Roman Lipski ©Hans-Georg Gaul

23 January 2024

"The beauty of using AI as an artistic tool lies in the constant surprise it brings."

Berlin-based Polish artist Roman Lipski embarked on an artistic evolution in 2016, venturing into the dynamic intersection of traditional artistry and cutting-edge AI software. Collaborating with Florian Dohmann they gave birth to the "Artificial Muse." This deep learning program, meticulously trained on Lipski's extensive body of work, dissects the artist's use of color, composition, contrast, and texture. The AI not only echoes Lipski's distinctive style but also introduces avant-garde possibilities in technique and composition. This transformative journey, rooted in Lipski's childhood fascination with landscapes and the intricate dance between nature and humanity, goes beyond a mere exploration of AI; it represents a profound fusion of his artistic legacy with the limitless potential of technology.

What is this so-called Artificial Muse actually, and how would you describe it?
Roman Lipski: The Artificial Muse is essentially an artistic concept that creatively utilizes artificial intelligence. For this, I worked with Florian Dohmann, a technical expert and co-founder of the company Birds on Mars. The idea emerged from a personal need for support during a creative crisis in 2016. The advent of open-source AI software presented an opportunity to work with shapes and refrains, meaning forms and colors, transforming my art and providing new creative impulses. While the initial attempts were failures, I discovered that AI can be a fantastic support for creativity. Hence, I coined it the "AI Muse" as it aligns with the traditional muses that inspire humans to develop new and beautiful ideas.

Can you share insights into how the Artificial Muse interprets your artistic elements and proposes new techniques and compositions?
Artificial intelligence presents various interpretations of my art, offering multiple variations. Importantly, it doesn't just provide technical support, but establishes a loop, incorporating my input to generate inspirational output. I don't use AI to replicate existing art; instead, I employ it for its digital skills. The key is to build a creative circle, utilizing the AI's output as inspiration for subsequent analog paintings.

In the dialogue with your "AI Muse," how has this process shaped your approach to image-making over time?
The beauty of using AI as an artistic tool lies in the constant surprise it brings. It's an ongoing process, not a one-time exchange. AI supports an open-minded and creative mindset, helping me use my imagination and enhance my human skills. It's crucial to note that AI doesn't replace me but supports my creativity.

Your childhood fascination with landscapes has greatly influenced your art. How does this interplay with traditional and avant-garde art history, introduced by AI, impact your work?
Landscape and architectural elements have become my favorite subjects, which have strongly influenced my style and iconography. AI assists in infusing complexity into this iconography, creating diverse and unexpected outputs that fuel new ideas and solutions. AI, the muse, and networks contribute to producing remarkable results, allowing me to experiment and evolve my style.

Considering your global exhibitions, how do you believe that your art contributes to an international dialogue and sparking discussions and reactions concerning AI?
Art is a form of communication, and AI, being a tool, is not confined to art alone but extends to various fields. The artist's role is vital in demystifying complex technology and portraying it positively. I believe artists can make AI systems more understandable, bridging the gap between technology and the public. My goal is to use AI to show human creativity in dialog with a machine in a positive way and at the same time make the complexity understandable.

Working closely with AI researchers and exploring Quantum Computing, how do you see the continuous evolution of technology impacting your art?Collaborating with scientists provides an opportunity for artistic projects, fostering meaningful change. Open-mindedness and technology facilitate communication, allowing for insights to be shared effectively. This collaboration not only enriches my artistic endeavors, but also helps me to better understand the technology and thus use it properly.

How do you address questions of copyright and originality, especially in works generated by AI?
When it comes to copyright and AI, I keep it straightforward. AI-generated pieces are not standalone masterpieces; they're digital drafts in my studio, not meant for public display.

Berlin has been a game-changer in your artistic journey. How has the city influenced your exploration, especially at the intersection of technology and creativity?
Berlin has been my muse, providing the energy and freedom that fueled my artistic growth. It's not just about creativity; Berlin's mix of artsy vibes and access to tech hubs like for example the Technologiepark Adlershof has been a boon for collaborations. By working with technically skilled scientists who are nevertheless open to artistic ideas, we have immersed ourselves in projects that combine art and cutting-edge technology. Berlin's dynamic culture is my stage, from gallery showcases to exploring the intersection of technology and creativity. In the world of AI and art, Berlin is the place where data scientists and artists team up, creating a symphony where tech and creativity meet at a sweet spot.

Thank you for the interview, Roman Lipski!