Artificial Intelligence (AI) has experienced substantial growth, reshaping various sectors, including the arts. Singapore’s AI art scene has thrived, with artists pushing creative boundaries, embracing AI’s potential to redefine the intersection of technology and culture.
Singapore-based artist Tan Wyn-Lyn combines her traditional fine art background with AI, viewing it as an extension of her painting practice. She creates generative AI video works, blurring the lines between physical and digital art. For Tan, AI serves as a bridge between art and technology, allowing her to preserve the emotional and painterly elements of her work while exploring new creative dimensions.
As AI continues to influence diverse art forms, artists are not just focusing on its relationship with their creative processes. Instead, they are increasingly intrigued by the broader implications of AI on culture and politics.
In the age of AI, Holly Herndon and Mathew Dryhurst, distinguished as influential figures in AI by Time magazine, are at the forefront of pioneering research in machine learning, software, music, and the profound influence of AI on art and identity. Their innovative approach extends beyond conventional AI applications, delving into critical questions surrounding ownership and personal identity.
The ability of AI to replicate the artistic styles of renowned musicians has ignited contentious discussions surrounding copyright issues. This became evident when a music video that was generated by AI imitating Drake and The Weeknd by a ghostwriter amassing over 9 million views, was taken down from major platforms like TikTok and Spotify. The removal stemmed from copyright claims made by Universal Music Group, the artists’ record label.
This incident has intensified the ongoing debate on copyright matters and further emphasised the significance of Herndon and Dryhurst’s exploration within the context of AI’s evolving impact on the music industry.
Few months back, at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the impact of AI in the music realm was explored through Holly Herndon’s digital twin, “Holly+,” featured in the “Notes From The Ether: From NFTs To AI” exhibition.
Source: Voicemod’s linkedin
This interactive exhibit empowers visitors to engage with Holly+, an AI voice tool capable of instantaneously morphing any audio input into Herndon’s voice. Within a specially designed recording booth, guests have the opportunity to delve into the artistic potential of AI audio while observing their own voices undergo real-time transformation.
This exhibit ran from 19 August to 24 September this year.
Trevor Paglen and Kate Crawford’s work at the Osservatorio Fondazione Prada in Milan sheds light on the biases present in AI training data, emphasising the ethical concerns tied to unconsented images sourced from social media.
Paglen delves into Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) and its relationship with AI, revealing how generative AI manipulates images and text to influence perceptions, inviting reflection on the power of AI in shaping our realities. This is the result of the lack of transparency in the AI industry, where misinformation can happen.
British artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas employs AI and machine learning to explore the post-Sri Lankan war era’s impact on contemporary art and its connection to human rights. His immersive video installation, “Being Human,” delves into this theme.
Being Human by Christopher Kulendran Thomas with Annika Kuhlmann (2019/2022). (Source: The Straits Times)
The on-going installation, on display at the Singapore Art Museum’s “Proof Of Personhood: Identity And Authenticity In The Face Of Artificial Intelligence” until 25 February 2024, features AI-generated figures like Taylor Swift in a thought-provoking video. It questions the role of human creativity in an age dominated by creative machines. The installation cleverly juxtaposes AI-generated artworks with those by contemporary human artists, shedding light on the relationship between art, reality, and the emergence of contemporary art institutions in the post-civil war Sri Lankan context.
As AI continues to merge with the art world, uncertainties about its future implications for the art scene persist. Some artists are keen to uncover the unforeseen facets of AI, while others harbour concerns regarding its capacity to perpetuate social disparities and centralise authority. The future of AI in art remains a dynamic and evolving domain.
Singapore’s introduction of AI-themed exhibitions highlights the nation’s commitment to being a vanguard in AI and its dedication to educating the public about the various realms AI can impact.