AI art generators face backlash from artists – but could they unlock creative potential?
AI art generators are facing backlash from artists who say the technology is “scraping” their work without their consent in order to create sophisticated images.
Tim Flach, a world-renowned animal photographer and the president of the Association of Photographers, is among those who feel ripped off and says artificial intelligence can easily imitate the style of his images.
Sky News filmed Flach generating a photo very similar to one of his originals using AI.
“In the case of my tiger I have to put a lot of resources in there – I have to be in there with the tiger,” he said. “The machine doesn’t have to do that.
“But also the fact that at the moment these images are being generated by scraping our images, taking them off our websites, but there’s no remuneration there.”
He added: “For us in terms of livelihood, will there be legal frameworks that will allow us to invest creatively going forward?”
Trade bodies are calling for urgent regulation.
Isabelle Doran, the chief executive of the Association of Photographers, told Sky News: “These massive datasets have been accumulated from images that have been scraped without permission so effectively the photographers work must be remunerated … I think it’s only fair that creators are paid for the work that’s in those databases.”
The government is currently preparing an AI Code of Practice, but this will initially be voluntary.
Some artists see the creative potential in AI.
Mat Collishaw will open an exhibition of his work with new technology in London next week.
He told Sky News: “When photography was invented 150-odd years ago, for first 50 years most photography was just an imitation of painting … it took a long time before photographers thought ‘Hey, we can do this we can go down here’ … and I suppose it’s the same with any new iteration of technology.
“It takes time before people learn to use this new tool in a way that utilises all of its potential.”
However, where some see just another artistic tool, others worry about the outlines of a deeper, more troubling shift.
Comic book artist Dave McKean said: “I think this [is] redefinition of what creativity is – there’s never been such a huge gap between the sheer lack of effort or work or anything going in and the huge sophistication that then results coming out.
“And I think that’s just a dreadful shame. I think that what we lose in that is immense.”
Of the AI companies Sky News contacted, only one, Stability AI, responded.
A spokesperson said the company was “building AI tools to unlock creative potential”.
“AI can help to simplify the creative process, but isn’t a replacement for creators,” they said. “For example, when using a version of Stable Diffusion, or one of the many text-to-image applications built on that suite of models, an artist controls the style, composition and arrangement of their work.
“These models are designed to act as an assistive technology and enhancement for artists, similar to what digital cameras or photo editing software has done for photography.
“Like those technologies, we expect AI to open up new opportunities for the creative industry and grow the pie for paid artistic work.
“We believe that a broad range of creative and professional talents will embrace AI and use it to rapidly implement designs and improve efficiency. AI can help professionals convert ideas into deliverables with greater creative control, less time, and lower production costs.”
A government spokesperson said ministers were “seeking to strike a balanced and pragmatic approach which will allow AI innovators and creative industries to grow together in partnership”.
The Intellectual Property Office is to work with AI firms and rights holders to produce a Code of Practice and guidance on copyright and AI by the summer.
The spokesperson added that the government office will also “aim to make it easier for copyright holders to enforce their rights”.
“This will include providing guidance, coordinating intelligence on any systematic copyright infringement and encouraging the development of AI tools which assist with copyright enforcement,” they said.
The Art Collection of David Bowie: An Introduction – Open Culture
Today, it hardly surprises us when a successful, wealthy, and influential rock star has a large art collection. But David Bowie, ahead of the culture even at the outset of his career, began accruing art well before success, wealth, or influence. He put out his debut album when he was twenty years old, in 1967, and didn’t hesitate to create a “rock star” lifestyle as soon as possible thereafter. As the world now knows, however, rock stardom meant something different to Bowie than it did to the average mansion-hopping, hotel room-trashing Concorde habitué. When he bought art, he did so not primarily as a financial investment, nor as a bid for high-society respectability, but as a way of constructing his personal aesthetic and intellectual reality.
Bowie kept that project going until the end, and it was only in 2016, the year he died, that the public got to see just what his art collection included. The occasion was Bowie/Collector, a three-part auction at Sotheby’s, who also produced the new video above. It examines Bowie’s collection through five of its works that were particularly important to the man himself, beginning with Head of Gerda Boehm by Frank Auerbach, about which he often said — according to his art buyer and curator Beth Greenacre — “I want to sound like that painting looks.” Then comes Portrait of a Man by Erich Heckel, whose paintings inspired the recordings of Bowie’s acclaimed “Berlin period”: Low, “Heroes,” Lodger, and even Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, which Bowie produced.
As we’ve previously featured here on Open Culture, Bowie also loved furniture, none more so than the work of the Italian design collective known as Memphis. This video highlights his red Valentine typewriter, a pre-Memphis 1969 creation of the group’s co-founder Ettore Sottsass. “I typed up many of my lyrics on that,” Bowie once said. “The pure gorgeousness of it made me type.” Much later, he and Brian Eno were looking for ideas for the album that would become Outside, a journey that took them to the Gugging Institute, a Vienna psychiatric hospital that encouraged its patients to create art. He ended up purchasing several pieces by one patient in particular, a former prisoner of war named Johann Fischer, enchanted by “the sense of exploration and the lack of self-judgment” in those and other works of “outsider” art.
The video ends with a mask titled Alexandra by Beninese artist Romuald Hazoum, whom Bowie encountered on a trip to Johannesburg with his wife Iman. Like many of the artists whose work Bowie bought, Hazoumè is now quite well known, but wasn’t when Bowie first took an interest in him. Made of found objects such as what looks like a telephone handset and a vinyl record, Alexandra is one of a series of works that “play on expectations and stereotypes of African art, and are now highly sought after.” Bowieologists can hardly fail to note that the piece also shares its name with the daughter Bowie and Iman would bring into the world a few years later. That could, of course, be just a coincidence, but as Bowie’s collection suggests, his life and his art — the art he acquired as well as the art he made — were one and the same.
Behold the Paintings of David Bowie: Neo-Expressionist Self Portraits, Illustrations of Iggy Pop, and Much More
96 Drawings of David Bowie by the “World’s Best Comic Artists”: Michel Gondry, Kate Beaton & More
Bowie’s Bookshelf: A New Essay Collection on The 100 Books That Changed David Bowie’s Life
How Aladdin Sane Became the Most Expensive Album Cover Ever — and David Bowie’s Defining Image
“David Bowie Is” — The First Major Exhibit Dedicated to Bowie Spans 50 Years & Features 300 Great Objects
Meet the Memphis Group, the Bob Dylan-Inspired Designers of David Bowie’s Favorite Furniture
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.
Masha Titova's “The Music of Art” – The New Yorker
available to read in its entirety here, manage to do.t’s not often that the cover of The New Yorker, traditionally a storytelling image signed by the artist, reflects what goes on behind the scenes at the magazine—but that is what the black and copper shapes designed by Masha Titova for the cover of the June 5, 2023, Music Issue,
The first step was connecting with Titova, a Russian artist who relocated to Montenegro last year, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I asked Titova to use her sense of design to orchestrate a portrayal of a variety of sounds. Titova says, “I don’t play an instrument, but I love music, especially its rhythms, which often inspire me. And when I design, I try to harmonize the various visual shapes as if they were part of a musical composition.”
Once we settled upon the image, we recorded the aural elements that make up the cover’s malleable melody. Some of our more musically adept staffers—including Nick Trautwein, a senior editor who moonlights as a saxophonist, and David Remnick, the editor, on guitar—gathered to interpret Titova’s shapes, selecting the ones they wished to play. Julia Rothchild, a managing editor, who contributed piano, viola, and voice, described the process as “an exercise in synesthesia. What sound would that square make, or those triangles? A thud, or a flutter?”
Impromptu chamber groups formed: a viola-cello duo, a vocal quintet. The musical respite in the middle of the day presented the opportunity to exercise a different kind of focus from that of closing pieces, or making fact-checking calls. The associate research director Hélène Werner, who has played the cello since she was eight years old, said, “Music set me on my way. It was the organizing principle of my childhood. . . . It demands, of those who play it and listen to it, intellectual commitment and emotional honesty. It is generous in return. There is no better teacher.” Rina Kushnir, the art director, also appreciates music for its emotive qualities, for its ability to communicate what is “not possible to express otherwise.” Liz Maynes-Aminzade, the puzzles-and-games editor, says that “drumming and writing (puzzles or otherwise) light up some of the same parts of my brain.” A unifying factor in everyone’s performance was how seriously each performer took their music. One after the other, when their turn came, they paused their casual banter, took a deep breath, played their bit, and only then rejoined the playful green-room atmosphere. It was an unplanned but perfect demonstration of all our colleagues’ marvellous dedication to all they do.
The making of a weekly magazine (or of a Web site, a radio show, a festival, any of our many undertakings) is always a concerted endeavor, but that collaboration happens behind the scenes. This multimedia project, programmed by David Kofahl, the head of the interactives department, with the help of the features editor Sam Wolson, gives a glimpse of the way the efforts of many talented individuals and departments combine to insure that The New Yorker appears on your doorstep (or in your in-box), week after week, as good as we can make it.
See below for more covers about music:
Find covers, cartoons, and more at the Condé Nast Store.
OSS art students create 'exciting' new mural for school atrium – OrilliaMatters
The Orillia Secondary School (OSS) atrium will soon be graced with a new, student-made triptych mural that celebrates school spirit and Indigenous culture and history.
For the past two months, approximately 20 students from grades 9-12 have participated in the brand-new OSS Mural Club, put together by art teachers Steph Dunn and Lindsay Cooper-Wagner.
“We just decided to do this as an extracurricular, to give these artist students a home to have, you know, if they’re not involved in in sports or other things,” said Dunn. “They kind of found each other and we got to do some creative stuff together as a community.”
Together, the group created the Woodlands-style mural.
“It was inspired by one of my Grade 9 students, an Indigenous student, who did a drawing of our (school mascot) Nighthawk in the Woodlands style,” Dunn said.
Each piece of the mural reflects something different about the school, the community, and the area’s Indigenous history, Dunn explained.
“We kind of adopted that style, and also created a treaty map that’s done in the Woodlands style, a kind of (abstraction) of Simcoe County,” she said. “We also have a tree that symbolizes … we’re all in this in this building together … and there are seven little mini Nighthawks in the trees — they represent the seven grandfather teachings.”
The students who participated were happy for the opportunity to help create something meaningful and lasting for their school.
“For me, it was like really exciting to hear, as a Grade 9, I get to finally do something really big,” said OSS student Triti Shah. “I do a lot of art, digital (and) traditional, and it’s just like a really big thing for me … throughout my childhood. It’s really great actually getting to have something up there and out for everyone to see.”
Grade 10 student Paige Hodges, who is also an artist in her free time, said it was important to incorporate elements of Indigenous history in the mural.
“That was the the big idea was to really incorporate the indigenous aspects to it,” she said. “It is really nice to see that sort of inclusiveness in art pieces that will be displayed everywhere.”
The students are looking forward to the mural taking its rightful place in the atrium.
“I think they’re going to take a lot of pride in it once it’s up,” said Dunn.
Sail Canada says coach Lisa Ross was fired for financial reasons, not because she was pregnant – The Globe and Mail
The Art Collection of David Bowie: An Introduction – Open Culture
Masha Titova's “The Music of Art” – The New Yorker
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