Based on “Anonymity of a Murmur” how do you view/what are your thoughts on all the AI art out there?Apostasy X Fnord
“Anonymity of a Murmur” was posted on Wednesday, but I’ve already moved on from Foucault and it’s too late to turn back now.
But you’re in luck, sister, because we are now approaching The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Please turn to Lecture 17, the start of a series of Introduction to Literary Theory lectures covering social perspectives on literature and art.
Skipping past Marx, Strauss, and Trilling, we get to Walter Benjamin and commodity fetishism.
If I forget that art is produced…and if I simply, in rapt contemplative attention, address myself to the work of art itself as though it had objective value apart from having been produced…then what I’m doing is “commodifying” the work of art.
…to be seduced by the aura of the work of art is, in a certain sense, to experience the work of art ideologically as a commodity.Professor Paul Fry, on Walter Benjamin (link)
AI Art – let’s call it “Airt” – works differently than art as commodity that forgets about its production, that forgets where it came from.
Airt puts its production in the headline: “hey mommy look ai drew you a picture!”
Airt calls forth neither contemplation (“I wonder what the artist was thinking”), admiration (“I wish I could do that”), or disdain (“my kid could do that” – untrue), but rather calculation (“my kid could do that” – true) and fatalism (“who needs artists now?”).
Airt begins life as a commodity. To experience it in any other way is a categorical error.
Airt isn’t commodity fetishism.
Airt is fetishy commoditism.
Airt makes life easier for TV and film producers.
Let’s say that I want to produce a movie called “Drone On,” and I’ll need to show my storyboards to investors. In the old days, like last year, maybe I’d have hired an artist to convey my futuristic vision of autonomous drone swarms clashing over a metropolitan cityscape.
Now, I can just give the Airt a prompt: “autonomous drone swarms clashing over a metropolitan cityscape.” Refine and repeat.
We’re not that far off from being able to say – “and now animate the drones in a dogfight.”
In about a decade or so, the closing credits on superhero movies will be much shorter.
How can Artists resist the commoditism of Airt?
By sharing works-in-progress, creating personal connections with patrons, and embracing wonderful weirdness. But you already knew that.