Christie's Will Hold the First Major Auction of an AI-Generated Artwork

Christie's
Christie's

An upcoming auction in New York City suggests that the art world might be ready to embrace robot artists. In October, Christie's will be the first major auction house to put artwork generated by artificial intelligence up for sale, according to Artnet.

The print, called Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, is one of several AI-generated works created by the French art collective Obvious. Obvious trained an algorithm using a dataset of 15,000 portraits from the 14th to 20th centuries to create a portrait series depicting the fictional Belamy family, all vaguely in the style of an 18th-century European painter.

To make the series, first the artificial intelligence program learned to create new art drawing on its knowledge of past portraiture. Then, it tested whether the portraits it generated could fool a test designed to distinguish human-made paintings from AI-generated ones. Obvious dubbed these two aspects of the algorithm the Generator and the Discriminator.

An AI-generated portrait of a man in black clothes with a white collar
Portrait of Edmond de Belamy
Obvious

Eleven of the resulting portraits that passed the test make up a series called La Famille de Belamy. The Portrait of Edmond de Belamy is the most recent work in the series. (You can see the rest here.) Christie's estimates that the painting is worth $7000 to $10,000.

"We wish to emphasize the parallel between the input parameters used for training an algorithm, and the expertise and influences that craft the style of an artist," Obvious member Hugo Caselles-Dupré said in a press release. "Most of all, we want the viewer to focus on the creative process: an algorithm usually functions by replicating human behavior, but it learns by using a path of its own."

The piece will be sold during Christie's Prints and Multiples auction, which will run from October 23 to 25.

[h/t Artnet]

Kids Can Join Children's Book Author Mo Willems for Daily "Lunch Doodles" on YouTube

Screenshot via YouTube
Screenshot via YouTube

For children interested in taking drawing lessons, there are few better teachers than Mo Willems. The bestselling author and illustrator has been charming young readers for years with his Pigeon picture book series. Now, from the Kennedy Center, where he's currently the artist-in-residence, Willems is hosting daily "Lunch Doodles" videos that viewers can take part in wherever they are. New lessons are posted to the Kennedy Center's YouTube channel each weekday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

With the novel coronavirus outbreak closing schools across the country, many kids are now expected to continue their education from home. For the next several weeks, Willems will be sharing his time and talents with bored kids (and their overworked parents) in the form of "Lunch Doodles" episodes that last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. In the videos, Willems demonstrates drawing techniques, shares insights into his process, and encourages kids to come up with stories to go along with their creations.

"With millions of learners attempting to grow and educate themselves in new circumstances, I have decided to invite everyone into my studio once a day for the next few weeks," Willems writes for the center's blog. "Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons. We are going to doodle together and explore ways of writing and making."

If kids don't want to doodle during lunch, the videos will remain on YouTube for them to tune in at any time. The Kennedy Center is also publishing downloadable activity pages to go with each episode on its website [PDF]. For more ways to entertain children in quarantine or isolation, check out these livestreams from zoos, cultural institutions, and celebrities.

Dreaming of Your Favorite City? This Website Will Create a Personalized Haiku Poem About It for You

OpenStreetMap Haiku will capture the colorful character of your hometown in a few (possibly silly) phrases.
OpenStreetMap Haiku will capture the colorful character of your hometown in a few (possibly silly) phrases.
vladystock/iStock via Getty Images

You no longer need to spend all your free time struggling to capture the vibe of your favorite city in a few carefully chosen syllables—OpenStreetMap Haiku will do it for you.

The site, developed by Satellite Studio, uses the information from crowdsourced global map OpenStreetMap to create a haiku that describes any location in the world. According to Travel + Leisure, the poems are based on data points like supermarkets, shops, local air quality, weather, time of day, and more.

“Looking at every aspect of the surroundings of a point, we can generate a poem about any place in the world,” the developers wrote in a blog post. “The result is sometimes fun, often weird, most of the time pretty terrible. Also probably horrifying for haiku purists (sorry).”

The results are also often waggishly accurate. For example, here’s a haiku describing Washington, D.C.:

“The same pot of coffee
Fresh coffee from Starbucks
The desk clerk.”

In other words, it seems like the city runs on compulsive coffee refills and paperwork. And if you thought life in Brooklyn, New York, was a combination of alcohol-fueled outings to basement bars and traffic-filled trips into the city, this poem probably confirms your suspicions:

“Getting drunk at The Nest
Today in New York
Green. Red. Green. Red.”

The website’s creators were inspired by Naho Matsuda’s Every Thing Every Time, a 2018 art installation outside Theatre Royal in Newcastle, England, that used data points to generate an ever-changing poem about the city.

Wondering what OpenStreetMap Haiku has to say about your hometown? Explore the map here.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER