unexpected images, in distant areas of the latent space of the AI.” – says Francesco – “For many people, these bugs are, in fact, mistakes. But proving that the human creative act is fundamentally a choice and in it resides the only necessary condition of making art, here are the mistakes that become the final result.”
Roberto Fassone presents ‘And we thought‘, a project exploring the concept of authorship in art, using an artificial intelligence called Ai Lai, developed by the artist himself and Sineglossa, capable of describing psychedelic experiences. During its first months of existence, it produced numerous accounts of visions under the effect of hallucinogenic mushrooms, including images of fragmented brains, friends with blue eyes, aliens in wardrobes and the invention of the rainbow. The aim is to challenge traditional conceptions of authorship in art, asking ‘can an artificial intelligence generate art, through powerful and poetic visions, or is it the human being who is the author, having designed the artificial intelligence? Or is it a collective process, of which the artist is merely the medium?“
At the end, Andrea Meregalli, an artist and architect accustomed to using mediums such as acrylics, oils and enamels, proposes a project on canvas resulting from his research with AI. His focus on new technologies has led him to experiment with artificial intelligence software from the very beginning. Starting from his sketches, photographs and drawings, Meregalli writes prompts with the aim of obtaining the most unexpected result possible, to create “works that oscillate between randomness and maniacal control.“