Editorial is open for submissions: [email protected]
Getting creative with technology has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents valued craft and creation which was an incredible privilege. Some of my earliest memories are soldering LEDs onto a circuit board silk screened with R2D2. The first video game I designed was in MD-DOS basic and didn’t have any real graphics to speak of. In my imagination, the random numbers represented sailor mercury battling Queen Beryl’s lackeys.
Freedom to explore media was another of my privileges. No section was off limits at the library or bookstore. Thick fantasy novels and “adult” manga from the used bin were staples through grade school. Dialup BBS gave me access to blocky pin-up ANSI art. When I got access to Usenet I wasted a ream of paper thinking uuencoding was a tiled printing technique.
Fast forward a few decades and it’s now possible to encounter life sized anime characters! I picked up the AI style transfer technique from Gary Boodhoo. He taught “Visual Strategies for Neural Artistic Style Transfer” as a workshop at CODAME ART+TECH Festival 2018 #ARTOBOTS.
As Co-Founder and Managing Director of CODAME I rarely get to partake in the workshops I facilitate. But Gary’s deep dive into the concept of “science fiction cave paintings” was an inspirational spark. CODAME workshops build community. Gary is a generous and kind mentor who fed me lots of feedback and conversation as I explored with his techniques.
Lofi Uncanny is a series of artworks combining cutting edge techniques. Uncanny waifus & husbos emerge from AI style transfer soup. At a distance the forms are sensual but grotesque. Zooming into details, ANSI encoding brings a playful, super flat finish. It also dovetails into cypher and crypto culture, allowing for hidden messages. Take a visual stroll through each piece hunting for my signature “k9d” 👁🗨
“Light Barcode” is the first in a series of unique (one-of-a-kind) pieces weaving together AI, ANSI, Dakimakura, Crypto, and Anime art. A unique design will be released each month. Each release consists of:
- 1 UHD image featuring front and back designs
- 1 printed pillow cover on 2wt fabric
- 2 installation grade video files that scroll the front and designs
Reviewed as “highly specialized,” file under pop / superflat / retro / scifi / erotic / abstract. Pinterest thinks it looks like Cecily Brown or Isaac Maimon. Let’s unpack a few angles of this Naïve Niche.
Dakimakura (抱き枕) are covers for body sized pillows. In the late 90s anime characters began to be printed at life sized proportions on high quality 2 way tricot. The fabric is known for vivid reproduction of dye-sublimation printed colors and durability. Any orthopedic pillow can be used to display Dakimakura, but picking up a custom inner will look and feel the best.
Because Daki Art is relatively unknown, pirates with pumped up SEO steal thousands of designs and sell them on low quality peach skin fabric. If the artist or circle who painted the Dakimakura isn’t listed then you’re probably looking at a ounterfeit with marked up prices. Legit covers usually cost between $70 – $140. Custom commissions for Dakimakura Art are in the thousands because of the insane detail and resolution needed to print 160cm x 50cm at 300 DPI.
Art On The Blockchain is an entertaining ride back to the origins of Crypto Art. The term has expanded from only art which refers back to crypto currencies but remains steeped in memes. Conventional artists are pouring into the scene, joining a core case of irreverent outsiders. Volatility is the only constant as the genre moons, passing landmarks like async.art works selling for $131,00 at Christies.
Blocky art made with text characters. Unlike ASCII art, ANSI allows for setting the background and foreground of each character to one of 16 garish colors. Pieces typically match the 80 character width of computer terminals which were used to access Bulletin Board Systems. Before the internet, these graphics were viewed one line at a time. The practice is alive and well with sites like 16colo.rs featuring releases from 1990-2020.
Self deprecating humor permeates animemes so deeply that even Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli) thinks anime was a mistake. However, otakus paved the way for consumers as creators, making space for engaged fandoms across all media. From Mobilizing the Imagination in Everyday Play: The Case of Japanese Media Mixes:
New convergent media such as Pokemon require a reconfigured conceptual apparatus that takes productive and creative activity at the “consumer” level as a given rather than as an addendum or an exception.
The anime industry couldn’t exist without unlicensed fan art and remix culture. After bots eat up all the decision making jobs, human work won’t exist without placing inherent value in creativity. Those big anime eyes can see pretty far into the future!
Before there was AI art, there was algorithmic art. Mp3death label has generated hype for it’s netaudio releases using Markov Chains since 2003. While the programs have grown in sophistication, the process remains the same. Human intelligence bounces things off the machine mind. Rounds of curation refine the inputs and outputs until something satisfactory is obtained.