SMACK's AI-generated public artwork reimagines hieronymus bosch’s iconic triptych

SMACK's AI-generated public artwork reimagines hieronymus bosch’s iconic triptych

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speculum reversion unfolds across madrid parking lot

 

With AI currently causing great division in the art world, students are fearing for their future, while early adapters are extremely enthusiastic about new possibilities. Together with Blind Walls Gallery, digital art collective SMACK demonstrates AI’s potential for unbound creative expression with Speculum Reversion. The trio utilized AI for a special visual feedback loop to present one of the first AI-generated, non-screen-based works in public spaces worldwide.

 

Meters-wide, it is an animated contemporary interpretation of Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, that reflects on our identity and society through a wealth of visual stories. The facade artwork is on permanent display in Breda, the Netherlands.

SMACK's AI-generated public artwork reimagines hieronymus bosch’s iconic triptych
all images courtesy of SMACK

 

 

smack melds medieval and contemporary imagery

 

In 2016, Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels, and Béla Zsigmond the team behind SMACK were first inspired by the enigmatic work of Hieronymus Bosch created over 500 years ago. It likely depicts a surreal ‘paradise’ in which humanity has no sense of danger and no knowledge of good and evil. For two years, SMACK worked on ‘Speculum’, an animated contemporary interpretation of the famous triptych that reflects on our identity and society through a wealth of visual stories. It is on permanent display in Madrid, a stone’s throw from Bosch’s original.

 

With the help of AI, SMACK then investigated whether a reverse interpretation is also possible, culminating with their work Speculum Reversion. Digital image elements were generated from thousands of experiments, with numerous versions created using prompts merged together as a collage. Using advanced technology, the digital artwork was converted into a panoramic print of no less than 53 meters wide and 8 meters tall. The interpretation from medieval to contemporary and back to Bosch’s era reveals that there is much to discover in the work. AI also conjured new narratives merging different eras, inviting spectators to unleash their own imagination and interpretation.

SMACK's AI-generated public artwork reimagines hieronymus bosch’s iconic triptych
Blind Walls Gallery and SMACK present Speculum Reversion

 

 

ai as a latent creative tool

 

Where other artists fear a loss of originality, SMACK begins to adopt AI in a way that complements their practice. ‘Sometimes you think you have the technology under control, but then the program suddenly takes a different direction. It’s like working with someone who suffers from acute memory loss and can’t remember what he did a minute ago.’ But, the trio adds, ‘that is also very entertaining and often inspiring, given the surprising results that such unguided experiments yield.’

 

‘We were blown away by the scope, precision, quality, and enormous ease with which AI creates an image. At the same time, this can be daunting and frustrating when you think about how much effort it would take if you had to do it yourself,’ says Thom Snels.

SMACK's AI-generated public artwork reimagines hieronymus bosch’s iconic triptych
one of the first AI-generated, non-screen-based works in public spaces worldwide

SMACK's AI-generated public artwork reimagines hieronymus bosch’s iconic triptych
an animated contemporary interpretation of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights

Speculum Reversion
the interpretation spans from medieval to contemporary and back to Bosch’s era

speculum-reversion-AI-bosch-SMACK-designboom-1

Speculum Reversion
the panoramic print reflects on our identity and society through a wealth of visual stories

Speculum Reversion
located just a stone’s throw from Bosch’s original in Breda, Madrid

 

 

project info:

 

name: Speculum Reversion
designer: SMACK

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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