« The process is not important, but the practice is. The works we produce are the result of a number of forth-and-back trips between the “real” space that we all share, where we can draw, paint, sculpt, break, erase; and the “data” space, where we can play with more dimensions than we can cope with. In this data space, which can involve AI algorithms or heavy mathematical processing we expand the possibilities, explore new forms that we can project back in reality. We then provide new propositions, at the cost of accepting to lose a little bit of information when projecting back in the real space. At the time we speak, it seems to be quite a unique approach we’ve not really seen elsewhere. It is very difficult as this requires both a lot of thinking and a lot of manual work. With Anis, we often say that we work fast and slow at the same time: of course, it is possible to generate in a few hours many propositions and ideas using GANs. However, achieving the final piece, finding the right equilibrium, pushing ourselves to reach maximal quality can sometimes take us months.
So if I had to sum up in one sentence what we discovered so far, it is the fact that the path between a generative trial and an artwork we accept to make public, is a long path. Being slow helps us be precise and delicate.
For instance, when we started working on Potential Herbariums we gathered many images from existing herbariums worldwide, but also created our own, by collecting thousands of plants and flowers in the French mountains of Savoie. Over time, it was quite astonishing to see that the “imaginary plants” generated by our GANs, that we used as raw material in our works, were almost following an anti-Darwinian path. Indeed, we found circular or cut stems, immense leaves with only fragile hooks, and more generally, vegetal forms that would not have been able to survive in our known nature. We were quite frightened, as this looked like what plants would transform into, if they had chosen to give up on us, and silently leave our world. This is reflected in the exclusive edition A Rebours we proposed for Cueva Gallery. »
« My practice consists in exploring how we can collaborate with machines to, as it were, ‘dream together’ and expand our respective capacities to create. For that, I use algorithms, data and AI modelling, all of which are involved at various stages of an analogue creative process: writing a text, assembling an image, even constructing a sculpture.
Today, when I interact with algorithms, I am not interested in the fields relating to digital art: I am rather pursuing, sincerely and obstinately, research into how to create a better creative interaction between humanity and machines. I seek to position myself exactly at the border between the real and the imaginary: I am not interested in artefacts or deformations, in pixellated images or unreadable texts generated by the machine and respectfully presented as such to readers. On the contrary, I really believe that in taking the best of human capabilities (the capacity to love, the sense of a personal history, culture, the ability to create unexpected bridges between distant ideas) and those of the machine (exhaustiveness, parametric ability, relentless work), it is possible to move further towards tangible objects and experiences that are of the highest quality. »