Lensa, or ‘magic avatars’

Selfies x AI. What are your thoughts?

(subject)(style), (action/scene), (artist), (filters)

©️https://prisma-ai.com/lensa visited on 05/12/2022

Computer-generated imagery. A neural network, text-to-image, machine learning. Stable Diffusion is the latest model to accumulate loads of publicity after DALL-E, Midjourney and Russian-based FaceApp. It’s cool, it’s cool, it looks absolutely beautiful. It is not about ‘Art’. Or the validity thereof. Now, I am not writing about technology and stuff vs human creativity, or maybe I am, because stunning art within seconds vs, well, ownership over the image is, to this day, a dubious cause. The inquiry on the influence of AI-generated art diverting attention away from human artists is one for later too, maybe.

About computer technology and tech companies; I usually think it is more than fair when people are sceptical about how their data is being used by any company. But while Lensa/Prisma employs a questionable Privacy Policy for its users, the thing that sparks my intrest goes deeper. 

I am not writing about NSFW content either because what is the internet other than pictures of cats? “We believe erotic art needs a place to flourish and be cultivated in a space without judgement or censorship. — Unstable Diffusion”, quotes Jim Clyde Monge in a Medium article a couple of months ago. The r/unstablediffusion subreddit has been banned, presumably because of the type of content. Do you agree with them? But, I am not writing about Mager/StableDiffusion, however, is actually very enlightening on their view of current events!

I am not writing about the (social) effects of skin editing or removal of ‘facial imperfections’ either. Nor am I writing about software subscriptions. Not now. Maybe later. 

I want to point out the ‘helping them to train their AI’ clause in the self-portrait generator application. I quote The Standard (why?) in saying, “No, your friends haven’t paid artist to draw them.” The company has not paid artist to draw either. Many accuse the company of stealing artwork from digital creators. With Stable Diffusion and/or Lensa, it is not that straightforward. I am tempted to agree with artist and illustrator meg rae’s Twitter thread, I wonder what data the model is trained on. How did they acquire what? Where does it all come from? Do they make money from resources that they ‘stole’? What data did Stable Diffusion scrape from where, how and by whom, and does it matter? I like the trend of knowing where your food comes from, knowledge about where what you consume originates, and stuff like that, but I am an advocate for open-source and free internet too. For me, it is rather a question of ethics. An ethical responsibility should be employed in using tech, using anything. “AI by the people, for the people”, Stability.ai states.

However, on the internet we live like we want to, represent, reproduce and share what we want; “r/StableDiffusion •Posted by

u/GaggiX 10 hours ago. Another day, another tweet trying to spread disinformation about generative model.”

Now, it is about trademarks and copyrights. BitTorrent is not distributing or creating a derivative work but the original. But what if you hum a melody of a famous copyrighted song on a YouTube video? Are we, humans or computer models, ever even able to reproduce something not similar to real-world data? Is it like level 2 praguepride wrote ·40 min. ago: “It’s fear of advancing technology. Any smart artist is going to realize that they are going to have to adjust their workspace/career to integrate massive amounts of AI generated art into that space”? 

Before I go too deep into this rabbit hole, I will go back to my drawing board. Let’s all pick up a pencil and some paper. Something to touch upon later.. Another day, another blog post.

Balenciaga Winter 19

Romantic- Real-Life Role Play (?)

Balenciaga Winter 19 Campaign Over two days five real couples were interviewed and experimented with role play to explore their current and past relationships. Video by Ed Fornieles Role Play Mechanics by Ed Fornieles and Nina Runa Essendrop.


Human Experience 

©️Rob van Hoorn – Nina Runa Essendrop at Marres training-the-senses-human-experience/

Human Experience  – Nina Runa Essendrop

Medium: LARP

Human Experience is a physical, immersive live action role play (LARP) about the sensations we get from movement, touch and sensory experience. The LARP is played by two groups. One group is called Ancient Consciousnesses. They are floating minds that have existed in our world forever and understand basic concepts (like the concept of a human or a flower), but they have never tried to be physically in contact with anything. For the duration of the play, they materialize into human bodies in order to carefully experience the nuances in the way humans move and sense and to try to understand what it is like to be human and experience through a body.

This is where the second group enters the story. This group consists of the audience that is part of the fiction of the LARP. They are there to aid the Ancient Consciousnesses in their exploration by showing movements or describing sensations to them. The purpose of this LARP is to create a sensory awareness of what it is to experience everything anew.

[source: Marres.org ]

Augmented Reality Artwork Vandalized

©️Sebastian Errazuriz

Augmented Reality Artwork Vandalized – Sebastian Errazuriz

Medium: AR effect Location: New York’s Central Park Date: 2017


Deface, vandalise, DDOS, breach, appropriate, override:

digital graffiti

What classifies as a counteraction to the corporatisation of the realm between public space and virtual space (a.k.a. social media corporations)? Where is this virtual public space? How do we experience virtual reality without being monopolised by corporate content? Social interactions take place as if they are merely a marketing play. Creativity as a virtual branding game. The ability to assemble virtual images of things that either are not physically present or are not conceived, created or considered by others -irl- in the same way. In 2017, a Snapchat X Jeff Koons augmented reality collab 3D sculpture of Koons’ famous Balloon Dog became digitally visible in New York’s Central Park. 24 hours after its online release, the artist Sebastian Errazuriz and his team from CrossLab administered a duplicate 3D AR Balloon Dog + graffiti. Connected by geo-tag to the exact coordinates, the “vandalised” AR sculpture replaces the original AR object owned by a company.

How to Disappear

How to Disappear – Total Refusal

Medium: Battlefield video game machinima essay film Date: 2020.

About How to Disappear

“How to Disappear” is an anti-war movie in the true sense of the word, searching for possibilities for peace in the most unlikely place of an online war game. It’s a tribute to disobedience and desertion – in both digital and physical-real warfare.

About Total Refusal

Total Refusal is an open artists’ collective which criticizes and artistically appropriates contemporary video games. However, as most mainstream game narratives employ the same infinite loops of reactionary tropes, the genre largely fails to challenge the values of their players and instead affirms hegemonial moral concepts. Acknowledging that this media is currently not realizing its cultural potential, we aim to appropriate digital game spaces and put them to new use. Moving within games but casting aside the intended gameplay, we rededicate these resources to new activities and narratives, looking to create “public” spaces with a critical potential.

Vimeo link

The Convenience Store

The Convenience Store – Jonne Hansson

video still from The Convenience Store, 2018, digital video from Grand Theft Auto V in-game editor (PC), voice-over by Jonne Hansson, August Bällgren and Evelina Maria Odette Jönsson, sound design by Agatha Lewandowski

The story follows three (not long time ago) graduated artists who went to Umeå Academy of Fine Arts in Sweden and then moved to the fictional city Los Santos (based on Los Angeles) in hope to succeed as artists. They have struggled in living and working within different artistic fields. Some years have passed since they all graduated, and one day they accidentally meet each other in a convenience store. In a setting, similar to Kevin Smith’s cult classic “Clerks”, they are awkwardly starting to have a strange, meta-referential conversation with each other.

Jonne Hansson

MILAN MACHINIMA FESTIVAL interview linkVimeo link