Considering gender in the age of AICAN, the unhuman artist


Greta Rainbow was the writer, researcher and interviewer for this feature article

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“Last week at SCOPE Art Fair in New York City, the work ‘Link Between Heaven and Earth’ sat among paintings and prints, seeming at home in the chaos of the Chelsea pavilion. However, instead of the Bushwick loft or Berlin basement that most of the festival’s works were made in, this piece originates from a computer lab in the quiet town of Piscataway, New Jersey. The piece was created without acrylics, brushes, canvases or clay, because the artist doesn’t need them.

‘Link Between Heaven and Earth’ is not an intelligent painting. It’s artificially intelligent. It is the product of the aesthetics of 80,000 works of art, and the command to make something unlike any of those and yet able to reside among them. The artist is AICAN, an algorithm whose creator is the Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University.