Can A.I. Rethink Art? Should it?

Anadol said every artist wanted to see “what is beyond reality” and “perceive worlds that don’t exist.” A.I. was a vehicle for the imagination, one that, he said, could represent “hallucinations, dreams, fantasies.”

The technology we are dealing with today is no longer “just a pen, or a printing press,” and “not just a car or a wheel.” Instead, “it is intelligence,” he said. “It is mimicking our reasoning at the moment, and it will evolve. It will turn into something else.” And that “has never happened in our history before.”

Currently, he explained, A.I. is “50 percent human, 50 percent machine.” In the future, he said, A.I. will be “designed from scratch: to see, to hear, to feel,” and to produce “a living form of art” that will be “a synthetic being.”He said that artificial intelligence will take “archives of humanity and what we are leaving behind” — not just an image, text or sound, but “scent, taste, touch” — and convert it into data and memory with which it can create art.

He described A.I. as “a thinking brush that doesn’t forget, that can remember anything and everything,” and said he would “invite that A.I. to my studio, and host and cocreate” with it. “I will accept that A.I. as a human,” he said.

Anadol’s “Echoes of the Earth” exhibit came out of an invitation to show at the Serpentine Galleries by its artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist.

In an interview at his Serpentine office, Obrist recalled that in October 2011, after giving a talk in Marrakesh, Morocco, he was approached by a London artist and technologist who said he didn’t understand why museums were not engaging with technology anywhere except on their website. Obrist said he gathered the artist and a group of others for a breakfast round table a few days later, and in 2013, established the Serpentine’s technology division, which today has five curators.

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