President of Incarnate Games Jason Allen, a Colorado-based tabletop game company, won first place in the Colorado State fair’s fine art competition. So, why are people up in arms about the win? Allen’s winning piece, entitled “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial,” was generated by artificial intelligence.
TL;DR — Someone entered an art competition with an AI-generated piece and won the first prize.
Yeah that’s pretty fucking shitty. pic.twitter.com/vjn1IdJcsL
— Genel Jumalon ✈️ ARTapalooza Cedar Falls (@GenelJumalon) August 30, 2022
Théâtre D’opéra Spatial is stunning, displaying women in opulent dresses looking out a large circular window at a breathtaking landscape. The piece, which simultaneously invokes thoughts of outer space and nobility, was created using AI software, Midjourney. The art piece won first in the state fair’s digital art category.
While this may seem like a step forward for AI art for some, many artists and art fans feel the win is a nail in the coffin of creative positions.
“We’re watching the death of artistry unfold before our eyes,” Tweeted OmniMorpho. “If creative jobs aren’t safe from machines, then even high-skilled jobs are in danger of becoming obsolete. What will we have then?”
However, according to Allen, the artists against his work winning first place are being hypocritical.
“I knew this would be controversial. How interesting is it to see how all these people on Twitter who are against AI-generated art are the first ones to throw the human under the bus by discrediting the human element,” said Allen on the Midjourney Discord server earlier this week. “Does this seem hypocritical to you guys?”
Allen believes that AI-generated art will be viewed as its own category in time. He notes that he gave Midjourney a specific prompt and fine-tuned the image in photoshop. However, since the technology is a threat to artists’ jobs, it’s unlikely most illustrators will warm up to the idea of AI-generated art anytime soon.
Artists backing NFTs
While some artists may be concerned about the industry’s future, others are thriving in the NFT market. Former Marvel artists recently worked on Only1’s NFT collection, Acid Monkeys, while the artist’s rights society is dropping 2,200 NFTs by artist Frank Stella.