AI: The “democratization” of Art

With the raise of Artificial Intelligence we stand watching how this technology reaches more and more fields with the passing time, being now the topic of discussion the use of A.I apps to create art.

Without even entering on the polemic of how this apps feed on artists’ works that have been taken without permission (see the anti AI movement on Art Station or the app Glaze), or the unsuspected future consequences that could happen when or if our personal pictures get sold as data packages for this type of app (a problem that many cosplayers already face, and that has reached the fashion world with the fake inclusivity of diverse or POC models created artificially), AI “art” launches an instrumentation on what defines us as humans, which is the capacity to express ourselves through artistic creation.

As a species we have been creating art since the beginning of time, proof of it are the countless paintings on caves depicting animals; Art is a way of expression, AI promoters stand by the argument that “with AI anybody can create art” and that it is “a democratization of art” which, entirely misses the point that we all, as human beings, inherently have the capacity to create art.
Art is, as I said above, a tool of expression, when we replace our own expression with that of the AI we don’t have a democratization, we have an alienation; as if someone took away our voice and, instead of teaching us an useful inclusive tool like sign language they just gave us a tablet and told us that now we can only communicate through this medium

Now, one could argue that AI allows to create some “good” pieces, and I ponder: When and how was it decided that one has to be “good” at something to enjoy doing it?
Art is not about it being “good” or “bad” unless you want to dedicate professionally to any of its related fields (and then again, many experts will vary on their opinions of what is “good”) art is, once again, about expression. Art doesn’t have a logical or practical purpose, its only purpose is to tell something, to create a reaction on the viewer, even if that viewer is only you yourself, the creator of the Art.

No, when using AI apps to create images the only thing that is permeating is a) that there is no respect towards the people that spent time, effort and education to become “good enough” (again, subjective) to make a profession in the Arts, and b)That the only concern is creating something “good enough” to be marketable, because this, this exactly is the ultimate purpose of AI applied to Art; to yet again capitalize on something, to be produced quickly and cheaply, to be put on a t-shirt and sold using printify connected to your webshop, in an effort to maintain people believing in the farfetched possibility that one can become rich effortlessly and whoever doesn’t do it is because they don’t want to.*
Bringing with it the ultimate Unholy Trinity of capitalist individuation: Fast Food, Fast Fashion, Fast Art.

This all said, it could be very easy to let oneself be dragged down to the dark lands of hopelessness but, quite the contrary I propose to you all, dear readers, that you create your own art, even if you are not good at it.
Sing badly in the shower as if you were on stage, take a pen and paper, draw a doodle, write that story of how you escape your boring routine at work by jumping out the window with your favorite characters, try sewing a lopsided dress, paint with your fingers….give food to your soul, do something useless, something unproductive, something only for you, something that speaks only to you.

You all have the capacity to create, you all have art screaming inside yourselves to be let out. Do what you enjoy and never let anyone tell you that, because you are not good at it or because you can’t sell it, you don’t have the intrinsic ability to do Art.


*I wanted to point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make a living out of something that’s not a standard 9 to 5 job; the problem rises when this is done by using stolen artwork, when there is the thought that this requires no effort (marketing, SEO, etc requires a lot of work, it can be easy to make the product but you still have to promote and get your product found by people) and the subsequent one that if someone is not doing this is because they don’t want to get rich or because they are stupid. There are many ways on creating a POD (print on demand) business and counting with real artists for this should be the priority. Instead of using AI to create on the basis of stolen art, we should be turning to the countless websites there are where artists offer their designs either with a fee for commercial use, with a donation fee or completely free.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s