AI imagining Cities

training Artificial Intelligence to imagine Cities

From the last 20 years I've been discovering the world, fascinated by the promises of foreign lands. I crossed 3 continents and lived in multiple cities. I always had a camera with me searching for a good angle. As Susan Sontag used to say 'Photography is, first of all, a way of seeing'.

'My Globe Trotter Album' is a recollection of cliches of 50 cities, the way I saw them.

Disraeli.jpg

Put your mouse on top of the picture to see where the photography was taken

Tokio, Japan

Tokio, Japan

San Francisco, US

San Francisco, US

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

New York, US

New York, US

Athenas, Greece

Athenas, Greece

Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China

San Miguel, Mexico

San Miguel, Mexico

Real de Catorce, Mexico

Real de Catorce, Mexico

Rennes, France

Rennes, France

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Lisboa, Portugal

Lisboa, Portugal

Las Vegas, US

Las Vegas, US

Nagano, Japan

Nagano, Japan

Monterrey, Mexico

Monterrey, Mexico

Paris, France

Paris, France

London, UK

London, UK

Florence, Italia

Florence, Italia

Segovia, Spain

Segovia, Spain

Saint Malo, France

Saint Malo, France

Santander, Spain

Santander, Spain

Palermo, Italia

Palermo, Italia

Mont St Michel, France

Mont St Michel, France

Cancale France

Cancale France

Miami, US

Miami, US

Budapest, Hungria

Budapest, Hungria

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Kioto, Japan

Kioto, Japan

Jingzhou, China

Jingzhou, China

Goa India

Goa India

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Pekin, China

Pekin, China

La Havana, Cuba

La Havana, Cuba

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Creel Chihuaha, Mexico

Creel Chihuaha, Mexico

Dubai EUA

Dubai EUA

Bilbao Spain

Bilbao Spain

Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia, Argentina

Bagan, Burma

Bagan, Burma

In February 2021, I had a conversation with Vera Bos regarding a future exhibition 'Imagining the Global City' the National Museum of Photography of Rotterdam was organizing.

And we were discussing how Artificial Intelligence was disrupting the Art world and how AI would imagine a city.

So I took the challenge. There were not existing pre-trained AI models of cities so I trained an algorithm (GAN) to generate new images of cities based on 500 photographies I took over time. 

An algorithm looks for patterns, repetition, similarities... in other words : style. The computer breaks down the photographies into rules and use them to generate new photographies in the same style. Making a kind of 'Style Transfer'.

  • Here the result, how AI imagined the city :

  1. The AI model created millions of pictures, here a curated selection of generated photographies full of poetry.

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2. Putting those selected photographies in motion :

This experiment was extremely interesting as an artist. The machine creates a new reality and you start to recognize your own style, your way of taking cliches.

Art powered by AI is the new avant-guarde Art Movement and redefines the role of the artist in the creative process.

AI is certainly a tool, as a pincel, as a camera but its unprecedent capabilities of creation repositions the role of the artist from Art production to Art curation.

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