Persistence Art Show

Can an autonomous AI be creative? We hosted an art show in physical and virtual space to find out.

Art galleries and museums are cultural exercises in archive and permanence. They display works as artifacts of the creative process, as a final result. A work becomes art once it is “done,” but once something is done, it’s also dead.

During this time we were exploring how iteration and persistence, qualities inherent to virtual/digital productions, could interact with and extend the life of traditional works of art. We wanted to bring dead art back to life and display it in a gallery environment that was also alive.

The physical/virtual art show displayed real artworks created using digital tools that took existing art pieces and manipulated their visual elements until a new work was created. The new digital works were sent to a Shenzhen painting factory where they were painted by hand and later displayed in the gallery for the opening.

By collaborating with autonomous AI to blend and rework existing pieces, artists in the Persistence show were playing around with ideas of authorship, intellectual property and even the basic notion of creativity.

“We were playing around with ideas of authorship and even the basic notion of creativity.”

We created a number of immersive experiences for guests as well. Some were built from captures of the digital iteration process for each painting, allowing people to follow the visual journey from original works to remixed digital painting. Another allowed guests to apply textures from displayed works to the entire gallery environment, becoming creators in the art space alongside the artists.