While artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for quite some time now, the term has become far more ubiquitous at this point, appearing in nearly every corner of culture. The art world has been one of the many industries both intrigued and perplexed by this burgeoning technology and AI serves as the underlying theme of a new solo exhibition by filmmaker Bennett Miller at Gagosian’s 976 Madison Avenue location in New York.
As his first show with the gallery, the eponymously titled exhibition features a suite of prints made within the last five years that stem from Miller’s thorough investigation of the technological crossroads we now find ourselves in. OpenAi CEO Sam Altman, the San Francisco–based developer of DALL•E, is one of the many influential figures that Miller interviewed within this space for a recent documentary film.
DALL•E is a portmanteau term referencing legendary artist Salvador Dalí and Pixar’s robot character WALL-E, and which features a complex machine-learning algorithm that translates written prompts into bespoke images. Launched in 2021 by OpenAI, the same company that helms writing platform, ChatGPT, Miller used DALL•E to generate a breadth of images in various styles and aesthetics to ruminate on the shifts in which we understand representational artwork today. Much like similar AI art platforms, such as Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, DALL•E has been highly controversial for many working professionals in regards to legal concerns, such as plagiarism, as well as culturally for the education sector.
In Miller’s work, the filmmaker primarily depicts landscapes and children from a distant time perhaps at the advent of photography. Although genuine on first glance, each image evades any semblance of place and origin through a haziness that is both emblematic of memory and any AI technology.
The exhibition comes at a fascinating time when AI presents both a promising yet harrowing path forward. Catch Bennett Miller at Gagosian in New York until April 22.