Recently I’ve been playing with Generative Adversarial Networks, which are a new flavour of neural network architecture which can be used to generate new representations from a corpus of data. That data can be images, speech, music, pretty much anything that can be represented as data.
In this case, I’m using a GAN to generate new images from a set of pictures.
I fed my network the mugshots of all current UK MPs, in an attempt to find what the politicians of latent space might look like.
Technically speaking, 649 images is way too few to get any decent generalisation. But for the purposes of art, the results are perfect.
Much is made of the empowering nature of the internet. The way it can connect people globally, to share their knowledge and creativity. However, it’s worth remembering that over half the world’s population is NOT online, and they are filled with knowledge and creativity too.
One such non-citizen of the internet is my friend, artist, writer and musician, Tim Leopard. One of his most prolific artistic activities is the creation of drawings. It seems a shame that such a unique talent should be stuck denied the opportunity to share his work with the world – something that citizens of the internet take for granted.
So I automated him.
I’ve scanned (some of) Tim’s drawings, and built a bot to post one daily to Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, opening up the work to previously unreachable audiences.
Migration Patterns is a new series of 13 portraits, painted onto the pages of a discarded road atlas.
Everyone has a story, and their story is there to be read on their faces. This is a collection of portraits of Brighton people, each painted onto a map of their adolescent homeland. The teenage years are when (where) we define ourselves. Each of the subjects have been drawn to Brighton from disparate parts of the country, and it’s my conjecture that their defining characteristics that brought them to this town were formed in those difficult teenage years.
Alongside the images are recordings of each of the subjects, recounting stories from their formative years, perhaps revealing an insight into the kind of people they have become, and the journey that led them to settle in Brighton.
Migration Patterns is being shown at The Dynamite Gallery, 13 Trafalgar St, Brighton from 30th of September until 14th of October.
Click on the images below to see the portraits and hear what they said.
The UK Government’s (lack of) position on the execution of Brexit would be laughable, were it not so crushingly destructive to almost every aspect of life in the UK. The word itself is often prefixed with vague and misleading qualifiers, that only serve to further baffle and confuse observers. ‘Hard Brexit’, ‘Soft Brexit’ or even a ‘Red, White and Blue Brexit’.
@everybrexitbot produces tweets of the form “[adjective] brexit”, alphabetically from a list of 1346 adjectives.
Obviously, a computer could produce all the possible combinations in a fraction of a second, but that’s not really the point. By releasing them sequentially, there’s a sense of anticipation about what kind of brexit might be coming next.
Not entirely unlike the current state of affairs within the Conservative Party.
Twitter lends itself to these forms, dropping in algo-phrases every few hours, some of which prompt a smile. More frequently they drift past, flotsam in the constantly spewing stream of social media ephemera.