Fake Plants/Real Prints

Work-In-Progress: Explorations in AI

Introducing “Fake Plants/Real Prints,” my cyanotype print series exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence, the natural world, and fine art. Using AI-generated images of plants created using Midjourney, I aim to challenge traditional concepts of authenticity in art.

As AI technology advances, the line between what is real and what is artificial becomes increasingly blurred. Through this project, I aim to examine the implications of AI-generated imagery in the creation of fine art and provoke a dialogue on the intersection of technology and the creative process.

By incorporating AI-generated images of plants, “Fake Plants/Real Prints” offers a visually striking reflection on the modern age’s perception of reality. I seek to bridge the gap between nature and technology, highlighting the unique perspective that AI brings to the artistic domain. The cyanotype process transforms these purely digital creations into unique analog objects that exist in our world, calling into question when the act of creation actually occurs.

Overall, this project invites viewers to contemplate the boundaries of originality and to appreciate the beauty of the natural world in the age of artificial intelligence.

Note: The above statement was a collaboration between myself and ChatGPT in keeping with the spirit of this exploration.

Night Lights Denver – MOP 2023

The GIF above shows me in front of the projection on location at the Daniels & Fisher Clocktower in Denver, CO. Full image to the right.

Although I am certainly not a widely exhibited artist, over the years I have had the opportunity to show my artwork in many gallery spaces, however, they are always prints on paper in frames hanging on a white wall in a space with controlled entry. This is the first time in my career that I have had my work exhibited in a public setting with no barriers of entry to view, and it is also the largest my work has ever been displayed at. Viewing the work in person was truly a surreal experience, and one that I will not soon forget, the bar has been set very high now. The projection runs nightly from 6:30-11 PM on the Daniels & Fisher Clocktower in downtown Denver, located at the intersection of the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and Arapahoe Street.

Special thanks to the juror, Samantha Johnson, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and the Denver Month of Photography for making this exhibit possible.

ARC19 ‘Performance’ Art

On September 22, 2022, the first day of Fall, I began an experimental project utilizing the newly released ARC19 metadata standard. ARC19 uses a clever placeholder code where the URL link for an NFT image usually goes to allow the creator to change the image at will, and indefinitely using notes in the Reserve Address. Although this technology was intended for NFTs used in situations such as game avatars where rewards may unlock certain cosmetic features, I have decided to use it to document the creation of a photographic illustration from start to finish.

Reposted from Art Block’s Blog, found here.

State 1 – Blank Canvas

The first mint of this project was a simple blank canvas, where all photographic illustrations start. A blank canvas is waiting to be filled, and this version of the NFT didn’t even last for 24-hours of the project before I updated the State 2 image.

State 1 – Blank Canvas, 7/29/2022

The project began on the first day of fall, September 22, and will be completed on December 19, 2022. Currently, I am in the final few days of this project, the composite has been finalized and printed for exhibition, and all that remains are the release of the final two states; one documenting the physical print, and the other a signed and dated final digital version. I will post a follow up blog with reflections on this project soon after the final day of the project, this Monday. If you are interested in seeing this artwork on the blockchain, use the NFTx link provided.

From Blank Canvas to Final Draft

Final Versions

Version 1
Version 2

Statement: This is the final version of “Dynamic Block: Fall 2022”, no future ARC19 updates will be made to this project. The final composite is an abstract self-portrait, inspired by dreams and emotional reactions to certain locations I frequent, and driven by a desire to create a final work with multiple layers and ample opportunities to discover something new even after several viewings. It is divided into two distinct worlds that are ever merging and feeding one another; the world of order and algorithms (the one we inhabit), and the world of imagination and creativity. Without one there can not be the other, much like my own creative process, the world is a balance between the real and what we can imagine into existence in that reality. In this composite, I am peering into the world of imagination and creativity searching for inspiration, and discovering it in droves everywhere I look.

Creative Marathon Approaching

The end of another long academic year is rapidly(and mercifully) approaching, and with it comes the start of my brief sabbatical from teaching to focus on physical activity and my creative urges. I plan to continue exploring two methods of creation; digital illustrations and one-of-a-kind analog objects. Additionally, I plan to re-assess my digital footprint to better utilize my time and energy when publicly sharing ideas and artwork, and to avoid time wasting app scrolling that could be better used for rest, physical activity, or creation. Stay tuned for updates in 2023 of new works in progress, in the meantime I hope you enjoy my most recent experiment posted in this blog, a combo print made using 19th century analog processes – cyanotype and van dyke, one image created camera-less using leaves found in my yard, and one made from a digital photograph printed onto a transparency. Printed Size: ~6×9-inches. Substrate: Rives BFK.

“A Murder of (artificial) Crows”

“The crows circled and menaced us, or did they? Over the horizon, I think I saw the Royal Crows controlling their subjects. ‘Caw! Caw! Caw!’ they shrieked as if generated from the pits of hell. Hunkered in our shelter we narrowly escaped, or was it an uneventful day? Memories filtered through an algorithm can be deceiving after all.”

Technical Details

This composite artwork that I refer to as a photographic illustration is the first finished artwork I made utilizing AI for both ideation as well as some of the elements in the final artwork combined with my photography. As I continue to explore this emerging technology that is both muse and an existential threat, I am looking for ways to apply what it is capable of while still maintaining control of my artworks trajectory and content. The result is a ballet between myself and machine, choreographed by intuition, with a constantly evolving outcome.

Pictured on the right are examples of DALL-E crow generations that were used in this artwork.