Exhibition NI/AI

(Natural Intelligence vs. Artificial Intelligence)
Exhibition of digital prints
by Ertunç Sali
16.09.2022 (MKC)

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of a picture?
Have you ever interpreted a painting? To the question “What is the picture?” or “What is so bad about the picture?” – what was your answer. And it seems that you answered “I don’t know, but something attracts me in that picture” or “I don’t know!” Simply bad”. Therefore, before concluding “whether the exhibition is good or bad”, I suggest you spend 2-3 minutes on the following text, which will be your guide for the entire exhibition.
One of the greatest minds in the philosophy of language, the passionate philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (Ludwig Wittgenstein) asks the same question, which he answers in his most famous book “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” with his theory of image in language. According to him, any communication between people is just a narration of pictures. The narrator is the painter and his words are the palette. The narrator explains the image in his head, which is transferred to the listener. Of course, every communication is not always fluid, so every picture in the head of the narrator/listener is not beautiful. The biggest factor is the narrator’s choice of words and the listener’s knowledge of the same words. The quality of communication will depend on the quality of the words as well as the image.
According to this theory, if our every thought is pictorial and that written thought (text) can also be a picture, then can we consider novels as narrators of pictures? The authors of novels, at the same time as great painters? Remind everyone of Dostoyevsky’s novels and his narrative style in detail. Is he the equal of Rembrandt, who reveled in minute details in his paintings? However, do not forget that Rembrandt was a master, the best in his field! He had a studio in which he received students! With many drawings, he taught his students to draw in his style and therefore it is believed that some of his paintings were drawn by his students, in order to learn painting in his style. Rembrandt sketched, described the situation, and the students painted. He, in the end, signed. No different than today’s great painters.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the world was experiencing the peak of industrialization and in the knowledge of machines, as well as in their use and advancement. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the world is getting to know the new side of machines – their consciousness. Machines depend on our control, without their awareness, they act for us. The goal of scientists is to awaken that consciousness, the so-called Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence – AI) and to develop it to the level of a human brain. Previous attempts have aroused violent reactions among people, so the latest achievement has inspired artists. Now AI can create works of art! Poetry, song, animation. And now a PICTURE! Can we say that this is Wittgenstein’s dream? I wonder about his opposition on this topic, but at the same time I am very enthusiastic about his support for it.
The works on display are generated at MidJourney. It’s an AI-powered program that turns text into an image. Knowing the binary system, for the cyber world which means one human word, the result is fascinating which is obtained in one click. Not every picture is the best. The quality of the words determines the quality of the image, but it is also a projection of the narrator’s imagination.
With no more than 6 works, the author tries to give his perspective on the subject, which has affected artists all over the world. According to him, the quality of works still depends on the quality of thoughts, and we humans are chaotic beings looking for order, looking for beauty. While the machines that have been systematized are on the move to shorten the chaos in the direction of mutual understanding. We are no more than a sack of meat to them. But in chaos there is order, and in order there is beauty.

The story goes like this:
I have lost the original works that had to be exhibited in this exhibition. Those were ink pen drawings, made on a 160 gr. paper beige color, A4 format. What I needed was something like Rembrandt did – student who will draw for me, my drawings. I had to describe them like Dostoyevsky did on his books and I had to think like Wittgenstein describes his theory of picture. What you could see in this exhibition is my memory of the drawing, the prompts I used to describe to the AI machine and the result it gave to me.

Although to human knowledge, what was described would be enough to explain a painting, yet the picture in my mind and in others wouldn’t be the same and it would be a big shame to the artist. This exhibition, by using the AI software, is a little try to become a proof of it. Next time you try to explain a painting, try to remember to reveal more details to have a clear picture in other’s mind.