In the Middle of Nowhere

Office Impart, Berlin
2nd February – 10th March, 2023

In his exhibition ‘In the Middle of Nowhere’ contemporary conceptual Swedish artist Jonas Lund seeks to interrogate the multifarious impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) on the production and valuation of contemporary art. Through a series of thought-provoking works, Lund endeavors to unpack the ways in which AI is influencing the creation and valuation of art, as well as the ethical quandaries inherent in the use of AI in artistic production.

This exhibition marks a groundbreaking moment in the art world as it is the first show to be created entirely in collaboration with an AI model, namely ChatGPT. Through lengthy conversations with the AI Chatbot, the works on display were conceptualized and produced, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in art production, offering a glimpse into the future of creativity.

One notable piece in the exhibition is the video work titled „The Future of Nothing“ which comprises a series of short narratives speculating on the consequences of automation and AI for the art world and beyond. These vignettes offer a glimpse into a potential future and raising significant questions about the value of human labor and creativity in an increasingly automated milieu.

In addition to the video piece, Lund’s exhibition features a new series of tapestries made with the open-source text to image AI model Stable Diffusion. Through the incorporation of this model, the tapestries seek to explore the power dynamics operative within the art world and the potential reconfigurations of value production engendered by AI, through their mesmerizing exploration of the interplay between technology and traditional craftsmanship.

In the installation “Simulacra Aesthetics”, we see a staged computer desktop environment acting by itself, writing prompts for the text to image AI, and then rating the images on a scale from 1–10. Through the invisible hand of the user, the creation of the Simulacra Aesthetics dataset is being displayed, which lead to the aesthetic evaluation model that became the foundation for the large datasets that have been used in the training of the current text to image AI models.

The exhibition is completed with the video work „The End“. It displays a rolling credit sequence, rewriting the labels of individuals involved in art history and highlighting the potential impact of AI on the art world. The piece invites audiences to consider the implications of the integration of AI in art production and the end of human-created art. Through its nuanced interplay between art historical and cinematic references, „The End“ stands as a powerful meditation on the ontology of artistic authorship in the age of automation.

Part of the show will also be a FxHash simulation piece titled “The Art of Chance”, programmed in collaboration with ChatGPT, in which entities are spawned acting out their pre-programmed behavior exploring resource extraction and competition. The piece is a testament to the limitless possibilities of AI in the art world and demonstrates the incredible potential of AI as a creative partner, rather than a replacement for human artists.

As AI becomes increasingly prevalent in the art world and other industries, it is imperative to consider the ramifications of this integration. Who has access to these AI models, and how are they being utilized? How does the use of AI in artistic production impact the value of art and the labor of artists? These are just a few of the questions that Lund’s exhibition prompts audiences to ponder.

‘In the Middle of Nowhere’ is a timely and intellectually rigorous examination of the intersections between AI and the art world. Through a series of thought-provoking works, Lund invites audiences to consider the potential impact of AI on art production, value production, and the ethical implications of using AI in artistic production.

Video Walkthrough

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