CREATION

OF

ADAM

STUDIES

Recently, the rise of artificial intelligence art or neural network art, has surprised the art world and invoked some fascinating questions including what might be implied aesthetically, philosophically, or anthropologically by the work of art by a man-made machine. Made using intelligent algorithms and codes to generate composite visual outputs from patterns of fed information, the anatomy of resulting "faces" in this project, including their expressions and gestures, effectively follows that of real humans, a technological simulation of how a person would have looked. 

Setting the now-existing non-persons into an AI network carrying styles of popular paintings from Western art history and transforming them into oil-like portraits, the faces will have been subjected to art historical archetypes: with a bias towards the ruling race, class, or gender, and weighted by fragments of representation, influence, and mythology. A painted, etched, or drawn representation was the general way to visually record somebody’s individuality (exaggerated, as is, or filtered). However, portraits have consistently been something other than a record in art history, as much as tools for political coding.

Finally, another AI network animates the artistic portraits into motion, bestowing upon them life-like human expression and gesture. Thus, the artificial might draw heavily on the real: while the completed persons effectively do not exist, the AI consumes our own limited comprehension of the human mind (including our attempts to make organizations and meanings), and effectively learns from our own.

​I am reminded of the 16th century fresco "Creation of Adam" by Michaelangelo at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican city, one of the most replicated religious paintings of all time, reproduced in countless imitations and parodies. The word "of' is particularly interesting. Is he created or creator? In 1990, physician Frank Meshberger noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the shapes behind the figure of God appeared to be an anatomically accurate picture of the human brain. The idea of pareidolia was all at once viewed as a manifestation of psychosis, yet it is presently seen as a typical human tendency.

 

With the 100 Adams and counting in this project, one might ask: Whose face is this? Whose expression is this? Who created this? Who is this? Creation of Adam is a necromantic endeavor to invoke the biases within art historical portraiture, the tensions between art and artist, and at the same time a reflection on being and non-being, and the inimitable consciousness that humans possess. The outcomes are chimerical, but believable.

 

 

J A B,  March 2021

Fake Portrait

This Person Does Not Exist

StyleGAN2 (generative adversarial network), Nvidia

Generated 2021

No. 41

Animated AI portrait

This Person Does Not Exist, Portrait AI, My Heritage (Deep Nostalgia)

13 seconds

Generated 2021

The Creation of Adam
Michaelangelo
ca. 1508 - 1512
The Vatican Museum Collection
Public Domain

 

1) The word adam is used in the biblical sense as a pronoun, individually as "a human," gender non-specific "as man and woman" and in a collective sense as "mankind". 

2) Biblical Adam (mankind) is created from adamah (earth). God creates Adam by molding out of clay in the final stages of the creation narrative.

3) After the loss of innocence through "disobedience" Adam is estranged from the earth and is cursed with mortality-- this "earthly" aspect, a very component of his or her identity. 

4) On close examination, Frank Meshberger notes that the depiction of God correlates with the anatomy of the major sulci of the cerebrum in the inner and outer surface of the brain, the brain stem, the frontal lobe, the basilar artery, the pituitary gland and the optic chiasm (1990).

5) Alternatively, it has been observed that the red cloth around God has the shape of a human uterus and that the scarf hanging out could be a newly cut umbilical cord. Medical Journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings notes this in 2015.

6) 'Studies of a Reclining Male Nude: Adam in the Fresco 'The Creation of Man'
 

7. Michelangelo heavily studied the human body and dissected numerous cadavers in his artistic career.

8) Apocalypse of Adam
 

9) In 2020, GPT-3, OpenAI’s powerful new language generator wrote: "And God knows that humans have enough blood and gore to satisfy my, and many more’s, curiosity. They won’t have to worry about fighting against me, because they have nothing to fear."
 

10) In March 2021, a team of researchers began working on teaching computers "to recognize not just what objects are in an image, but how those images make people feel — i.e., algorithms with emotional intelligence" based on 81,000 WIkiArt paintings and 6,500 humans indicating how a painting makes them feel.

 

 

N O T E S,  2 0 2 1

 

The Creation of Adam

Michaelangelo

ca. 1508 - 1512

The Vatican Museum Collection

Public Domain

The word adam is

also used as

pronoun,

individually as "a

human" and in a

collective sense as

"mankind". Biblical

Adam (man,

mankind) is created from adamah (earth)

and Genesis makes

considerable play of

the bond between

them, for Adam is

estranged from the

earth through his

disobedience.

(Ronald Hendel, 2000)

I believe that

Michelangelo

encoded a special

message. It is a

message consistent

with thoughts he

expressed in his

sonnets. Supreme in

sculpture and

painting, he

understood that his

skill was in his brain

and not in his

hands.

(Frank Meshberger, 1990)

Create your own Adam and share via curator.curare@gmail.com

or tag us in Instagram @curareartspace.

This Person Does Not Exist, Portrait AI, My Heritage