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One Stop Over : AI. ChatGPT. Art for arts sake

by Editor Peter Davidson
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 2nd of February 2023 


'Stay Frosty' by Robert Work


I mentioned in a previous article that the great photographer Salgado predicted that in his view, in around ten years perhaps, there will not be photography, simply the image. I thought at the time that he was a little too conservative, it might be sooner than that, but now I think that moment has already arrived. It's here.


So the question is, when an AI generated image, blended from real photographs originated by others, and the end result is indistinguishable from a real photograph, is the result still photography?  

I would argue it is not. Rather it's an image presented as photography, but is not photography. Instead the creator did not use a camera, preferring to  appropriate other photographic works to create a new image via a software program. 


Currently, there is a huge debate on the ethical concerns of using AI in creating original work, be it visual or written. But it must be remembered, this is nothing new.
That'll be $89,950 please, thank you!
That's how much people were paying for Richard Prince's art in 2014.
Well, if you consider it actually art. His art, I mean.
You see, he takes images from other people on Instagram, adds a few 'comment' words, then prints them up big and sells the result.

Intrigued, I went along to see his gallery show in London. Four pages of BS hand-outs written by the artist didn't really convince me to his cause. Although his chosen images are strong, you can't escape the fact that they aren't his. But I guess it's true his artistic vision has arguably brought these images to public view, when otherwise they would be lost. A grey disturbing area indeed. If you like this kind of art, save yourself $89,950 and print one of your own choosing from your own screen print of other peoples art, like from Richard Prince's own web site. Now wouldn't that be ironic...