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June 6, 2017
2 min read

Who’s the Muse?

Mario Klinge­mann and Albert Bar­qué-Duran
My Arti­fi­cial Muse

Klinge­mann used a stick fig­ure mod­eled on Ophe­lia, then artist Albert Bar­qué-Duran paint­ed the com­pos­ite into a fres­co.

From my per­spec­tive, the inter­est­ing part of these kinds of works is the con­stant role-switch­ing and the ques­tion of who is pulling whose strings? The artist designs the exper­i­ment, then curates the image based on what­ev­er mes­sage they’re try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate. Up until this point, the machine might be con­sid­ered the muse and the artist is in con­trol. How­ev­er, when the time comes to exe­cute the arti­fact, it real­ly begs the ques­tion of who’s the artist and who’s the muse. Who’s in con­trol or does it mat­ter?

By the way, the end result was super­cool!

My Arti­fi­cial Muse – THE AFTERMOVIE (Sónar+D 2017)

How can con­tem­po­rary research, tech­nol­o­gy and art help us to see the clas­si­cal artis­tic her­itage with new eyes? “Mus­es” were the inspi­ra­tional god­dess­es of lit­er­a­ture, sci­ence, and the arts in Greek mythol­o­gy. Can a com­pu­ta­tion­al­ly-gen­er­at­ed Muse be as inspir­ing as a human-like one? By destroy­ing the clas­sic con­cept of a Muse, are we cre­at­ing some­thing more pow­er­ful? “My Arti­fi­cial Muse” is a per­for­mance, which was Pre­mièred at Sónar+D (Barcelona) and now on a World Tour, explor­ing how Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence can col­lab­o­rate with humans in the cre­ative and artis­tic process­es. It is a dis­rup­tive project at the inter­face of art, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy. The human artist Albert Bar­qué-Duran per­forms a live-paint­ing show using oil paint­ings, repro­duc­ing an art­work com­plete­ly designed by an arti­fi­cial neur­al net­work con­ceived by Mario Klinge­mann. Also, the arti­fi­cial intel­li­gent machine per­forms a map­ping visu­al show on how it gen­er­ates new paint­ings and show­cas­es the com­pu­ta­tion­al cre­ativ­i­ty process­es behind it. A gen­er­a­tive sound­track, pro­duced by Marc Marzen­it, is live-ensem­bled through a series of embod­ied sen­sors that fol­low the move­ments of the artist dur­ing the per­for­mance. This music set aims to immerse the audi­ence in the devel­op­ment of the nar­ra­tive. Each per­for­mance is unique. A new arti­fi­cial muse com­pu­ta­tion­al­ly-cre­at­ed. A new clas­si­cal muse live-paint­ed. A new music set live-ensem­bled.

—Albert Bar­qué-Duran


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