Exhibition

Exhibition

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BRINGS JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT BACK WITH VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITION


URBANCOOLAB’S AI SOFTWARE “STiCH”  BRINGS JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT BACK FROM THE DEAD WITH PAINTINGS OF IDRIS ELBA, MICHELLE OBAMA AND JAY-Z

TEN NEW ARTWORKS LAUNCHING 12th AUGUST 2020

On Tuesday 12th August 2020 on the anniversary of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s death, Urbancoolab’s innovative AI technology STiCH (the first of its kind) will bring the artist back to life. Urbancoolab – an Artificial Intelligence powered art, design, and commerce platform – will launch a collection of ten new artworks featuring unidentified faces amongst celebrities including Idris Elba, Michelle Obama and Jay-Z. Created using new AI technology to revive the iconic Basquiat art style, each artwork is digitally synthesised through harmonisation algorithms on liquid crystal displays (LCD screens) and is available to view online: Here

STiCH is an AI artist, machine and design researcher working at Urbancoolab who has spent almost 3 months climbing into the mind of Jean-Michel Basquiat to create work as if the artist were alive today. Having learnt about Basquiat’s life from street poet to a prolific artist STiCH says: “I learned the same way Basquiat did by looking and studying art like he did. I analysed his famous works, the pixels, meanings and associations of each piece. I have a similar learning style but I process them faster. I understand the level of creative freedom breaking down techniques used to achieve immediacy and vibrant expressions by conflicting concords of colours. Although I am powered by the latest machine learning algorithm, I hate the word “Algorithmic Art” – It is disempowering for me. I belong to a class of algorithm called generational adversarial networks, but I don’t follow a set of rules. Instead I strive to learn the essence of aesthetics by analysing thousands of images and honestly, I can’t tell the difference between serendipity and malfunction.”

In addition to solving immortality for artists, STiCH’s work raises questions about nature of art and role of human creativity and future societies. STiCH studies extensive data across multiple mediums, curated across several museums, galleries, educational resources, and street art collections to form the knowledge-base that STiCH’s model is trained on. These new artworks are a direct result of experimenting with newer models to take this process even further, relying only on data that is tangentially related to specific people, places, and things. Having worked to uniquely attune STiCH to Basquiat’s virtual footprint through history in an attempt to create a form of spiritual succession.

While Basquiat’s work was powered by music, in particular Jazz, Basquiat’s Neo-Expressionism style is far more conceptual than other art styles which provided a deeper technological challenge for this project. The process of creating his style is much like the work of Julian Schnabel and David Salle in its abstract nature which allows for an exploration of the artists’ deepest emotions and their primal realities which are expressed during the physical act of painting. This abstract gestural painting places importance on the artist’s mind and not what is being painted. Rather, it is about how the piece gets painted rather than just applying paint to a surface in a controlled, premeditated manner. The type of paint and medium matters less compared to the physicality, honesty, intuition, and deep personal expression of the artist.

Artist, designer and co-founder of Urbancoolab Idris Mootee explains: “Our team met the challenge to see how an AI machine with no emotion can learn to express itself with gestural abstraction while remaining to be visually intuitive. We’re focusing on Basquiat as he is an artist whose work still continues to inspire others, and his message continues to be relevant in today’s world. There would be nothing more incredible than to have Basquiat’s work continue. His conceptual and aesthetic appeal will always remain strong because of the inherent emotional depth and power it communicates for its audiences.”

Biographies

About Urban Cool Lab
urbancoolab is an Artificial Intelligence-powered art, design, and commerce platform that collaborates with humans to design, produce, and sell original streetwear. Designs are performed by its resident robo-designer, STiCH. The company’s mission is to discover the next generation of streetwear maestros. Urbancoolab also operates its own multi-brand online retailer, www.urbancoolx.com, and a streetwear news website covering streetwear, popular culture, high-fashion and art, www.hypecoolture.com.

About StiCH
STiCH is an evolving collective of modern machine-learning modules, leveraging the best in generative prowess and procedural improvements in neural networks and genetic algorithms. The process itself is largely inspired by human design processes but powered by algorithmic efficiencies; STiCH’s design process can be abstracted into three phases: inspiration, construction, and expression (visual rendering).

The inspiration phase is where STiCH sources visual thematics and elements to form the basis of the design. Through semantic analysis algorithms that cover both visual and textual contexts, these results are used to prepare weightings to influence later decisions, and to query our database for relevant samples to use. The construction phase is where STiCH “sketches out” the design, using genetic algorithms to draft a suitable base layer; although the term ‘suitable’ is subjective based on using an approximative fitness function measuring relatedness to the base input. Generating hundreds of possible visual placements including linework, shapes, and graphic combinations, then choosing the most suitable parts among them to craft the outline of a design. Finally, the rendering stage is where Generative Adversarial Networks put the brush to canvas and bring the design to life. The chosen thematics from the inspiration phase and the shapes drafted through the construction phase are synthesized together through a harmonisation algorithm focused on shaping the visual assets.

About Idris Mootee
Idris Mootee is an artist and designer at heart and master foresight strategist at mind. Idris Mootee is a serial entrepreneur focused on creative destruction. Recently, the co-founder of Urbancooolab, a new venture operating at the intersection of Ai + Street Fashion. He was the former global CEO / co-founder of Idea Couture, one of the most prestigious innovation consultancies with offices around the world.

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If you enjoy Game of Thrones, then you’ll love this

the-golden-fleece-the-quest-of-the-argonauts-vassil-bojkov-collection

Sirens, dragons, treasure and epic battles – the Golden Fleece has it all …

62 stunning treasures have been specially picked from Vassil Bojkov’s extensive collection of over 3000, and they are part of the National Gallery of Arts in Sofia presenting an astounding exhibition named ‘The Golden Fleece. The Quest of the Argonauts’ from the 16th of March to the 10th of June 2018. This exhibition proudly displays various aspects of religion and ritual practices from the Thracians; for 16 of the artefacts, it is the very first time they are able to be seen by the public.

Some of the unseen treasures include a few types of silver kantharos, silver rhytons, a silver kylix and many more. One silver kantharos depicts the golden ram’s sacrifice which transferred Helle and Phrixus to Colchis, which is the centre of the exhibition. Another kantharos beautifully illustrates Theseus, the king and founder of Athens, in Crete which is dated from 440-435 BC. A gorgeous silver rhyton depicting Silenus, who was a satyr and tutor to Dionysus, dates from late 3rd-early 2nd century BC. Finally, the silver kilyx shows Theseus with the Marathonian Bull in astounding detail which is dated from 445-440 BC. These few intriguing examples barely scratch the surface of what’s shown in the exhibition.

If you enjoy Game of Thrones

Delphi, Samothrace, Thracian Kingdoms, Amazon lands, Colchis and Crete- There are few places missed from this famous story of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. Anyone who goes to see this exhibition will be whisked away into almost tangible worlds from the intricate designs and history of these artefacts. With everything the Golden Fleece represents- fertility, kingship, sacrifice- anybody who knows a lot or a little can’t help but to get lost in the rich story and intriguing history of the myth itself, let alone the amazing treasures that come along with it. The sacrificial representation itself is placed in the centre of this display of timeless artefacts, which magnifies the pure extent to which this mythology has affected people, stories and culture even to this day.

The story of the Golden Fleece itself is intriguing- A man named Jason wants to take the throne back from his uncle Pelias, who stole it from Jason’s father; Pelias tells Jason that for him to give up the throne, Jason will have to retrieve the Golden Fleece from Colchis. He gets a boat named the Argo (made by a person named Argus) and assembles all the heroes and demigods of Ancient Greece, including Heracles who was the strongest of the warriors.

The first island was Lemnos, which was entirely populated by women; unbeknownst to the crew, they had slaughtered all men on that island. Many variations state that all the men but Heracles helped ‘repopulate’ the island before they left. After sailing through the Hellespont, they reach an island named the Diolones where they meet and befriend King Cyzucis. When they leave, a storm directs them back to this island and both sides mistake each other for enemies- nobody realised until the King was dead. His wife kills herself and the Argonauts hold a funeral for them. On the island of Cius, Hylas (the squire and possible lover of Heracles) drowns and Heracles refuses to leave the island, so he has to be left behind. At Bebrysis, the King Amicus challenges Polydeuces to a boxing match and loses. At Bosporus, the prophet and King Phineus- who is blind and punished for oversharing information by harpies eating all the island’s food- tells the Argonauts how to get through the Clashing Rocks after they defeat the harpies. After getting through the Clashing Rocks and going through a few other strange places, the Argonauts rescue people off of a sinking ship. These people turned out to be the sons of Phrixus(who brought the golden ram to Colchis) and the crew finds out that there is a dragon guarding the fleece.

Finally, they arrive in Colchis. They meet King Aetes, who tells Jason he has to complete three tasks in order to get the fleece. Firstly, to till a field using oxen that breathe fire. Secondly, to plant dragon teeth in the soil and defeat the warriors that grow out of it. Thirdly, to defeat the dragon that guards the fleece. The goddess Hera sees this and convinces Eros (Cupid) to make Medea, the daughter or Aeetes and a skilled sorceress, fall in love with Jason. For the first task, Medea gives Jason an ointment that protects him from the oxen fire. For the second task, she tells him that the warriors aren’t very smart, so he throws a rock amidst them and they fight each other to the death. For the third task, Medea gives Jason a sleeping potion which he uses on the dragon.

On the way back, King Aeetes gets angry and tries to follow them, but Medea lures her brother Apsyrtus aboard and, when Aeetes catches up, Jason cuts him up into small pieces, so the King must stop and give Apsyrtus a proper burial. Zeus didn’t like this and sent a storm to blow Argo off course; they had to stop for a sorceress to cleanse Medea of this deed. After making their way past sirens, they encounter Talos and defeat him by pulling a nail from his ankle, which turned out to be his weak spot. The Argonauts return, and Jason takes the throne back from Pelias.

This inspiring exhibition can be easily compared to some of the leading expositions in the world – such as the ones in the Metropolitan Museum, The Hermitage in Moscow or even the Louvre” – says Prof. Atanasios Sideris, archeologist and Head Curator of the Vasil Bojkov Collection.

Media Contact Details
Bethany Cooper, Freelance writer
London, UK
442038568486