Data type: Open  

Twenty Thousand Seconds, Dan Hett, 2016. Algorithmically generated live coding image film (from an ongoing series)

Twenty Thousand Seconds

Dan Hett

Listening to Shetland Wool

Felicity Ford

Illluminated acrylic sculpture of a red-lit person holding a book

The Reader

Stanza

The Doffing Misstress Takes a Stroll, David Littler, 2016. Participatory installation. Piano player, paper scores, materials for contribution

The Doffing Mistress Takes a Stroll

David Littler

The spectrum of re-knitting treatments, Amy Twigger Holroyd, 2012. Digital print on paper

The spectrum of re-knitting treatments

Amy Twigger Holroyd

Forkbomb, Alex McLean, 2001. Perl script computer code with paper output

Forkbomb

Alex McLean

Pillars of Hercules, James Brooks, 2014

Pillars of Hercules

James Brooks

multicoloured cartoon collage with 3D rendered large golden hand

Unauthorised Copy

Antonio Roberts

Married Man, Natasha Caruana, 2008

Married Man

Natasha Caruana

Mini Rugs and their Friends

Mini Rugs and their Friends

Riitta Oittinen

Watching the Watchers, James Bridle, 2013. Multiple mounted colour prints

Watching the Watchers

James Bridle

Corruption, Thomson & Craighead, 2014

Corruption

Thomson & Craighead

Listening to Shetland Wool, Felicity Ford, 2013. Interactive online aporee sound map

Sonic Pattern and the Textility of Code

Felicity Ford

Voyager (Micromégas), Thomson & Craighead, 2013

Voyager (Micromégas)

Thomson & Craighead

Image of ghostly woman on black background (CIPHER artwork)

CIPHER

Katriona Beales

kinetic artwork of a circular wooden base and brass arches with a small brass seasaw with a weight

Allusive Protocols (prototypes)

Julie Freeman

Image of computer generated object in natural woodland

Shifting

Katriona Beales

balck and white photo of sign in countryside landscape

50.080697, -5.694138

Evan Roth

black and white image of booklet called Daemons of the Shadow World

Daemons of the Shadow World

Giles Lane

image of pylon-like communications tower inverted white out of red

http://s33.820180e151.184813.com.au

Evan Roth

photo of sensor hanging in a darl room with two screens

Measure for Measure for Measure

David Gauthier

Gallery installation of multiple photos

The Longest and Darkest of Recollections

Liz Orton

Punchcard Economy, Sam Meech, 2013. ODI: 3.5 x 0.5m knitted banner, FutureEverything: 5 x 3m knitted banner & knitting machines

Punchcard Economy

Sam Meech

Circular blue, black and white inverted image of tree

Inverted Night Sky

Jeronimo Voss

image of a screen with four chairs each with a ventriloquists half-masks hanging above each

Recruitment Goes Wrong

Thomson & Craighead

Gallery photo of someone in a VR helmet viewing artwork

Substance – A whole history of hollows and reliefs

Phil Coy

Body 01000010011011110110010001111001, Stanza, 2012. Perspex, Arduino, electronic components, internet connection

Body 01000010011011110110010001111001

Stanza

Screen capture of multi-coloured digitally generated flowers

Flowers

Daniel Brown

Close up of lightbulbs from The Future artwork

The Future

Alicia Eggert and Safwat Saleem

Three Hundred and Sixty Seconds, Dan Hett, 2016. Algorithmically generated live coding production stills (from an ongoing series)

Three Hundred and Sixty Seconds

Dan Hett

Six Years of Mondays, Thomson & Craighead, 2014

Six Years of Mondays

Thomson & Craighead

Metrography, Benedikt Groß & Bertrand Clerc, 2012. Print on aluminium

Metrography

Benedikt Groß and Bertrand Clerc

Weather Gauge, Thomson & Craighead, 2009

Weather Gauge

Thomson & Craighead

Rates for the Job, Sam Meech, 2016. Order form and performative contractual exchange action 

Rates for the Job

Sam Meech

Photo of multi story wooden tower

A Machine for Living

James Coupe

Image of an illuminated digital fountain dark blue on black background

Fountain

Katriona Beales

Flipped Clock, Thomson & Craighead, 2008

Flipped Clock

Thomson & Craighead

Photo of The Promises Machione a wooden display with embedded screen

The Promises Machine

Rachel Jacobs

{poem}.py

{poem}.py

Pip Thornton

Five 3D printed pale yellow shell-like objects

Lifestreams

Proboscis

Black and white abstract image

Shadows of the State

Lewis Bush

The Clandestine Purse, Natasha Caruana, 2008

The Clandestine Purse

Natasha Caruana

Re-knitting 'tester' Jumper, Amy Twigger Holroyd, 2013. Hacked knitted garment

Re-knitting ‘tester’ jumper

Amy Twigger Holroyd

Re-knitting step by step guide, Amy Twigger Holroyd, 2012. Digital prints on paper

Re-knitting step by step guide

Amy Twigger Holroyd

Canal Observatory

AusBlau

image of screen and aerials in gallery

Open Space Observatory

Kei Kreutler and Libre Space Foundation

abstract sculpture in blue and pale pink

Public Protection, Private Collection

Felicity Hammond

Fairytale for Sale, Natasha Caruana, 2011

Fairytale for Sale

Natasha Caruana

person in white wearing a sci-fi helmet with lots of protrusions

Quasar-2A

Field

20Hz, Semiconductor, 2011. HD + HD 3D single channel video. 05.00 minutes

20Hz

Semiconductor

Still Lifes and Oscillators 1, Ben Garrod, 2012. Paint

Still Lifes and Oscillators 1

Ben Garrod

Transmission series

Transmission One and Transmission Two

Dan Hett

KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, Felicity Ford, 2014. Crowd-funded publication

KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook

Felicity Ford

Dystopian digital city landscape

Cover designs for William Gibson’s Neuromancer trilogy

Daniel Brown

Installation photo of red frame, number display and construction

53°32’.01N, 003°21’.29W, from the Sea

David Gauthier

image of black and white animation on a screen of women and a wire fence

There Are Worlds Out There They Never Told You About

Jackie Karuti

Data as Culture - Art that uses data as a material

AI-generated film [duration: 19 mins 19 seconds]

Commissioned by Data as Culture at the ODI for ODI Summit 2023

The Wizard of AI is a twenty minute, 99% AI-generated visual essay in which a hoodie-wearing faceless ‘AI Collaborator’, voiced by the artist, is our critically incisive guide. Defining this particular epoch as one of “wonder-panic”, Alan Warburton takes us on a speeding visual rollercoaster of flawlessly executed visual styles, encompassing histories of comic books, animation VFX and film.

As we journey from the AI candy ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ of new aesthetic or artistic reach, to the lows of recognising the exploitation, erasure and potential redundancy of creative practice, Warburton offers non-judgemental probing and provocative perspectives from both the ‘wonder’ and the ‘panic’ camp reactions. We are introduced to the doom loops of inbuilt bias these systems have been designed to perpetuate, and the complexities of hallucinating a future based on AI models’ creatively suspect backward-compatibility with the past.

Alan Warburton says:

Generative AI is something that will have a deep and permanent effect on the ‘culture industries’ – by which I mean curators, art institutions, art schools, design firms and so on. It’s not another trend, it’s a tectonic shift in the currency and culture of images that we can’t reduce to ‘deepfakes’ or ‘post-truth’ but to a relationship between humans and images. It’s an epistemological break!

The tools are inherently problematic, and directly contribute to real conditions of professional and socioeconomic adversity that affect me directly. Yet instead of boycotting, I’m playing in the sandbox and seeing what the tools tell me. I do this to demystify and educate, but also because no matter how succulent and seductive an AI image is, the real juice is in analysis, criticism and reflection.

The making of the The Wizard of AI

The Wizard of AI is approximately 99% AI-generated. Warburton produced a few thousand images and video clips, using multiple generative AI tools, including Midjourney, DALL-E 3, Stable Diffusion, Runway, Pika and HeyGen. Of those few thousand, hundreds made it into his final film.

The animation was done over an intense three-week period where the updates to the tools I was using were significant – historic, even. Videos that I generated for inclusion on the 20th October were generated again in early November (just days before the Summit), with improvements in quality analogous to the kinds of improvements we saw in digital cameras between 1995 and 2000. This meant that as I developed the film I was utilising the most advanced generative AI tools, within hours or minutes of them becoming available.

Credits

  • Written, directed, voiced, animated and soundtracked by Alan Warburton
  • Back to The Futch animation by Ewan Jones Morris
  • Special thanks to Joanne McNeil, Tom Pounder, Hannah Redler-Hawes and Omar
  • Wonderpanic Theme by Sonny Baker
  • Research Assistance from Fabian Mosele
  • Steve Ballmer Genie by Christian Schlaeffer
  • Pretty fishes by UglyStupidHonest
  • In Memoriam images by Alex Czetwertynski

Thanks to everyone who helped with concept development, even if your work was lost in the edit: John Butler, Samine Joudat, Ben Dosage, @dzennifer, Ben Dawson, Alejandro González Romo, @symbios.wiki, Ugur Engin Deniz.

Commissioned for ODI Summit 2023 by curator Hannah Redler-Hawes for Data as Culture at the ODI.

Note: This work is intended to be a non-commercial work of critical/educational/satirical commentary. Under UK law, this is referred to as ‘fair dealing’ and protects the work from claims of copyright. Find out more here.

Clips attribution

  • What is the Internet? (1995) by The Today Show
  • Microsoft Clippy (1997 onwards) web compilation
  • CNN Internet Report (1993) by CNN News
  • Napster Report (2000) by CNN Headline News
  • Tech Events in 2023 Be Like (2023), Verge, featuring footage from META
  • Zane Lowe meets Kanye West (2015), BBC Radio 1
  • Unit9 AI Workflow (2023) Unit9 Ltd
  • Thanos Snap, Avengers: Endgame (2019) Marvel Studios, LLC
  • for current AI artist clips, please see onscreen attribution

Link to PDF transcript