Is AI-generated Art an Enemy or a Friend to Artist? | AI生成艺术对艺术家是敌是友？
The essay argues that AI-generated art is not the enemy of artists. The development of AI technology will free artists from repetitive and mechanical labor and encourage creativity, intelligence and humanity implied in man-made art. It contains three sections. The first section introduces Portrait of Edmond Belamy, a proclaimed AI-generated painting created with an open-source algorithm called GAN (Generative Adversarial Network). It was sold for an unexpected price of $432,500 during a Christie’s auction in 2018. The second section reviews the history of AI-generated art by focusing on some key inventions, such as AARON, the first computer program able to produce basic shape in 1968 and Google’s Deep Dream Program in 2014. The third section categorizes art-related AI into three types according to impact. The first type includes software that benefit artists in general, such as image recognition, color specification, and auto 3D construction. The second type are programs that generate new image according to selected style, which will eventually outperform the beginner level designer in terms of speed and quality, only preserving art jobs that require true creativity. The third type is represented by GAN algorithm, which generates its own subject by learning from the fed data, removing human’s critical role of consenting the subject. It is now limited by the “catastrophic forgetting” trait of GAN system.
Religions Aspects in the Mechanism of Asian Idol-Fan Pop Culture | 亚洲偶像-粉丝文化机制中的宗教因素
Kevin Schilbrack defines religion as an intersection between the features of functionalist and substantive, namely, ‘the social practices authorized by reference to a superempirical reality’. Using Schilbrack's definition as framework, the essay aims at analyzing the idol-fan culture in Asia satisfies the functionalist standard of religion but fails to meet its substantive aspect. The idol industry in Asia functions religiously in psychological and social perspectives: it benefits the practitioners psychologically by improving self-identification through the cultivation of idol-fan relationship; it also develops comradeship and community cooperation through fan-fan relationship. The consumption of idol-centered commodity strengthens the bonding between fan community, a similar mode with religious consumption. However, the appreciation is limited within the empirical factors of the idol (face, body, etc.). and nonempirical values (hard-working, talents, etc.). The absence of belief in superempirical being (independent from human, able to transcend the impermanent boundary) fails the idol culture to meet the substantive standard, thus cannot be categorized as religion under Shilbrack's definition.
Forensis: Field and Forum of 'The Long Duration of a Split Second' | 法证：艺术展“一瞬的漫长持续”的现场与会场
This essay reflects on the visit to Forensic Architecture's 'The Long Duration of a Split Second', the 2018 Turner Prize winner exhibited at the Tate Britain. The exhibition presents the team’s investigation on the deaths of a Palestinian Bedouin villager and an Israeli police during a violent demolition activity of local houses in the Negev/Naqab desert on January 18th, 2017. The minor section ‘Traces of Bedouin Inhabitation’ surveys the historical context behind the incident-- the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian disputation over the site’s ownership and residency right. The essay analyzes the exhibition from two perspectives: field and forum. “Field” corresponds to the on-site investigation of the case in south Israel, while “forum” is the presentation of it at Tate Britain. The methodology used in the investigation combines the traditional witness testimony and site re-enactment, digital technology (digital mapping, 3D modeling) and social media (Twitter, YouTube). The staging of the show invites the audience to actively interact with the content, constantly raising their head to read the texts printed on the wall and picking up the earphone to watch the videos. The evidence and the presentation put the audience in the role of judge in a courtroom.
The essay argues that the show challenges and broadens public’s definition of art. Regardless of being criticized for “pretentious methodology and excessive objectivity”, the team’s moths-long investigation reflects their ardent pursuit of truth and justice. They are the among the few resistant guarantees of human status by fighting for the ignored, the destroyed, and the forgotten.
Analysis on Rear Window: A Triple-Dimensioned Voyeuristic Hierarchy | 影片《后窗》解析：三重维度的窥视层级
The film endows the act of looking with a sense of power and control. The essay argues that throughout the development of the plot, Hitchcock gradually builds up an organic visual-power hierarchy, from top to bottom, the dimension of audience, the dimension of Jeff the voyeur, and the dimension of Lars and the neighbors who are peeped at.The essay focuses on the scene in which Lars Thorwald, the salesman who murders his wife, found out Jeff’s knowledge about his crime through Jeff’s voyeuristic POV. The scene serves as a turning point between the previous nine-tenths methodical construction of visual-power hierarchy and the latter one-tenth turbulent destruction. It is a perfect example of Hitchcock’s insightful understanding of psychology and ingenious manipulation of mise-en-scene.