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Talent Spotlight: Artist Narine Arakelian uses AI art curator for her groundbreaking two-part exhibition Metamorphosis of Aphrodite’s Stones


The world has been buzzing about the emergence of Artificial Intelligence for quite some time, speculating about its impact on industry and academia, the personal and the professional, as well as on the sterile and the creative. But over the last two years, the proverbial eagle had indeed landed, as evidenced (in part) by the recent work of multidisciplinary Armenian artist Narine Arakelian. 


Portrait of Narine Arakelian
Portrait of Narine Arakelian

Her latest solo exhibition, titled Metamorphosis of Aphrodite’s Stones, opened at Yerevan’s Modern Art Museum located in the heart of Armenia on January 30th alongside a parallel showcase in Decentraland, a 3D virtual world browser-based platform. In Decentraland, a metropolis called Genesis City is made up of individual LAND parcels that are bought, sold, and rented in the virtual world’s Marketplace, and can be owned by anyone.


Simply put, one part of the exhibition takes place at the museum while the other unfolds in a digital world, allowing virtual attendees to interact with the art directly. In both cases, the work is inspired by nature, mythology, and innovative technologies.


For the two-part exhibition, the artist “collaborated” with AI by entrusting it with artistic curation, thereby “blending human creativity with computational insights.” According to the artist, the “collaboration” showcases “her commitment to exploring the confluence of art, technology, and social commentary.” But, those who are not familiar with how art curation and AI may come together may be wondering what that means, exactly. 


The dictionary states that: “Curators (sometimes referred to as archivists in libraries) collect, exhibit, interpret, maintain, and protect objects of historical and aesthetic importance primarily in museums, libraries, and private collections.” The AI curator, however, augments this role by utilizing machine learning algorithms to analyze vast amounts of art data, including historical information, artist biographies and art critics' reviews. 


So, how does this augmented role play out in real life? For one, Arakelian enjoys the impartial and unbiased approach of the AI curator, noting that it is able to highlight or introduce ways of thinking that may not occur to a live person. She also appreciates the simplicity of “editing” with AI: “The collaboration with an AI artist exceeded my expectations by the fact that I had to make a minimal number of corrective explanations, about 60 in total.” 


"The advantages are that it is easier to find a mutual understanding, working with an AI clearly follows the request without introducing subjectivism and rational approach than when you work with a specialist with experience. Greater coverage of information and objective and versatile responses. However sometimes there is a lack of human communication and depth of expertise from the human experience. The determining factor in the work of AI is the ability to handle information and the ability to identify the most important range of tasks.”

Clip from "Metamorphosis of Aphrodite’s Stones" by Arakelian
Clip from "Metamorphosis of Aphrodite’s Stones" by Arakelian

Anton Levahin, Arakelian’s frequent collaborator, has played a massive role in the exhibit concept and scenography. Together, they use innovative digital technologies, including custom-designed AI, to position her at the forefront of contemporary and new media art. The exhibition closes on March 3rd, 2024, but you can check out more from the artist here



Note* All of the event information and images are provided by our partners.

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