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An AI-Generated Artwork Won First Place at a State Fair Fine Arts Competition, and Artists Are Pissed

cormack12

Gold Member
Source: https://www.vice.com/amp/en/article...-fine-arts-competition-and-artists-are-pissed



A man came in first at the Colorado State Fair’s fine art competition using an AI generated artwork on Monday. “I won first place,” a user going by Sincarnate said in a Discord post above photos of the AI-generated canvases hanging at the fair.


The image, which Allen printed on canvas for submission, is gorgeous. It depicts a strange scene that looks like it could be from a space opera, and it looks like a masterfully done painting. Classical figures in a Baroque hall stare through a circular viewport into a sun-drenched and radiant landscape.

“I knew this would be controversial,” Allen said in the Midjourney Discord server on Tuesday. “How interesting is it to see how all these people on Twitter who are against AI generated art are the first ones to throw the human under the bus by discrediting the human element! Does this seem hypocritical to you guys?”

According to Allen, his input was instrumental to the shaping of the award winning painting. “I have been exploring a special prompt that I will be publishing at a later date, I have created 100s of images using it, and after many weeks of fine tuning and curating my gens, I chose my top 3 and had them printed on canvas after unshackling with Gigapixel AI,” he wrote in a post before the winners were announced.
 

nemiroff

Gold Member
Read about this, and I both get and don't get the storm. I often watch art creation as ASMR because I appreciate a skilled artist and the process. But I mean, the discussion isn't new. "A trash bag on a floor" and "random splashes of paint" has been discussed and considered art for decades. It doesn't much matter where a piece comes from. The reaction to this can be art in itself btw.
 

niilokin

Member
you can claim you are an artist while doing nothing but feeding words to a computer program but don't go comparing that to actually painting in photoshop or traditionally, because that process includes a whole lot of thumbnailing, sketching, figuring out color and light, failure, anxiety and impostor syndrome etc. there's no way or time in hell or heaven I could feel pride from AI generating images for me.
 

nemiroff

Gold Member
you can claim you are an artist while doing nothing but feeding words to a computer program but don't go comparing that to actually painting in photoshop or traditionally, because that process includes a whole lot of thumbnailing, sketching, figuring out color and light, failure, anxiety and impostor syndrome etc. there's no way or time in hell or heaven I could feel pride from AI generating images for me.
Thats a strawman, no one is claiming much of anything here other than that the end result is mostly pleasing to both the eye and the brain. This also goes back to the infinite "what is art??" debate. Is it the quantifiable amount of "hard work" an artist is doing or the end result? Been doing art photography for two decades, building skills on tools and composition. But what am I really creating? By reductionism its just a click, a simple capture of a moment in time, and "a few clicks" in Photoshop
 

Soodanim

Member
Read about this, and I both get and don't get the storm. I often watch art creation as ASMR because I appreciate a skilled artist and the process. But I mean, the discussion isn't new. "A trash bag on a floor" and "random splashes of paint" has been discussed and considered art for decades. It doesn't much matter where a piece comes from. The reaction to this can be art in itself btw.
There's two types of people in this world: those who pretend a trash bag on the floor is art, and those don't play that nonsense.

If you cut all of that weird "Everything is art" shite out, it's easy to see why this isn't a problem. The reaction isn't part of the submission, and it's a competition for humans so it does matter where it came from.

Not to mention the good old fashioned dishonesty of it all and the implications for future art.
 

niilokin

Member
Thats a strawman, no one is claiming much of anything here other than that the end result is mostly pleasing to both the eye and the brain. This also goes back to the infinite "what is art??" debate. Is it the quantifiable amount of "hard work" an artist is doing or the end result? Been doing art photography for two decades, building skills on tools and composition. But what am I really creating? By reductionism its just a click, a simple capture of a moment in time, and "a few clicks" in Photoshop
Art is expression of the artist. Each piece is part of you, the artist. It has part of your personality, your mood and your fingerprint. It should be unique. Art is a craft in which the artist pursues mastery. Typing "alien space ship battle oil paint john singer sargent" is not craftmanship.
 

Jennings

Member
Fuck any artist that complains about this. If they can't outdo a computer they aren't an artist worth celebrating and they don't deserve an award. These AI programs must use a library of existing styles in order to generate their content. A genuine artist that pushes boundaries and explores new avenues will do more than ape those that have come before them. So again, fuck any so-called artist that complains when a computer rips off those that came before better than they do.
 
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EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
Fuck any artist that complains about this. If they can't outdo a computer they aren't an artist worth celebrating and they don't deserve an award. These AI programs must use a library of existing styles in order to generate their content. A genuine artist that pushes boundaries and explores new avenues will do more than ape those that have come before them. So again, fuck any so-called artist that complains when a computer rips off those that came before better than they do.
Mm. AI is far, far beyond this “library of existing styles” you’ve conceived.
 

Jennings

Member
Oh man, feeling the Eye or Sauron over here. I apologize to artists everywhere. It's not fair to be pit against a machine.
 
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niilokin

Member
That's actually a good description of what AI imagery is doing.
who is the "artist" pursuing mastery in this case, the program itself or the keyboard artisan :messenger_beaming::messenger_beaming:

but seriously though I'd love to see this stuff used in actual AI image contest

I think it looks cool.


I wonder if cave painters got mad the first time a dude used a brush instead of his hands.
how about: a cave man finds a beautiful cluster of different colored crystals and instead of saying, "I worked hard to find and dig and extract this wonderful gem from the deep earth", he says "bro I made dis"
 
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jufonuk

not tag worthy
There's two types of people in this world: those who pretend a trash bag on the floor is art, and those don't play that nonsense.

If you cut all of that weird "Everything is art" shite out, it's easy to see why this isn't a problem. The reaction isn't part of the submission, and it's a competition for humans so it does matter where it came from.

Not to mention the good old fashioned dishonesty of it all and the implications for future art.
Basically just bullshit your reason why the trash bag on the floor use juxtaposition then make out the main onus is on the viewer to find the meaning. Make them feel stupid and profit. It’s all a bullshit game modern art. Waste of fucking space. Oh look I made my bed. Wow so profound. Fuck that
 

Crayon

Member
This is straining my brain. I need a cup of coffee. A thing made this beautiful picture. Felt nothing doing it. Understood nothing doing it. Never will.

These human imitating AI's are all fun and games for now...
 

Mikado

Member
This is straining my brain. I need a cup of coffee. A thing made this beautiful picture. Felt nothing doing it. Understood nothing doing it. Never will.

These human imitating AI's are all fun and games for now...

I for one, am looking forward to the point where adding "Trending on Artstation" mostly returns inputs that had been composited by _other_ diffusion algorithms, until it all turns to inscrutible noise and chaos, beautiful only to other robots.
 
I made this last night using the same program

As an artist i dont know how i feel about all this....on one hand...it wont stop people from doing this kind of art by hand...matter fact it just makes me feel liek doing artwork by scratch every image i see. see star trek tng...people still writing and putting on plays even though they they can prompt a holodeck to create their own plays. What we have achieved basically is Data painting in his room...thats literally what this is.

On the other hand it does kill the concept art market....literally what i see coming out of MidJourney is all a studio needs since you can iterate off of the same image infinitely. People will still be hired of course to rework the ideas and images but the number of needed artists will decrease to a large degree. I think the patreon fan artist is over though...except those that pocket change off of very loyal fans. The age of sakimi chans is over.

My prompt was simple....i put in the name of a dead can dance album title and nothing else.
I then chose from a few of the available selections and ran it through a few revisions and upscales and finally a remaster.

 
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Was there this much pushback from traditional painters when artists using Photoshop started getting popular?
Only a very miniscule amount of pushback, because creating art on photoshop still requires a massive amount of learned skill and time investment. I can't show a random friend photoshop, hand them a stylus, and say 'now go paint some art on this screen.'
 

TheDreadBaron

Gold Member
Trying to figure out how to express what this looming dread I’m feeling is, and this is what I came up with:

This is a radical new world and it is scary 😰 I was raised in a bygone era before everyone carried a computer in their pocket. The AI is already better than us at art and that’s supposed to be the one thing we have as humans, some kind of unique beautiful perspective despite the flaws inherent in us, but the AI can make beautiful art without suffering or knowing what beauty is. We stand absolutely no chance, and it feels like all that art that was labored over by beautifully flawed people to share their singular perspectives in their brief moment on Earth is just going to get washed away and forgotten now because any idiot can blurt out whatever pops into their head and their computer can make their vapid ideas beautiful for them, so then what is the value of art now?

Maybe I’m being too dramatic and this tech becomes just another tool in the artist’s toolbox, but then in this new world is being an artist just having an idea? Soon, will any jerkoff with a ‘super cool game idea’ just tell the computer what they want to play and it will create something far beyond what they could ever imagine. Does this mean people won’t have to imagine anymore, that is now offloaded? I’m fucking shook y’all.

Artists are mad about this, sure, but I think mostly they’re terrified.
 
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sinnergy

Member
Trying to figure out how to express what this feeling of looming dread I’m feeling is, and this is what I came up with:

This is a radical new world and it is scary 😰 I was raised in a bygone era before everyone carried a computer in their pocket. The AI is already better than us at art and that’s supposed to be the one thing we have as humans, some kind of unique beautiful perspective despite the flaws inherent in us, but the AI can make beautiful art without suffering or knowing what beauty is. We stand absolutely no chance, and it feels like all that art that was labored over by beautifully flawed people to share their singular perspectives in their brief moment on Earth is just going to get washed away and forgotten now because any idiot can blurt out whatever pops into their head and their computer can make their vapid ideas beautiful for them, so then what is the value of art now?

Maybe I’m being too dramatic and this tech becomes just another tool in the artist’s toolbox, but then in this new world is being an artist just having an idea? Soon, will any jerkoff with a ‘super cool game idea’ just tell the computer what they want to play and it will create something far beyond what they could ever imagine. Does this mean people won’t have to imagine anymore, that is now offloaded? I’m fucking shook y’all.

Artists are mad about this, sure, but I think mostly they’re terrified.
People at Disney where terrified of 3D animations, so where a lot artists about CGI at Industrial Light and magic. Just saying ..

Also not everyone can come up with great ideas … so you still need those people . Artists might get new rolls , art director rolls for example.
 
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cormack12

Gold Member
People at Disney where terrified of 3D animations, so where a lot artists about CGI at Industrial Light and magic. Just saying ..

Also not everyone can come up with great ideas … so you still need those people . Artists might get new rolls , art director rolls for example.
Imagine arguing with an AI that you nee them to improve quality.
 

TheDreadBaron

Gold Member
People at Disney where terrified of 3D animations, so where a lot artists about CGI at Industrial Light and magic. Just saying ..

Also not everyone can come up with great ideas … so you still need those people . Artists might get new rolls , art director rolls for example.
I’m not even talking about jobs my friend, I’m talking about art itself. Despite what the instigator that submitted this AI art to a contest said about his input mattering clearly it doesn’t, and he’s not the artist the AI is.

Edit: Imagine directing a person to paint that picture that was submitted, going through tens of iterations, and then claiming you made it because it was your idea. Makes no sense, having an idea isn’t making art, it’s the struggle of the process. That paradigm will soon be dead and buried.
 
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sinnergy

Member
I’m not even talking about jobs my friend, I’m talking about art itself. Despite what the instigator that submitted this AI art to a contest said about his input mattering clearly it doesn’t, and he’s not the artist the AI is.
Go with the flow! Artists can be artists , if they like , people who value artists need artists ..
 

Tams

Member
It does look pretty nice for an impressionist painting.

But why do all of these AI paintings have the same fucking stargates/portals? Users' lack of imagination? Some AI preference for them? Well, I guess it's both, though the latter really feeds off the former.

I get why the judges didn't spot it, but if they were aware of the whole AI art thing, then the massive fucking stargate/portal would have made it very suspicious.
 

TheDreadBaron

Gold Member
Go with the flow! Artists can be artists , if they like , people who value artists need artists ..
People don’t value artists, that’s why artists are poor. Now they no longer need artists to create product, so the only commercial value artists had is flushed down the toilet. Maybe that’s a good thing, so that as you say artists can be artists, without being forced to manufacture product for mass consumption.

This all leads inevitably back to how we are going to solve people’s irrelevance in the face of automation, and I think it is going to be really rough 😵‍💫
 

shoegaze

Member
It looks good, but as it's generated by AI, I cannot consider it as art.
Why do you equate art being exclusively human quality? Bowerbirds for example are quite an artists.

Or do you limit art only to what comes out of organic life?
 

sinnergy

Member
People don’t value artists, that’s why artists are poor. Now they no longer need artists to create product, so the only commercial value artists had is flushed down the toilet. Maybe that’s a good thing, so that as you say artists can be artists, without being forced to manufacture product for mass consumption.

This all leads inevitably back to how we are going to solve people’s irrelevance in the face of automation, and I think it is going to be really rough 😵‍💫
Automation has been here since the industrial revolution.. I don’t see the problem .
 

IDKFA

Gold Member
Why do you equate art being exclusively human quality? Bowerbirds for example are quite an artists.

Or do you limit art only to what comes out of organic life?

An interesting example, but is this not anthropomorphising Bowerbirds?

What they do is impressive, but it's behaviour only observed by the males as a mating display. An elaborate mating display, but that's all it is.

Yes. I limit art to only come out of organic life, and specifically human life only.
 
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strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
Automation has replaced a vast majority of factory workers over the past decades. The mere transition from analogue to digital has massively changed a myriad of jobs. What makes people think that the technical progress that has transformed our means of production will suddenly make halt before the creative industry?

Instead of seeing this inevitable process as a threat, it should be embraced as a new tool of creation. Will it make artists obsolete? No. Will it change the way how art is produced? Yes. Just with good craftsmanship, people will find new appreciation for man-made and handcrafted goods while the mass-generated stuff will satiate the basic needs of the masses. You'll never sell a designer table to somebody who is perfectly contempt with IKEA.

From autotune to computer-generated melodies, this process already happened to the music industry anyway and nobody really cared. For the most part, music isn't crafted anymore, it is generated and produced. Real artists though are still appreciated by the enthusiast crowd.
 

levyjl1988

Member
The human race will all be replaced by robots and a.I. Not one is superior than the other though, in the far future it doesn’t matter. Humans can be be indoctrinated or brainwashed while robots can be reprogrammed or hacked. Same shit, just different shells, whether it be organic or metal. I heard lawyering is also being replaced by a.i. too. Too bad we won’t see this future because of WW3.
 
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shoegaze

Member
An interesting example, but is this not anthropomorphising Bowerbirds?

What they do is impressive, but it's behaviour only observed by the males as a mating display. An elaborate mating display, but that's all it is.

Yes. I limit art to only come out of organic life, and specifically human life only.
It might be, but it also may not. To me this is a form of aesthetic display and a creative endeavour they participate in, no matter how primitive. I don't think the reward function tied to mating invalidates the action itself. Humans may have more reasons than mating to make art, but no one would argue about us being less complex than a bowerbird.

So to you art is something that a particular human feels doing art, and not the actual externalisation of it? (An object that an artist creates)
 
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der took dur jerrbs

while i appreciate artists will spend a lot of time making art and spending years perfecting their skills and technique, the thing is that most people would not be able to tell the difference between AI generated art and human art. i might get the same enjoyment out of an AI piece of work as a human made one.

they are both art to me. humans need to accept the advances of technology! it's not going anywhere.

It looks good, but as it's generated by AI, I cannot consider it as art.
machines will have feelings too, technophob!
 
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jason10mm

Member
In order to eliminate ALL TOOLS that might supplant artist skill I hereby insist on 100% fingerprinting using only an artists own blood, poop, and other secretions!
 

IDKFA

Gold Member
It might be, but it also may not. To me this is a form of aesthetic display and a creative endeavour they participate in, no matter how primitive. I don't think the reward function tied to mating invalidates the action itself. Humans may have more reasons than mating to make art, but no one would argue about us being less complex than a bowerbird.

So to you art is something that a particular human feels doing art, and not the actual externalisation of it? (An object that an artist creates)

No, it really is a mating behaviour. Birds have some of the most complex and dazzling mating displays in all of nature, but they're not forms of art. The bird is creating this display with the sole purpose of finding a mate and passing on its genetic material.

Art is something that is unique to humanity. Art is an expression of thoughts, ideas emotions and passions. It's a way for us to share with other humans how we experience the world.

machines will have feelings too, technophob!

Machines will never have feelings, or at least nothing on par with being a human.
 
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