24 January, 2023
Above is a Piet Mondrian piece from the early 20th-century Dutch painter. Mondrian, along with cubism, is one of the fathers in abstract art. His inspiring paintings, such as the one shown above, are still being studied by historians and aspiring artists alike. His minimalist paintings marked a turning moment in art. Many art connoisseurs began to wonder, "How much can we express with very little detail?" Instead of asking, "How many details can we express?" Mondrian spent hours making sure that he used the right colors and that the squares were filled with them. This was so gallery visitors could be awestruck by the way he expressed the emotions on the canvas. The sample shows that Mondrian was a true master of his craft.
The picture above isn't a famous Mondrian work. It was created by a computer in less than a second using a program I wrote for fun about an hour and a quarter ago. Here are some more:
There are actually 100 more. Here's another set to Bach music in a video that I made because I could. Heck, I could even write a program that automates making videos like this. I would only need ten lines of code more.
Although I don't recall the exact message that the professor was trying to convey, I do remember that it taught me that anyone can be convinced that almost anything is art. This is a topic I've discussed in the past. Artists are becoming obsolete. I wrote a program that could produce more Mondrian imitations in less than two hours than Mondrian could have done in his entire life. Although no one has yet invented an oil painting robot, it is only a matter time before some random professor decides that he will spend the taxpayer money he was given on building one.
Computer-generated art is not the future. It is here. Minecraft is the most popular video game in the world. While it is still being developed, it has very few artists as the majority of Minecraft's beautification is done using an algorithm. Reddit has entire threads dedicated solely to the stunning "naturally generated landscapes” of Minecraft. These people are looking at art created by computers rather than humans. This isn't a unique game. Many video game developers have abandoned the idea of level design and map-making and instead opted to have a computer create a unique world for each player, often procedurally.
This is not something that the fine art community has yet to accept. Many of these people regard Mondrian's work and the png files my program produces as sacred. (I wonder what Mondrian would think about my program). Their culture, and their entire system, are not ready to deal with the future that is already here. Computer-generated worlds, images, personalities, and characters are already available. It is only a matter time before we have computer-generated film and music. It doesn't seem that impossible to imagine that the entire entertainment industry could be taken over by a few AI-savvy people. Most people won't care because they can't tell the differences between a Mondrian painting or a random collage made by a computer.