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Conversations about AI Art and Culture from FTV.XYZ

"And they say that AI Art collectors are all Dodos"

If you are one of the 258 people getting this in your inbox today, it means you are from the rare species of AI art connoisseur who signed up to attend the Flamingo TV hosted AI Art meetup at NFT NYC a few weeks ago. The rain certainly dampened spirits, but for the 80 or so of you who made the trip to Tenth Ave, salute!

FLOCK TALK intends to be a sporadic newsletter from the front lines of AI Art curation and collection - primarily as seen from the perspective of Jonas Lamis - curator of Flamingo TV and collector at FlamingoDAO. I hope to pair the written FT with a "Flock Talk Friday" X Space, but we'll see if the moderator, guests and audience are up for it. So with that as an intro, lets get on with the show!

1. Newest FlamingoTV Episode: Becoming The Machine

9 AI artists show us what the future holds. Featuring works by ORGNLPLN, Pierre Zandrowicz, Quantum Communications and Puff Yachty, Milo Poelman, Vikki Bardot, Mind Wank, Panaviscope and. X New Worlds.

2. Flock Talk X Space: Join Us on Friday to talk about AI Art and Culture

Follow this link to set a reminder to join our X space this Friday.

3. Essay: In Praise of Challenging AI Images

Uncomfortable art often generates strong reactions and can provoke a deeper understanding or critique of social or personal issues. Francisco Goya's sketches from the Spanish War of Independence (1808-1814) were so shocking that they were not able to be published until 1863, 35 years after his death.

Fuerte Cosa Es by Goya c. 1810

Photography has a long tradition of controversy, from startling war images to nudity. The photographer Diane Arbus is frequently criticized for voyeuristic imagery of people she considered "freaks", while she contended that her images celebrated those who have succeeded in life despite all that is against them.

A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, NY. Arbus, 1970

And lets only briefly touch on the world of cinema where there are long standing culture wars. When The Exorcist was released in 1973, the film about demonic possession was groundbreaking in its graphic depiction of an exorcism involving a young girl. It caused widespread fear, anxiety, and controversy, leading to reports of fainting and vomiting in theaters and vehement protests from religious groups.

Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist, 1973

Fast Forward to today's AI Art landscape. Generative models are trained on all the "various kinds of stuff" that is our visual heritage. Placed in the hands of talented artists, these tools can support the creation of art of any topic, style and medium. Artists are bringing to life many wondrous creations with some conjuring a dystopian worldview at a scale and depth that is breathtaking.

For me, the current NFT era of challenging AI art began with Roope Rainisto's Life In West America collection, minted on His works were a revelation: the perfect mix of sexy voyeurism and bizarre 'Merican folklore. ...and way to many appendages. His works opened the door of imagination for the entire community.

Disentanglement by Roope Rainisto from Life in West America

Just this week we saw artists lean in with controversial collections. John Wubbushi's Past Forward on Verse via TENDER draws a direct lines to "humanity's darkest moments" of the last 100 years.

Past Forward #1 John Wubbushi
Past Forward #27 by Jon Wubbushi

Olga Fedorova charges head long into the uncomfortable nature of self image in The Body Trail, part of Fellowship's Taming The Machine exhibition.

Turning to the cutting edge, AI Video artists have found a perfect process for bringing our nightmares to life with tools such as Runway, Pika and Krea among many others. Flamingo TV highlighted such works in our recent episode: Nightmares Volume 1. (The title indicating there are many more disturbing volumes to come).

4. What we collected this week

I must admit I went a bit off the deep-end collecting 9 pieces from David Sheldrick's Morning Calm collection within Fellowship's Post Photographic Perspectives III, Taming the Machine exhibit. I knew that Sheldrick's work would be highly contested so I max gassed my mint transaction at the moment the mint opened and was rewarded with 8 pieces before it sold out. I then proceeded to grail hunt on the early secondary and acquired what I think is the gem of the entire PPPIII collection "The End".

As of the time of writing, there are wonderful and affordable pieces still available from Olga Fedorova (discussed above), Ossagrosse (featured in Nightmares Vol 1) Jess Mac (a regular in Flamingo TV coverage) and Lilyillo on the PPPIII mint site. If you missed out, head on over to the secondary on OpenSea.

5. Further readings:

A Plea for Difficult Images from Alejandro Cartagena.

AI tools are fundamentally changing how Hollywood operates.

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