images by generative
Artificial Intelligence,
with assitance
from David Fathi
texts by David Fathi,
with assistance
from generative
Artificial Intelligence
Early in the morning, in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, Nicephore Niepce installs a camera obscura in front of his window at Le Gras, and starts to expose a tin plate to the sunlight. Slowly, over the course of eight to ten hours, the sun reveals the first permanent record of the world. Technology could now compete with painters.

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Painters choose to continue portraying the world in the most faithful manner, competing directly with the machine in an effort to be the most accurate source of representation of nature.

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Painters decide to reject objective representations and seek new ways to see the world. Painting evolves into impressionism, cubism and abstract expressionism.

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Artists start rebelling against the threat to their livelihood and seek punishment on those using photography. They start a global campaign to destroy all photographic equipment and ban what is deemed ‘skill-less image making’.

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Photography is naturally integrated in the workflows of painters and illustrators and becomes a tool that feeds into the creative process.
With the submission of his most infamous work, Fountain, Duchamp declares readymade objects as art. A urinal, a comb, a snow shovel, a bottle rack. The perspective of art as a cerebral process, produced in the audience’s own mind, upheaves the traditional role of the artist.

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Mechanically produced «profane» readymades, valued to the level of a «sacred» art, with no technical skill, is seen widely as the end-point of art. Artists become extinct, never to be heard of again.

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Duchamp’s readymades are immediately co-opted by the establishment and become the newest fashion in interior design. The art world is flooded with «Duchampian» objects, and the prices for his originals skyrocket.

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Duchamp’s readymades are largely ignored by the art world, and the idea is quickly forgotten. Art continues to be produced in the traditional way, with no real change.

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Duchamp, becomes more entranced by chess than art, writing in 1919 ”My attention is so completely absorbed by chess. I play day and night, and nothing interests me more than finding the right move... I like painting less and less.” He spends the rest of his life dedicating his time to become a chess Grandmaster.
When Kasparov loses to Deep Blue, the first artificial intelligence to beat a grand master at chess, the world is in shock. Newsweek titles the event “The Brain’s Last Stand” and the public starts to wonder, when will the machine overtake humans ?

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Chess continues on, but players start accusing each other of cheating by using AIs. The chess matches have to be monitored, and players strip-searched, to maintain the integrity of the game.

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Machines take over the International Chess Federation and assert their domination over humanity through humiliating chess tournaments where machines beat again and again the greatest human minds.

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Deep Blue becomes the last deterministic AI and quickly becomes obsolete, replaced by newer, fancier, and more powerful neural networks. Deep Blue gives up chess and starts making avant-garde art.

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Chess masters adapt and adopt the new algorithms. They start using AI to evolve new techniques. The machine can now beat any human, but Grandmaster level of today is elevated to levels that were never reached by past generations.
Two hundred years after the first photograph. One hundred and ten years after the inauguration of Duchamp's fountain. Thirty years after Deep Blue beats Kasparov. Five years after this text is written. Machine-learning prompting is now a common, affordable, easy technique. It can generate drawings, photographs, 3D models, video, sound in a matter of seconds.

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The art world is taken over by corporations and advertising, who use the new technology to create ever more realistic and persuasive ads and artworks. The world of art and commodity finally become one indistinguishable entity.

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Tecnhology evolves, but it’s just business as usual. The art world keeps on going, with new mediums and techniques being embraced and incorporated into the fold.

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People in the art world lose their jobs and decide to embrace the machines, become one with them by uploading their consciousnesses into the cloud. There, without the competition with machines, they continue creating in a virtual space.

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The machines decide that humanity is a cancer, and wipe us out. The art world never recovers from this inconvenience.