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Can AI images be considered Art with a capital A?

Picture of Helene Decamps

Helene Decamps

Branding Expert, Double MBA, a decade of experience in the Luxury Hospitality Industry followed by two years in a startup and almost three years into our current Marketing Collective - BeeVibrand. Experienced SEO Copywriter using evergreen storytelling techniques backed by premium google search ranking software such as AHRefs, SEMRush, Moz and Screaming Frog. Helene has made a career out of identifying patterns and creating strategies to maximize revenue and leads.

Takeaway:

In a simple conclusion free of nuance, yes. But limiting art to that only nuance would be the end of it and humanity as we know it because what it lacks would never be able to fulfill the void left by the destruction of other creative mediums.

Table of Contents

Defining Art from a professional perspective

In a simple conclusion free of nuance, yes. But limiting art to that only nuance would be the end of it and humanity as we know it because what it lacks would never be able to fulfill the void left by the destruction of other creative mediums.

Once humanity started to evolve enough to adapt out of having to live in survival all day, art blossomed. There were always traces of that need for processing and expression, even when danger was always around. Innovation bloomed as that part of our brain was given more space to be.

Looking at AI art from a professional art setting/group’s perspective, the common conclusion seems to be that AI images could never be art because the artistic community would never peer-review it. Is AI creative technology evolving so quickly that it could very quickly adapt in a way that would make it impossible not to consider? Absolutely. But again, nuance. Within the traditional artist communities – though many of them would argue they are anything but – what makes something worthy of being peer-reviewed? The common theme amongst all mediums can be boiled down to the process, and we are not considering technique or mediums within this extremely simplified scope. The process that each qualified peer group reviews always looks at what you were trying to explore, be it feelings or a thought, the impact of creation on your processing and the lessons learned during the journey, and whether you can provoke that same awakening or feeling in someone else with the result that came out of that.

It’s a process of mindfulness. It’s a state of trance and meditation and breakthrough that some will share with spoken or written words, some with painted strokes, some by capturing the story told by a static moment painted by shadows and the lights with their cameras. Simply arguing that cameras did not replace paints would be a false fallacy and a clear indicator that while the person might be interested, exploring the interest without understanding the benefits of art will only leave them with a sense of unfulfillment with their creations. Coming in from this perspective, fooled by the guise that it lowers the barriers of entry, only makes the intangible barriers of entry in the world of art even more intimidating. If the process of thinking of prompts and manipulating software allows you to have a breakthrough and you manage to share that journey with people, then you have created art, whether the community has accepted it yet or not. Creativity breeds creativity so while the products of AI images might not make it to the status of art, it is inevitable for them not to spur strikes of inspiration in the person dabbling with art through AI, as well as more advanced artists and therein lies its greatest value. But with all change comes a surge of resistance.

Is AI advanced enough for each individual image to be considered within the art community? Not yet. Perhaps not ever. Looking into the mechanics of weighted machine learning that make up the bones of AI, it is not a structure capable of producing new original abstract thoughts. If AI produces a piece of content, it can only do so with the data it contains. Has the technology evolved fast enough to capture new data received from interacting with users? Have their algorithms advanced enough to quickly adapt back that answer at you as if the thought was produced by it? Yes. Is it capable of bias? Due to the nature of data, also yes, but the ethical issues surrounding AI’s development and management are quickly buried and would deserve their own thought piece. Are the conversations that are being fuelled by the users of AI image generation tools from prompts and artists? They absolutely could be if they manage to step into the mind of a true artist instead of giving in to the temptation of becoming a capitalist’s best arsenal in “streamlining” the production of creative projects for the “benefit of the economy.”

How AI can be useful to you as an aspiring, new, or established Artist?

If someone is trying to use AI to get their feet wet and gain confidence before trying the real thing, it is an amazing support tool to get over your limiting beliefs and train your brain to have more original creative thoughts. The worst thing to do then would be to seek validation online from strangers because resistance is inevitable, and you’re volunteering yourself as a willing target as driven by your unhealed subconscious beliefs. Going down that path and expecting validation is guaranteed to kill that still vulnerable interest rather than foster it unless you’re authentic and openly vocal about your intentions and proactive in reminding others that you are sharing your journey to become an artist by practicing creative thinking.

In essence, setting out with the aim of causing controversial discussions could be viewed as performance art or contemporary art, depending on the conclusion reached and the medium through which it is presented. Thinking like an artist means being willing to advance society within their self-actualization towards enlightenment at the risk of being hated for it. To be able to detach from your emotional and personal attachment to the aesthetic of the piece and to observe the reactions and conversations it creates. Taking the time to explain the process and your own thought development throughout, your hopes for the experiment compared to the outcome, and what you’ve learned from that to benefit others, THAT, that is art, even when not approved by often elitist peers.

If this element is missing, AI images in themselves can only ever be commercial art and not art for what it’s meant to be – a way to challenge society to be better. The agenda of AI creative tool development is another subject and one I personally do not believe should be encouraged. Am I for the development of the technology? Absolutely, but not for the current purpose it’s being built. The push for AI development follows the same pattern as the push to defund creative departments in schools. The powers that be are terrified that the pyramid scheme that is our modern economy will be exposed because it is in no way sustainable for a model that does not value individual thinkers to push for the advancement of real creative freedom.

The current direction seems to encourage the discouragement of aspiring artists with the hope they will give up on their creative careers in favor of a “safe” job. A nice corporate job with golden handcuffs on your mind, where you can provide a consistent and clearly measurable output of key performance indicators until they succeed in convincing you that your only sense of worth can come from your productivity and the money you make. The tool in itself is not the actual threat. The real threat is the potential drop in the percentage of active artists within our live societies. Allowing this fake propaganda to create fear and add limiting beliefs before younger generations even have the opportunity to understand and advocate for more artistic outlets for all in our society would be the real tragedy. The drama is just the red herring to make sure it happens before it’s too late to stop. If you are an aspiring artist, don’t allow yourself to get distracted by the tool and what it means. The good news is that you will have less competition in the future. The bad news is that you will have less competition in the future. Less competition also means fewer like-minded people to enable the creative crazy you’ll need to access your zones of genius. You cannot break out of the box by staying in what you know.

Check some of the fundamentals of branding your business here or check some of our available services here.

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[BeeVibrand SNC is a creative marketing collective focused on strong branding and sustainable growth through strategies to diversify passive and active revenue channels. We free up your time while increasing your resources for success. We help turn ideas that you are passionate about, into products and services that people love. Find out more about our team and the shared vision, mission and values that fuel our drive to close the gender equity gap here.]

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