A conversation with ChatGPT about Art, AI-Art, and how to write a Reddit article about it…

JP

Can you tell me about the opposition between painters like Cabanel or Bouguereau and more “modern” painters like Manet?

Certainly! The opposition between painters like Cabanel and Bouguereau, who were associated with the academic tradition in 19th-century French painting, and more “modern” painters like Manet can be understood in the context of the broader artistic movements and debates of the time.

Academic painting, which was supported and promoted by the French Academy of Fine Arts, adhered to traditional notions of beauty and excellence in art, and tended to favor highly finished, highly polished works that followed established conventions and techniques. Painters like Cabanel and Bouguereau were part of this tradition, and their work was generally characterized by a classical, realistic style, with a focus on carefully rendered detail and an emphasis on idealized forms.

On the other hand, modern painters like Manet were part of a movement that sought to challenge and break away from the constraints of the academic tradition. These artists were interested in experimenting with new styles and techniques, and they often sought to capture the energy and dynamism of contemporary life. Manet, in particular, is known for his innovative approach to painting, which combined elements of the traditional and the modern and often challenged the conventions of the time. His work was often seen as rebellious and controversial, and he was a key figure in the development of the Impressionist movement, which sought to capture the fleeting, ephemeral qualities of light and color.

Overall, the opposition between these two groups of painters reflects the broader tensions and debates that were taking place in the art world of 19th-century France, as traditionalists and modernists struggled to define the direction of the art of their time.

JP

Can you write a blog article about this opposition, with more names and a few examples of painters/paintings?

Sure, here is a blog article about the opposition between traditional academic painters and more modernist painters in 19th-century France:

In the 19th century, the art world in France was marked by tension between traditional academic painters and more modernist artists who sought to challenge the conventions of the time.

The academic tradition in French painting was supported and promoted by the French Academy of Fine Arts, and it adhered to traditional notions of beauty and excellence in art. Painters who were part of this tradition, such as Jean-Léon Gérôme, Gabriel-François Doyen, and Alexandre Cabanel, were known for their highly finished, highly polished works that followed established techniques and conventions. These artists often depicted classical subjects in a realistic style, with a focus on carefully rendered detail and an emphasis on idealized forms.

On the other hand, there was a group of modernist painters who sought to break away from the constraints of the academic tradition. These artists, such as Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, were interested in experimenting with new styles and techniques, and they often sought to capture the energy and dynamism of contemporary life. Manet, in particular, is known for his innovative approach to painting, which combined elements of the traditional and the modern and often challenged the conventions of the time. His work, such as “Olympia” and “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe,” was often seen as rebellious and controversial, and it played a key role in the development of the Impressionist movement.

The Impressionists, who included Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley, sought to capture the fleeting, ephemeral qualities of light and color in their paintings. They rejected the highly finished, polished style of the academic tradition and instead focused on capturing the impression of a scene or moment, often using loose, rapid brushstrokes and vibrant, high-keyed colors.

Overall, the opposition between these two groups of painters reflects the broader tensions and debates that were taking place in the art world of 19th-century France, as traditionalists and modernists struggled to define the direction of the art of their time. While the academic painters were concerned with upholding traditional standards of beauty and excellence, the modernists sought to push the boundaries and create something new and innovative. Both groups made important contributions to the development of art in this period, and their work continues to be influential and relevant today.

JP

Great. Do you think there’s a similar “opposition” of style in the AI-Arts of today (Midjourney and Stable Diffusion)?

It is certainly possible that there are opposing styles or approaches to creating art with artificial intelligence (AI) today, just as there have been opposing styles or approaches to creating art throughout history. However, it is difficult to say for certain without more context about the specific artists or works you are referring to.

In general, the use of AI in the creation of art is a relatively new and rapidly evolving field, and there are likely to be a wide range of styles and approaches being used. Some artists may use AI as a tool to generate new ideas or to assist in the creative process, while others may use it to create entire works of art on its own. Some artists may be more interested in using AI to explore and push the boundaries of what is possible with this technology, while others may be more interested in using it to create works that are more traditional or familiar in style.

Without knowing more about the specific artists or works you are referring to, it is difficult to say whether there is a specific “opposition” of style in the AI arts today. However, it is likely that there are a wide range of styles and approaches being used, and that there may be some differences or opposing viewpoints among different artists working in this field.

JP

Write an article for Reddit about all this, the opposition between academic painting and more modern painting in the 19th century is similar to the today (AI art) seek between detailed, perfect portraits people want to make today, instead of pushing boundaries and inventing real new images.

Sure, here is an article for Reddit about the similarities between the opposition between academic painting and more modern painting in the 19th century and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of art today:

As an avid art enthusiast, I have been thinking a lot lately about the ways in which the art world has evolved over time and the various movements and debates that have shaped the course of art history. One thing that has particularly struck me is the way in which the opposition between traditional academic painting and more modernist approaches in the 19th century is similar to the debates and tensions that are taking place in the world of AI art today.

In the 19th century, the art world in France was marked by a tension between traditional academic painters, such as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Alexandre Cabanel, and more modernist artists like Édouard Manet and the Impressionists. The academic tradition, which was supported by the French Academy of Fine Arts, favored highly finished, polished works that followed established conventions and techniques, while the modernists sought to break away from these constraints and create something new and innovative.

Today, we are seeing a similar tension in the use of AI in the creation of art. On one hand, there are those who are using AI to generate highly detailed, realistic portraits or other works that are meant to be indistinguishable from those created by a human artist. These works may be impressive in their technical proficiency, but they can also be seen as conservative or lacking in creativity, as they rely on pre-established techniques and conventions rather than pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

On the other hand, there are those who are using AI to explore new and innovative approaches to creating art. These artists may be more interested in using AI to generate new ideas or to assist in the creative process, rather than simply replicating what has already been done. They may be more interested in using AI to create works that are truly unique and original, rather than simply replicating the styles and techniques of the past.

Overall, it seems to me that the opposition between academic painting and more modernist approaches in the 19th century is similar to the tensions and debates that are taking place in the world of AI art today. While some artists are using AI to create highly detailed, polished works that adhere to established conventions, others are using it to explore new and innovative approaches that push the boundaries of what is possible. Whether you are more drawn to the traditional or the modern, it is clear that both approaches have the potential to produce beautiful and meaningful works of art.

JP

Great! What could be the title (in one line) for this article?

Here are a few options for a title for this article:

“Exploring the Tensions between Traditional and Modern Approaches to AI Art”

“The Similarities between 19th-Century Painting and 21st-Century AI Art”

“Tracing the Evolution of Artistic Debates through the Ages: From Academic Painting to AI Art”

“Navigating the Boundaries between Convention and Innovation in AI Art”

JP

I choose “Similarities between 19th-Century Painting and 21st-Century AI Art” but I’d love to be a bit more precise, can I add something like “- academic or inventive”?

Certainly! Here is a revised title that incorporates your suggested modification:

“Similarities between 19th-Century Painting and 21st-Century AI Art: Academic or Inventive Approaches”

This title more clearly conveys the focus of the article on the opposition between traditional academic approaches and more modernist, innovative approaches in both 19th-century painting and 21st-century AI art. It also suggests that these opposing approaches may be characterized as either “academic” or “inventive,” which helps to further emphasize the tension between these two approaches.

JP

What are two examples of these 19th century times (portrait paintings) to show the difference between academic portrait and modern portrait?

Here are two examples of portrait paintings from the 19th century that illustrate the difference between academic and modern approaches:

“The Artist’s Mother” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: This portrait, painted in 1814, is a good example of an academic portrait from the 19th century. It is highly finished and polished, with a careful attention to detail and a focus on idealized forms. The sitter is depicted in a classical pose, with a dignified expression and a sense of calm and composure.

“The Old Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso: This portrait, painted in 1903, is a good example of a modern portrait from the 19th century. It is characterized by a more expressive, emotive style, with bold, simplified forms and a sense of movement and energy. The sitter is depicted in a relaxed, informal pose, with a sad, pensive expression that conveys a sense of vulnerability and vulnerability.

Overall, these two portraits illustrate the contrast between the academic tradition, which favored highly finished, polished works that followed established conventions, and the modernist approach, which sought to break away from these constraints and create something new and innovative.

JP

Yes, but painted in the same decade could be a better example…

Certainly, here are two examples of portrait paintings from the 19th century that were painted in the same decade and illustrate the difference between academic and modern approaches:

“The Kiss of the Sphinx” by Jean-Léon Gérôme: This portrait, painted in 1866, is a good example of an academic portrait from the 19th century. It is highly finished and polished, with a careful attention to detail and a focus on idealized forms. The sitter is depicted in a classical pose, with a dignified expression and a sense of calm and composure.

“Olympia” by Édouard Manet: This portrait, painted in 1863, is a good example of a modern portrait from the 19th century. It is characterized by a more expressive, emotive style, with bold, simplified forms and a sense of movement and energy. The sitter is depicted in a relaxed, informal pose, with a direct gaze that challenges the viewer and a sense of self-assurance.

Overall, these two portraits illustrate the contrast between the academic tradition, which favored highly finished, polished works that followed established conventions, and the modernist approach, which sought to break away from these constraints and create something new and innovative. Both portraits were painted in the same decade, but they demonstrate the different artistic styles and approaches that were being used at the time.

JP

There’s a painting with a nymph on the sea waters painted around 1863 too, with angels around. It’s in Orsay Museum. What is it?

It is possible that the painting you are describing is “The Birth of Venus” by Alexandre Cabanel. This painting, which was completed in 1863, depicts the mythological figure Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, emerging from the sea as a fully-grown woman. The painting shows Venus standing on a shell and being attended to by two angels, who are holding out a cloak for her to cover her nakedness. “The Birth of Venus” is considered to be an example of academic painting, as it adheres to traditional notions of beauty and excellence in art and follows established techniques and conventions. The painting is currently housed in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

And:

Variations and AI-made Art, Indecisions, and Curators…

1

There’s a place (photography) where indecision is interesting, and this is what I’ll use today.

It’s not really about indecision, it’s “decision displacement”.

A photographer often takes many pictures of a scene, and then chooses one. We all know the contact sheets, with crosses for nays:

In the ending end, you get ONE portrait, ONE place: one photograph. It’s about “content curation”. You have to choose one.

2

But of course, some artists just don’t. They opt “not to choose”, they show a few pictures.

The simple idea of showing a “contact sheet” was already in itself a variation game. It puts the audience in the position of the curator: “What would YOU choose?”. Something else, probably…

3

I wrote an article somewhere about Depardon and Shore.

A/ The French photographer shows two pictures in a street in the city of Glasgow. A slightly different angle, different time of the day, different weather. You compare, you watch, and you wonder: why both? What do these picture offer? What do they show? What does the photographer want?

It’s a bit as if the photographer was talking to you. “You see this place? What should I do? This chimney and this crane, they’re cool, right?”.

B/ The American photographer says this too, but to himself: somewhere, there’s only one place from which he’d take a picture. And thus each of his photos are like “magnetic”, there’s a perfection in lines, light, energy…

So you see this picture, and not another one:

Stephen Shore. Image from Steel Town

4

In the history of Arts, some artists like to offer variations too. They turn around things, like Monet with haystacks or Picasso with tomato plants.

5

I’ve always loved pictures but I don’t know how to draw, thus I made plenty of photos, and I collected books – today I’m able to make cool images with prompts and Artificial Intelligence. The skills needed are all about words, how to use them and describe things to get pictures.

In this field, people are always seeking a kind of perfection. Crisp, detailed, perfect pictures. There is a huge catalog of examples at https://lexica.art/

There are programs that can “batch” pictures, so when I make castles, I make 1000 pictures, because styles are fun to explore. These are “combinations” of words and styles.

But with a single prompt, one can also makes plenty of images, and each one will be different from the others, like these towers:

The wind:

Robots:

6

So well, there’s a tool for the spirit here.

When you work on a project (at school, in your company, etc), do you come up with one result? A few variations? Plenty of variations? Who’s the curator? You, in your head, or the client/student/customer? When is it a mistake?

I realized, when I began to work for other people, that my idea of showing plenty of things to the collaborator is a mistake. Then often don’t want to choose.

But sometimes you have to let them choose all the same! Because they don’t know what they want? Because they need to be disturbed by the fact they will HAVE TO choose?

And, you’ll be surprised by their choice…

Thanks for reading!

7

You can watch Depardon’s book on YT:

Is AI-made Art, Art?

Is AI-made Art, Art?

When photography appeared, I suppose that painters asked the same question. Is photography an “Art”? The photographers don’t even know how to draw, right?

Well, it became an Art, and some painters began to USE photographs to get inspired, to remember compositions and light, etc.

AI-Artists needs other skills. They play with Python programs, “settings”, and of course the prompt, the “sentence” we use to summon the models.

To write good prompts, you must think about organizing the words. Still, also you need culture, and visual art vocabulary (including photo vocabulary), but also, like in other arts, a way to combine, to “link” things nobody thought to link before… You also need an eye to determine what’s banal, ugly or cool.

I will always stick to the idea that “A good picture is a picture that stops the eyes”. A good picture must do that in a world surrounded by pictures everywhere.

These days I play with “classic painters”, I make new paintings, and well, that’s it:

Of course, the pleasure is to combine styles, to create new styles:

You can get crap

You can get illustration

Maybe ideas for stories – “here’s the story of the little girl who invented snow friends:”

Little things:

Color ideas:

Composition ideas:

Cool mistakes!

The AI artist must also be a curator, he constantly has to select what should be shown or not.

Well, you can make your images, for free. Just follow this:

Thanks for reading!

Analogies, Strangeization: How AIs Tango with our Brain.

I asked an AI, ruDALLE-XL, to make images of a dream.

This AI is a fun one, it’s easy to disturb her (therefore to inspire her).

It’s not the only one: I asked DALLE 2 (OpenAI, Google’s text-to-image AI) to draw me “Slow Melancholy” and I got this snake shell with leaves. Not bad, good picture composition and light. It looks like a photo, and that’s it.

Now, look at these pictures. The first one looks like clouds over a lake (but on the right, they look like something else). The second one shows some “things”, in the morning on a green land. But what are they? The third one shows the silhouette of a woman. She’s probably on the beach, looking a… well… what?

Our intelligence, or our way of understanding reality, is based on ANALOGY. When we see something, our brain is trained to “link” it with something we already know.

“Oh, it looks like a cloud”.

Douglas Hofstadter wrote an entire book about this idea. He shows us a page full of the letter “A”. Some of them we’ve never seen, but we know they’re “A”s.

It becomes interesting when we see the strangeness produced by AIs.

Image 1: a red sphere emerges from a… flower?

Image 2: something (an animal?), jumps on the sand?

Image 3: some fabric, or maybe a creature under the sea?

We would like to know, but we can’t.

It’s a bit disturbing, or ugly. It’s beautiful, maybe, who knows?

Is it a leaf? An animal? Who’s that lady? What does she think?

Could we write a poem about one of these 6 pictures? Invent a painting from it?

One quality of a good picture today is to stop the gaze, to stop the viewer’s eye, wandering fastly in the world made of images.

AI-made images, some of them, have this quality. Our brain stops because it tries to understand. Is it a bird in the night? Watching what? Why is the moon wrapped in this shape?

Strangeization is a way for the artist to “add strange elements” to a piece of art, in the purpose to catch back an audience who has seen everything and is hard to get attention from.

Here, the process is: make plenty of images with a prompt (words that describe), and choose one.

What will you make?

Strangeization Tool & Eyebrow Criteria (or type this word in my blog’s search engine).

Thanks for reading!

Digit Lovers vs Artists

There’s a pattern in photography.

Two kinds of photographers. Those who take photos with their camera. And those who play for hours on their Mac, with apps, with digits, HDR, and I correct this and that.

I already wrote articles about those.

Take a car.

You can be the tech type. You want to open it and fix this and that. Or you want to drive it to the lake and breath fresh air.

Today I’m very busy making images with Artificial intelligence. I have an Artstation (here: https://quick_eyed_sky.artstation.com/ ) and a YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/JPRobocat

Very soon, I noticed the same pattern.

To make images, you need a Google Colab, which is a Python program with a bunch of settings, like a machine, and you enter a “prompt”, which is a “phrase describing what you want to see”.

There are 2 camps.

  • Most humans are obsessed and focused on SETTINGS, they study these for weeks, very deeply, line by line. They’re obsessed with numbers, and digits.
  • The other camp is obsessed with the PROMPT, which is like poetry. Choice of words. The way you present them. Their weight. Etc.

It’s always the same pattern.

  • Camp 1 is very serious. They are logical. They are focused on their numbers. They want DETAILS, crunchy pictures, they want lines. Techs.
  • Camp 2 is very casual. They try things. They read poetry. They enter lyrics and try to find new artists. They want mood, light, and composition. Poets.

You know what? Both camps are OK. But I’m in the 2nd one. You knew that already, right?

Do you watch the beach and the mountain, or do you watch your car’s engine?

Thanks for reading!

Do you focus on the prompt or on the digits everywhere? What about “clamp_max”: 0.05? Should I double it? Or should I add “ominous sky” in the prompt? Where do you like to work?

“text_prompts”: {
“0”: [
“Greg Rutkowski, long butterfly airship in the summer sky, Artstation”
],
“100”: [
“This set of prompts starts at frame 100”,
“This prompt has weight five:5”
]
},
“image_prompts”: {},
“clip_guidance_scale”: 50000,
“tv_scale”: 0,
“range_scale”: 150,
“sat_scale”: 0,
“cutn_batches”: 4,
“max_frames”: 10000,
“interp_spline”: “Linear”,
“init_image”: null,
“init_scale”: 1000,
“skip_steps”: 0,
“frames_scale”: 1500,
“frames_skip_steps”: “60%”,
“perlin_init”: false,
“perlin_mode”: “mixed”,
“skip_augs”: false,
“randomize_class”: true,
“clip_denoised”: false,
“clamp_grad”: true,
“clamp_max”: 0.05,
“seed”: 2397292033,
“fuzzy_prompt”: false,
“rand_mag”: 0.05,
“eta”: 0.8,
“width”: 1600,
“height”: 832,
“diffusion_model”: “512x512_diffusion_uncond_finetune_008100”,
“use_secondary_model”: true,
“steps”: 350,
“diffusion_steps”: 700,
“ViTB32”: true,
“ViTB16”: true,
“ViTL14”: false,
“RN101”: false,
“RN50”: true,
“RN50x4”: false,
“RN50x16”: false,
“RN50x64”: false,
“cut_overview”: “[12]400+[4]600″,
“cut_innercut”: “[4]400+[12]600″,
“cut_ic_pow”: 1,
“cut_icgray_p”: “[0.2]400+[0]600″,
“key_frames”: true,
“angle”: “0:(0)”,
“zoom”: “0: (1), 10: (1.05)”,
“translation_x”: “0: (0)”,
“translation_y”: “0: (0)”,
“video_init_path”: “/content/training.mp4”,
“extract_nth_frame”: 2
}

The Imperfectionnist

I read an interview of a French original soundtrack composer, fan of Ennio Morricone.

Well, he talked about his musical qualities, about his multifaceted style (7 styles, he said!), but in the end told that what he preferred was his morriconesque way to accept almost everything, and then his way to work all the time, constantly, year after year.

Indeed, if you Wikipedia Ennio, you’ll find more than 100 classical works and more than 400 scores for cinema and television.

This says something, but can also ring false alarms.

If you produce a lot, there will be fantastic things AND more ordinary lukewarm other things.

It says that one should not be too solemn before beginning a work. It says to stop thinking too much, and to begin, to try, explore and experiment.

It DOES NOT say (in my opinion) that you can be casual when you work. You will work hard, you’ll really do your best.

“Il fallait qu’un bâton de chaise fût bien fait”, says Charles Peguy in France: The chair rung must be well made, not for the boss, or for connoisseurs, but it had to be well made itself, in itself, for itself, in its very self.

I just finished reading Woody Allen’s biography, when he says he’s an “imperfectionist”. I really felt it was the same pattern.

In fact, most of the great artists are like that. Picasso. Mozart. They work a lot, like crazy, they refuse no experience, they’re like “OK, let’s do that!”. Instead of thinking of is it the good moment or find the perfect way to work, they just begin.

Well, I like that because it’s the way I began my blog. I was sooo solemn about it, about the theme, and the perfect way of doing this or that, and when.

When I watched tutorials on YouTube about starting my channel Quick-Eyed Sky, I often found clips like “Errors new Youtubers make”. One was always: “Stop waiting for the good moment and gear to begin: post now, post today”.

Have a great summer! Sorry for the mistakes in this article, I’ll check it in a few days. I wrote it fast, but I want it cool, right?

L’Agogique

Strangely the “Agogique” Wikipedia article is in French only, here:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agogique

Thus I asked Oxford about “agogic”, I copy/paste:

1 An adjective indicating a variety of accentuation demanded by the nature of a particular musical phrase, rather than by the regular metric pulse of the mus. The first note of a phrase, for instance, may be felt to suggest a slight lingering which confers the effect of an accent: similarly, a leap to note significantly higher or lower than the preceding notes, or a strong discord resolving to a concord, may convey an effect of accentuation (by means of lingering, pressure, etc.) and there are other examples. The complementary term to ‘agogic accent’ (accent of movement) is ‘dynamic accent’ (accent of force), which implies the normal and regular rhythmic accentuation of a piece of music.

2 In a wider sense, ‘agogic’ covers everything connected with ‘expression’, e.g. rallentandoaccelerandorubato, pause, accentuation as described above, etc.

Well of course it’s a tool, a state of mind.

I read about this in a Sol Gabetta (a cello player) interview. If we follow the score, it’s gives a computer mood. One needs groove, or rubato, expression. And it’s linked of course (because we follow the sheet music score, right?) to the idea of “freedom blossoming on constraint”. And it’s linked to the two-to-tango idea of “singing melody seems free but it’s conducted”, enchanted and tamed at the same time.

“The interpreter juggles with spells”. Ces sortilèges sont l’agogique.

Of course we have to dig the “-agogy” word. Pedagogy. Andragogy?

And also, seeing this as a pattern for life, action, methods, rules, creation, art. Follow some rules but add some life, some “expression”, freedom into frames, etc.

Have a nice Christmas!

How to make images with Artificial Intelligence with a few words, with ruDALL-E

Hi everyone! The “Prompt To Image” processes are blossoming everywhere on the web since Katherine Crowson presented the VQGAN+CLIP tool and made it public. This “Synthetic Imagery” (or GAN Art) was fantastic, but a bit difficult and slow to use.

You’ll find plenty of articles about this, and hundreds of “Google Colabs” with the code to play with. The result is often slow (about one hour to get an image).

The next step was to find similar tools (you enter a text, you get an image) on web pages like https://hypnogram.xyz, https://text2art.com/ or http://gaugan.org/gaugan2/ or the very easy https://www.wombo.art/ (have fun!).

There are tricks you quickly learn to use with each tool. Adding words to the prompt, like artists names or words like steampunk – here are bridges, a mantis, an owl, and for the first one “bird leather gold“:

Each site has its flaws, and one must use them to get things. For example, GauGAN2 is made for landscapes, so if you ask “Lake and forest” you get a realistic scenery. But if you ask “Totem” it’s lost, and there come the cool things:

The possibilities are infinite. Just give two words like “Airship Fire”:

Not what we expected, but good images, inspiring maybe if you write stories, poetry, or if you draw. Make 20 of them with automation and you’ll find a few great pictures.

oOOo

I made plenty of movies with these:

oOOOo

This year the Russians invented ruDALL-E ( https://rudalle.ru/en/demo ) and it’s different, more realistic, and MUCH FASTER than every other similar tools. It needs about 1-2 minutes to make one image.

The results are less “digital artist”, and much more realistic, because it’s trained on millions of photographies (an AI must be “trained”). This morning, today, I made a few dozens, like these 3:

Yessss possibilities are great. And you don’t have to write in Russian, they translate. Good.

oOOOo

This team made a BOT, which is on Telegram (yes, the app, it’s on your phone and your Mac, right?). You’ll find it on the page, it’s here: https://t.me/sber_rudalle_xl_bot

  • On this bot, you use the ruDALL-E Malevich (XL) Model, which is very powerful.
  • Each prompt gives you THREE images, you just have to save them on your computer, and it works on your phone too.
  • You have to prompt in Russian. Therefore you have to use a translation tool like Google Translate to invoke it.
  • If you find a good prompt, you can and must repeat it: each time you’ll get NEW images.

Here are images with the prompt “Airship in the mist”, which is “дирижабль в тумане”. I made 135 of the same prompt today. I’ll make a clip later. Here are 12 of them:

These are cool, right?

Here’s my YouTube channel with plenty of clips made with these: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkYi6dzJ5emaY0tPGat3k9Q

Have fun!

Meticulous & Casual: The examples of VQGAN+CLIP on YouTube

You know me, I love “Meticulous & Casual”, it’s almost an inner motto.

I talked here about Nietzsche and his cow:

Three-quarter Strength.  A work that is meant to give an impression of health should be produced with three-quarters, at the most, of the strength of its creator.  If he has gone to his farthest limit, the work excites the observer and disconcerts him by its tension.  All good things have something lazy about them and lie like cows in the meadow.

There’s also this article about the “non finito” in Arts: https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/non-finito-inchoate-in-art/

oOOOo

When I write an article here, I’m focused and at the same time I listen to music (here: Poulenc, “Les Biches”), I prepare, but not that much. I re-read, but quickly. It’s always a tango between control and letting go.

These weeks, I revisit my 2 CDs “Farist“, which were made for contemporary dance. I made them with work (awww the mixing of music, a pain in the monkey!), but also with… well you got my point.

To make the clip, I make images with a Artificial Intelligence. It often gives nightmarish creatures! Therefore I posted a bunch of frightening clips – I’ll post them here for Halloween, OK?

So I wanted to created cooler things. So I played for Yuleska (which is a Polish name) with the words “bokeh” or “emerald”. It was abstract enough to give cool little things like:

The music was innocent and it worked.

For the second one, I had a story in mind. A Folletti (who is a little magic boyfaery) in Italy consoles a little girl. So I got Tuscany, wheat fields and angels. It’s a slow waltz.

oOOOo

For these I find/make images with random words. The first in the row? “Icy Bokeh”, that’s it. So I orient, but not too much.

When I edit the clips, I upscale the pictures with Automator (on Mac) piloting Pixelmator Pro, then I throw them all in iMovie. Random order, that I have to correct… or not. I use markers for the tempo, but I don’t follow them all the time. I’m meticulous (I work days on a clip), but I don’t really polish, finish, I let go and so there.

Yes it’s a tool for the toolbox! Where do we need to be meticulous and casual? Sex? Cooking? At work? Poetry writing?

Who are the artists who you know work like that? Picasso? Fellini? Any musician?

Do you like them?

Have a great day! Thanks for reading! I’ll post photos of Brussels soon. This week.

mmm

Prompts of Invocations? How to make pictures with words.

Prompts of Invocations? How to make pictures with words?

There are Google Colabs which create images from just a sentence.

One colab I use these days: https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1n_xrgKDlGQcCF6O-eL3NOd_x4NSqAUjK#scrollTo=TnMw4FrN6JeB

Choose a phrase, “Brazil Morning Landscape” or “Giant Robot in Taiga”, whatever. You can just ask “The wind”!. You can increase the size of the image to 500 (pixels – more will crash the program). I also tend to put “steps per image” to 20 (I’ll get more steps to “see” the machine work). In the menu bar on the top of the webpage, go to “Runtime”, then “Run All”. And oh, OK, you need 30 minutes to get the last image.

On another page, I invoked “The Wind” and got this. The AI clearly needs more invocations 🙂

You can “color” this by another word. Here’s the wind with…

  • A painter (Alex Colville, Pict.1).
  • A website (Artstation, Pict.2).
  • A tool used for video games (Unreal Engine, Pict.3).
  • A way of painting for the movies (Matte Painting, Pict.4).

oOOOo

Here are Picasso and Klee for the wind. Who else would you try?

oOOOo

The word Artstation is commonly used because this site is full of great fantasy artists, and it gives dramatic pictures. I just added mist, dragon, emerald, dawn or airships…

It’s interesting to see how the pictures are built. “Storm Circus Tent Artstation Matte Painting” begins with a cloud and finishes this way. Here are steps 20, 40, 400:

I put 10 little movies with attempts here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkYi6dzJ5emaY0tPGat3k9Q

Have a nice day! Thanks for reading!

Sorts of Parameters

My last blog article was about how it was fun and funny to create images, creatures, things, worlds and landscapes with an AI interface.

Yesterday I made those – oh I know, there are many colors here 🙂

So I began to think about “what words should I choose?” to make the best results.

I have to add just one word to create an effect

Is “magical” useful for the first picture? “james-gurney-panoramic-entrance-of-magical-forest-full-or-fireflies”.

I can add a name like Dali or Giger, here James Gurney on the 2nd picture. I wonder if the word “detailed” is effective: “detailed, james gurney, orbital panoramic garden”

I can “ask” less color and some bokeh (the blurry aspect of what’s far) in the 3rd: “in black and white, bridge landscape in the city night, under the rain, bokeh”

Or I can describe precisely a frame (like for the 4th one: “artist’s tools on black paper with a lamp on a desk”

I found these tips on a page:

Landscapes and scenes where the focus is not a single object tend to be most realistic

Prompts can be long, detailed and specific: eg. ‘young sorcerer heiress of a cyberpunk corporation, with dragons on her side’

You can have multiple prompts in a single image. Divide each prompt with the | character

Try using ‘unreal engine’, ‘photorealistic’, ‘van gogh’ or any other widely known style or artist in your prompts

You can assign relative weights to prompts using this syntax: ‘green cloudy dog:50 | snowy:25 | christmas:25’. The absolute values are irrelevant – the weights are relative to each other.

You can assign a weight of 0 to a prompt to eliminate a concept from the image: eg. ‘christmas | santa: 0’

oOOOo

I also follow some Twitter accounts (including by the person who invented this). Try #vqganclip.

They play with words too. Some persons are so good they don’t give the key words used for their marvels. That’s life!

If I add “painting” it had some brushstroke effect. I have to find artists’ names to mimic their style.

Frazetta Axe Bird:

Roger Dean Futuristic:

chris foss black airship painting space:

oOOOo

This “How to” is great: https://minimaxir.com/2021/08/vqgan-clip/

Huge page with examples: https://softologyblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/text-to-image-summary/

Article about this AI: https://ml.berkeley.edu/blog/posts/clip-art/

https://learn.adafruit.com/generating-ai-art-with-vqgan-clip?view=all

(To be continued)

Pictures I made with an Artificial Intelligence

Pictures I made with an Artificial Intelligence, VQGAN+Clip. It’s very fun. It’s infinite.

oOOo

You can metal

You can bokeh city

You can bridge

You can room

You can architecture

You can Rozalski

You can Basquiat

You can abstract

You can everything!

Dreams & Nightmares images with VQGAN+Clip IA

It’s been a long time I’ve been that excited with a computer invention. I’m old enough to have seen (is this phrase English?) the birth of Apple II, Pong, Macintosh, the Internet (and the web), personal then laser printers, or… First Person Shooters!

My last “Oh waow” moment is the discovery of VQGAN+CLIP images. This artificial intelligence tool is available for everybody. You’ll find tutorials in articles or on YouTube.

Ex:https://medium.com/nightcafe-creator/vqgan-clip-tutorial-a411402cf3ad

The IA is trained to invent images from a line of words.

You have to search a little, but here’s a page with a list of pages to start :

https://www.reddit.com/user/Wiskkey/comments/p2j673/list_part_created_on_august_11_2021/

The sentence “Geometric glass city from the future at dusk” gives:

“Glowing river” gives:

This imagery is characteristic. One should not use flesh or human or animal because it brings you into the “uncanny valley” of monsters and teratology.

Ask Imgur: https://imgur.com/search?q=vqgan

Too much color, but also sometimes a great color or mood talent:

Woodland Witch of the Night:

  • There are parameters. The human words are seeds. This is a cool idea. Unlimited, right?
  • It’s a long process and I personally don’t have the patience (I made only one with a dolphin). But it’s a beginning!
  • Soon we’ll get high-res images of these in a second. And movies.
  • It can be a cool source of ideas, for painters and others.
  • There are SubReddits, like https://www.reddit.com/r/deepdream/
  • You can add “in the style of” in the text.

What words will you try?

Thanks for reading!

Rivière, French painter

Rivière, what a fantastic name to wear, right? Henri Rivière (1864-1951) was a French painter. He’s a bit forgotten today in France. Etchings, lithographies in the “Japonism” manner (cf Hiroshige).

It’s very… French, and you’ll need a little Poulenc music to listen to (I provide a link at the end) and some Paul Valéry poems too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Rivi%C3%A8re_(painter)

Have a nice day!

“Intentions and Elegance”: Overthinking about Art

I read a good book about a… harpsichord player. I found ideas. Here they are.

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The easy question is “What is it?”. Another question is “What does that mean?”, therefore “What does the artist want to say to us?”. This is a totally higher question, right? Instead of the work, you ask about the artist’s mind, and their will. Does art need a meaning, after all?

Where should we, instead of focusing of things in front of us, focus on what the maker wants?

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If you are a Bach (b 1685) specialist and you want to study or play Mozart (b 1762), you have to make a jump in time and music, and Mozart will appear very modern. But if you come from 19th Century, it will feel like a loss.

From where will you come, to study this or that?

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If you’re enthusiastic, do you master your work?

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Does elegance need the existence of another person? What about the idea telling that real elegance consists in not getting noticed. And Balzac says that to reveal some economy of means is inelegant.

It’s from Latin “elegans”: who knows how to choose.

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A pretentious simplicity, does that exist?

Goethe : When an intention is too visible, it irritates

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Who plays – and how – the tango of strength/delicacy?

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Purity of the sensation, or of the landscape?

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When you touch the harpsichord‘s key, the note appears, that simple. There’s no possibilities of ppp or fff. It’s “the note”, always the same intensity, it’s a yes or no thing.

Without any possibity of nuances, of touch, the subtleties must come from elwhere: the phrases.

Where else do we have this?

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Deep understanding” and at the same time, “spontaneity” (or precision/passion). Both. Same time.

Where? Sex? Conversation? Acting? What kind of skill is this?

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When a rule emerges, its exceptions appear at the same time.

In French: “Déroger à la règle” (The English “to contravene” and “to infringe” sound “to go against”, to fight, but the French one sounds “to take a hidden door”, to depart from, to invent my own path).

An artist who knows enough rules to depart from them: to explore/invent.

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What is a work of art with simultaneity of significations? Sorrow and courage at the same time; violence and sweetness; pride and vanity. What kind of richness is that?

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To admit” (it’s the same in French, admettre) is a curious verb: to confess, to acknowledge, to allow entry, to accept validity, to place, to permit, to conceide or recognize.

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A style emerges, how?

  1. Origin.
  2. Development.
  3. Blossoming.
  4. Refinement.
  5. Saturation.

Where? Examples?

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When can’t we prevent aggravation (or stop worsening)?

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Baudelaire: The restless crowd, whipped on by pleasure

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Do you produce differently (by other means) or something else?

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Is the existence of the past Law, or Force?

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Acknowlegment or recognition? Even gratitude, if you push?

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Which one is the most interesting? Beauty created by nature, or beauty created by men?

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Could you go that far, without the resistance of it?

Thanks for reading!

And what about Japanese Post Rock?

It is the moment to explore Japanese Post Rock because why not.

So what is “Post Rock”? Let’s Wiki:

Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock instrumentation with electronics.

Good! The tool here is easy:

  • Find a field you don’t know at all
  • Explore a micro-part of it

It can be Hungarian jewelry, or Italian photography, and then you choose a century, or a single artist…

The game here is to listen to things, randomly, like a kid picks up shells on a shore. Here we go:

A Picture of Her is a bit boring with their jazz-rock, technical and with a always-the-same guitar sound.

Anoice: Quiet music with piano, sometimes a little dissonant, sometimes a little “japanish”. Climates, like sad movie music. Some violin. I like it, and some colors are interesting, but… too shy.

Behind the Shadow Drops: simplistic naive melancholia is terrible, right? It is! There’s a laziness, here. Dumb ideas stretched for too long. Not a single harmonic spark. Shame!

Floating in Space has the same problem, but it’s a little better. Too much sugar, and no colors. I couldn’t find a single good track.

Gargle is mildly more interesting, because of the accordion. But, well, sigh…

Kukangendai is Math Rock (a subdivision of Post Rock, more complex). This music is pulsating, it’s like watching fabric, or machines. I find it boring but interesting. Brain, brain, brain. No body.

Lite is much, much better. They’re good, fast, intellingent, complex :

Mono seems the most prolific band on this list. Plenty of albums, between prog rock and film music. They take their time, and they like big badaboum crescendoes. It sounds sometimes like Joe Hisaishi. It’s too conventional for me, but many people love them! Here’s a best of :

Mouse on the Keys, two keyboards and a drummer! More dynamic, more jazz, I like it with a but, always. A bit too… disheveled, maybe?

Nabowa? Cool! :

Ovum seems to like loud music and electric guitars, hmmm.

Qujaku, dark, intense, too much.

Toe, math rock, it knits! :

World’s End Girlfriend, the lone young genius type. First album, 15 years old. Devilish energy in the 1st vid, and a cool waltz to finish this page.

Thanks for reading! What did you like here?

(For this last one wait until 5:20 for a cloud of fantastic harmonies)

The Binomial Tango

This little article is about the fact that between two artists you often choose the “obvious” one, but sometimes you come back to the choice and pick up the other one, because… Let’s see.

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When I was 30 I watched Fellini‘s movies in awe, with a smile, and a question mark above my head. He looked like a clever silly artist, full of exaggerations and weird images, cf Satyricon. And I also watched Antonioni‘s movies, like Eclisse. This guy seemed much more serious, full of clever questions about incommunicability in couples and deep thoughts about the sense of life.

More than 20 years later, I still adore Antonioni and I often watch his movies, but I prefer, by far, Fellini today. I explored his worlds, read a lot about his work, analysis, and interviews, and I realized the… richness of all of it. The baroque, the myths, the fragmented aspects of reality. It’s vast, clever, sensitive…

So, I see the “obvious” choice in many things, today. Because we change and we age, of course, we go deeper. We understand deeper the idea of efforts, which lead to extensive discoveries.

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I have another example with the double-headed Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. I read a lot about them, I listened and dismantle their music. And of course, I preferred Lennon! He’s stronger, takes more risk, he’s the fool who wrote the Walrus (while McCartney wrote Yesterday). Lennon is spicy, Macca is sweet. Voilà.

But the more you dig, you realize that McCartney is stronger, is a better musician. He wrote Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which is a splendid masterpiece, very quietly though.

So I always loved Brahms, who is strong, heavy, very Taurus, with earthian symphonies and concertos, and I didn’t like Schubert, whose music is closer to Mozart. But today Schubert’s Great is unreachable. I eventually found out the nuggets, the colors, the subtleties in this…

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The structure here is simple:

We often have choices between similar things. One seems obvious, and we choose this one. But sometimes we reconsider things and we bend over the other one, to find out that its treasures were maybe hidden, too subtle, or complex/difficult. It’s a tango!

What are your examples?

Thanks for reading!

The Principle of Difficulty: Chronicle 68

JF Billeter writes about “The Principle of Difficulty”, something like : It is better to be aware of the difficulties of a domain and have fun than to be ignorant of it and to fail.

I wrote it, and thought about difficult domains. Imagine you want to learn to speak Chinese, imagine you want to understand the whole Bob Dylan work, imagine you don’t like opera and you want to explore its worlds…

It’s huge, big, and well, difficult, fractal, complex, it’s a continent. Then, it’ll keep you happy busy for a long time.

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There’s a French painter who is funny to read about : Chardin. He is, like Millet, out of any “system”. Modest. Watching the ordinary. Here’s one. You can watch, but also read. What does this man seek?

From his point of view, it’s a principle of simplicity – but it’s probably very difficult to achieve it!

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The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using concise thoughts and simple language.

Hmmm should dig this!

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There are many ways of helping/listening. C. Rogers talks about:

  • An advice (“If I were you, I’d…”).
  • A suggestion (“Maybe you could…”).
  • Support (“I am with you…”).
  • Order (“Don’t let it go…”).
  • Questioning (“Did you really say that ?”).
  • Judgment (“I think you did well”).
  • Interpretation (“Here, you settle your accounts with…”).

All these are interfering! The only good way is the unconditional listening :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_positive_regard

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Whatever the mood, there’s Art!

Thanks for reading!

Eugene Korolev, Russian Digital Artist

Eugene Korolev, Russian Artist

This guy is fantastic. I love his subjects, his dreams, his colors. It’s good craziness, it’s frightening and funny, it’s great !

You’ll find plenty at : https://www.artstation.com/evgen

This one is clickable :

“OK, that’s good, why?” and how we look into it.

What do you listen to in a song?

  • Melodies, harmony, structure, voices, bass, guitars, keyboards, drums, originality, energy, lyrics, production?

What do you watch in a photography or a painting?

  • Colors, details, meaning, characters, originality, lines, atmosphere, size, composition?

What do you watch in a book?

  • Progression, story, characters, style, words, originality, phrases?

What do you watch in a movie?

  • Scenario, editing, characters, frames, camera work, action, sense of place, composition, music?

And in architecture, poetry, marketing?

It’s not exactly how we “watch” something, but how we stop in front of something and try to understand where the pleasure comes from. A little bit more like:

“OK that’s good, why? – let’s look into it”.

My choices upstairs are bolded. Lyrics are probably important when I discover a track, BUT I always try to understand the structure, I listen to the bass player, and harmony progressions and changes. More than melodies, or the song’s energy.

In front of a painting that stops me, I want to know “what did the painter want?”. Same from photography, or movies. I dig into (or try to imagine) how the artist dealt with the audience.

So, well, it’s a matter of empathy, or structures/skeletons, of what’s hidden. Nobody listens to the bass, nor really cares about a photo’s composition. It’s all about the singer or the lead guitar, it’s all about colors and “events”.

What I choose to look into tells a lot.

Therefore I think that it is a good exercise when we meet someone, to watch and listen and ask: “What do you like in this? Why?”.

This “says” something about the person. If they are an empath or not, if they’re a thinker or not, fast or slow, surfacing or diving, heavy or light…

Thanks for reading!