a virtual museum of AI-assisted art based in Florence, Massachusetts, USA
This museum features high resolution artwork. For best results, use wifi and a fast internet connection.
Mass MOAA features a range of art made using AI. The museum accepts for consideration any art that uses AI as part of its process and is especially interested in showcasing human-AI collaborative art, which can also be called AI-assisted artwork, human-assisted generative art, or hybrid human-AI art.
Our thoughts on AI art
We believe that AI will expand the art world and will become ubiquitous in the future as more and more artists embrace it.New tools are usually disruptive and often scorned, but they open up new pathways that almost always push great artists to new heights. One example of this is in music, where the first use of keyboard instruments greatly simplified the process of playing individual musical notes. This made music easier to play and more accessible for the masses, but it didn’t ruin anything. Very quickly composers used this new tool to open up a rich world of musical complexity and players were able to reach new levels of virtuosity. Likewise with the advent of photography, and the fear it caused among artists before it was seen as an accepted art form. And, going further, the combination of many photographs together to create motion pictures led to artforms unfathomable to ancient artists and pushed human storytelling in new directions. Imagine if photography had been abandoned in its early stages by society. What would our world look like today? While many will claim that the situation with AI is different and that its effects will be negative, we believe that AI has a profound and transformative gift to give to the art world. All forms of new technology have their drawbacks, and their implications can be scary. This is especially true with AI, but it is here with us and isn’t going away, and parts of it are very beautiful. We celebrate those parts.
Why is AI art, Art?
There is a lot of debate at the moment about whether AI art is Art. When judging a human-AI collaboration, people are usually more accepting of the human contribution as art, but some are more reluctant to acknowledge the AI’s contribution as art. A common critique is the idea that Art has to originate from a creative thought. As you will see below, we disagree with this notion.
Does art need a conscious creator to be called art? Or, can art arise spontaneously out of a moment, an emergent property that suddenly comes into being? Let’s explore these questions using an example of found art, the garbage bag seen dancing in the wind in the movie American Beauty. We ask ourselves, is this garbage bag in the wind actually art? Our answer is yes, because we’d argue that this garbage bag scene is capable of creating an art experience (more on this in a moment). To some people experiencing the scene, the bag may signify the “trash” of society, discarded as mere litter, rising up to perform a beautiful ballet, dancing on the breath of the same atmosphere that gives us all life; to some the bag might seem like a strange ghost, a manmade object animated by the mysterious forces of nature; to others the scene might simply evoke something unexpected and difficult to put into words. And, a person watching this garbage bag scene, experiencing any number of feelings and/or thoughts, might be profoundly moved by what they see, and who are we to tell them that what they are seeing is not art? Can anyone know with certainty what is and what isn’t art for someone else?
We believe all things that are capable of giving an art experience to a conscious being can be called art, and we believe that this is true regardless of whether or not this art originated from a conscious thought, from a random act, or even from a gust of wind. And, if all conscious beings share some common ground, then the recognition of something as art by one conscious being could signify that it might be possible for others to recognize it as art as well.
We won’t try to define an “art experience” because it is different for everyone, and the reasons behind why certain things affect us the way they do is mysterious. But, we can list some common examples for reference: Sometimes an art experience is the feeling that an intangible aspect of the world has been captured symbolically; other times it’s a sense of curiosity at an artwork’s seemingly strange new perspective; or it could be a simple emotion that is triggered by the work; or the sensation of being in the presence of the beautiful, the grotesque, something elegant or even something ordinary; it could be a sense of nostalgia and connection to memories; a sense of self-reflection; the feeling of connection to a specific culture, subculture, or group; or the mere experience of being in the presence of something we classify as art. An art experience could be any of those things and so many more.
Throughout history, people and institutions have played the role of gatekeeper, claiming that the value and experience of art is dictated by how it was made, rather than by the experience of the art itself. Photographers are still called out by critics who claim that pushing a button isn’t real art when compared to the skill involved in drawing or painting. But imagine this comparison between two artworks: a point-and-shoot photograph captured by chance, with an image so powerful that it creates a deeply moving art experience; and a painting with masterful technique that took months to create, but for any number of reasons, lacks impact and meaning to the people who see it. This happens all the time, and artists with great technique can go unnoticed and are overshadowed by “easier” techniques that go viral, especially in our increasingly technologically-connected world. Gatekeepers forget that many people care more about the actual experience of a piece of art and how it affects them, rather than a gatekeeper’s traditional definitions. And in time, opinions and expectations change because new generations embrace new roads, and this in turn changes the zeitgeist’s definition of what is and what is not art.
People can try to put ropes and fences around what Art is, but those barriers will always be artificial because Art is so much more than any cage we try to construct around it. It is true that someone can have an art experience filled with wonder because of the talent of the artist, but as we have shown above, there are so many more types of art experiences that are possible.
History has also shown us that the most innovative artists are usually at the vanguard, journeying ahead of expectations and established concepts. It is fun to think of history’s famous artists being born into today’s world. Many of the artists we still remember rebelled and challenged the art world they lived in, using techniques and ideas that were groundbreaking and controversial for their times. If those famous artists were alive now and still hungry to challenge perspectives, would they only use a traditional medium like oil paint, or would they tap into the latest technology currently transforming our art world? Leonardo da Vinci was hungry for innovation and was trying to invent flying machines in the late 1400s, over 400 years prior to the first recorded human flight, and yet some think he wouldn’t be excited to use AI as part of his process? There are contemporary artists who still emulate the techniques of the old masters, and while there’s of course nothing wrong with this, we believe it’s more more inspiring to emulate their ethos. We ask ourselves, what would they do if they were alive today?
Getting more philosophical
At this museum, we see AI as a tool to expand the limited perspective of the human mind, allowing us to see into a vast realm of artistic possibilities, and to question the long-held assumption that the artist is the true creator/inventor of the work
This museum is foundedon the belief that:
All art that could exist already does exist in a vast realm of possibility we call the Possibility Space.
Art is always discovered, not invented. Art created in this or (theoretically) any universe is always a copy of something that is already existing in the Possibility Space. Just as all of the numbers of pi already exist even though they have not yet been discovered, and all possible visuals of the Mandelbrot set already exist even though they have not been seen, all possible art already exists. Art generation is an act of discovery.
Hybrid Human-AI art projects are ways of bringing art from the Possibility Space and, we might imagine, from other universes/timelines into our own at a rate that was previously impossible. We welcome this expansion of our art world with wonder and excitement.
With the help of AI, can we imagine what art from alternate timelines might look like?
As you explore this museum, a fun thought experiment is to imagine that the works you see here are celebrated, lasting works of a civilization that is similar to our own but exist in an alternate timeline. Imagine that these Human-AI projects are merely a small glimpse through a veil between our timeline and theirs. Here we see these works for the very first time.
As you view this art you may notice imperfections, but imagine that these images have traveled a long distance to reach us, and imagine any deformities like static on a song from a far off radio station. As our technology improves, this static will be reduced, but like current musicians that value the vintage noise of vinyl and tape in their productions, future generations might look back with nostalgia at this age of AI art and see all these early AI artifacts as something to be treasured.
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Navigating the Museum
Current areas open:
Featured Galleries The Featured Galleries showcase selected artists that use AI as part of their process.
All art in this museum was created using AI as part of the process and was created using a variety of techniques, including the following: digital painting and editing by a human artist using a tablet and trackpad; adjusting deep-learning diffusion-based text-to-image models; text prompt engineering using a combination of static and dynamic prompts with custom wildcard files; the development of custom models; image-to-image model prompt engineering using hand painted and hand edited images; creating traditional art (drawings, paintings, word carvings, clay sculptures, cast and blacksmithed metal) and creating 3D printed art, then photographing it, and using the photos as image prompts for image-to-image models; multiple iterations of various sections of the artwork using image-to-image models that are then combining them into the final piece using image editing programs; upscaling the artwork using ESRGAN models and editing the results to fix details and add texture; using Python programs to adjust images, combine images into animations, convert images to other formats, and editing images in new formats before converting them back into their original form; coding in Python to determine grayscale values of unicode characters and then using these characters in a custom Python program that will perform image to text character conversions; converting text character art to vector art using vector art programs; using image-to-vector features in vector editing software and then editing the vector artwork by the adjusting nodes and bezier curves; using a wide variety of tools and techniques in 3D software.
Despite using AI, some of the works in this museum required a week’s worth of human painting, editing, and tweaking, while other projects were completed much faster.
Thehuman artists behind the work: Works not credited to any human artist were created by artist and founder of Mass MOAA, Eric Fernandez. All works created by other artists are listed as such and the work is shown here with their explicit permission. They reserve the right to remove their work at any time and hold all rights to their work. Mass MOAA is honored to show their art and makes no claims on their work. Also, all of the writing on the site was written by Eric Fernandez without the use of AI.
Are you a writer? We invite you to use any art in this museum as a writing prompt.
If you are a writer and are looking for some writing inspiration, we invite you to use our images as a starting point for generating new work, and we give you full permission to do so. Here are some initial writing prompts to use as you look at each artwork, 1) Describe what is happening, what you see. What’s the story? 2) Make a list of everything you observe about the image. 3) Write down a single word or phrase that comes to you in association with the image. Use this as the first word or line of a story or poem. 4) Choose a character in one of the images and write from their point of view. 5) What led up to the moment shown in the image? Or: What will result afterward? 6) Write a fairy tale, myth, origin story, or tall tale based on the image.
If you’d like to share your writing with us please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The entrance hall
The entrance hall greets you with The Tyger poem and has banners briefly showcasing the different areas of the museum.
The artist caught in the act of generation, hands held high to signal a confession; half human, half tiger, what is the future, if not to reach higher?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
- from William Blake's "The Tyger" (1794)
New collection in the West Gallery: AI and the Hermann Rorschach inkblot test
New collection in the East Gallery: Selected videos of artist clumsy.giba
Clumsy.giba’s videos are reminiscent of zooming into the depths of the Mandelbrot set and help expose, in real time, the endless root network of possibilities that every artwork contains hidden inside it.
Psymulate is a generative AI artist and jokes about their process on their instagram page, “I talk to computer and it give me cool picture.” You can learn more and see the rest of their work on instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/psymulate/
collection 1: Ice
collection 2: “Bitch I’m a cow” – Doja Cat
collection 3: Frogs rule everything around me
collection 4: Psychedelic Interiors
collection 5: Fun memories from the 2020 parallel universe burn
collection 6: Kiss
collection 7: Edible
psymulate collection 1: Ice
psymulate collection 2: “Bitch I’m a cow” – Doja Cat
psymulate collection 3: Frogs rule everything around me
psymulate collection 4: Psychedelic Interiors
psymulate collection 5: Fun memories from the 2020 parallel universe burn
psymulate collection 6: Kiss
psymulate collection 7: Edible
All selected works from artist psymulate are shown with the artist’s explicit permission. All rights are held by the artist.
ilia vlasov is a generative AI artist and this brief collection features two of their most psychedelic and colorful pieces. You can see more of their work on twitter at: https://twitter.com/viglomir and on instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/ilia_vlasov7090/
All selected works from artist ilia vlasov are shown with the artist’s explicit permission. All rights are held by the artist.
HopesAndDrums is a generative AI artist from “a place at the end of hurricanes where the ocean pulls sand into an undertow” and describes their work as “crafting sounds of a time that land forgot.” You can learn more at their instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/hopesanddrums/
Endlessly scrolling, caring too much about comparison, she suddenly heard #HopeAndDrums.
Eventuality walked into town At the end of the block there’s a sound Foundation Unless it falls
From the deck behind the asbestos-clad home, #HopesAndDrums drift to the forest across the pond.
Hailing from the land at the end of hurricanes, where the ocean pulls sand into the undertow, #HopesAndDrums crafts the sounds of the time that land forgot.
Pupils of another headspace, urged to conform, see their #HopesAndDrums evaporate.
Once sacred land, captured and devalued, still has spirit to be reclaimed by the #HopesAndDrums of youth.
#HopesAndDrums of warm analog bossa nova waft from the doorway of the mall organ store.
“I was walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius, which to Angels look like the torment of insanity…” – William Blake
All captions that accompany the artwork above were written by HopesAndDrums. All selected works from artist HopesAndDrums are shown here with the artist’s explicit permission. All rights are held by the artist.
The goal of the main gallery is to showcase a broad spectrum of visual styles and mediums and to juxtapose them so the viewer experiences the varied possibilities of static visual art that uses AI as part of its process. As mentioned, despite using AI, some of the works in this gallery required a week’s worth of human painting, editing, and tweaking, while other projects were completed much faster.
Welcome to the West Gallery. While the main gallery juxtaposes individual pieces of art, the West Gallery is focused specifically on collections. Each project uses multiple pieces to build on a central unifying concept.
West Gallery Collection 1 AI and the Hermann Rorschach inkblot test
This collection uses a traditional psychological test as a fun way of exploring the process of generative AI and what it is capable of. In 1921, Hermann Rorschach first created his famous inkblot test, a psychological evaluation that records perceptions of various inkblots and uses them to make psychological interpretations. The Rorschach test has been called a psychometric examination of pareidolia: the perception of objects, shapes, or scenery from abstract forms. His original inkblots are now in the public domain.
In this collection we see examples of how generative AI interprets each inkblot. Image-to-image diffusion was used with prompting for different styles and mediums and the resulting images were then curated. In some cases, prompting was used to get the AI to run through a list of possibilities to mimic the way that humans do this naturally. Human editing was used to remove artifacts, fix details, and in some cases to combine iterations.
The AI generative process used here involved many different iterations that resulted in a large range of interpretations for each inkblot. What we see here is just a brief survey of what is possible.
Because the generative AI process has an infinite number of variations, these AI interpretations of the inkblots don’t really function as psychological analysis. Instead they serve as an expansion of human imagination, showing us new possible interpretations that, once deciphered for us, can start to feel natural and expected. Similar to the way that AI engines show chess grandmasters new moves, here we are being shown new ways to see.
West Gallery Collection 2 Character iterations on red cards
A collection of different conceptual characters and archetypes all set against the same background in a similar pose. They are all multiple iterations on the same form. Work with generative AI exposes the truth that a piece of artwork always exists within a complex web of similar iterations that extends out like a vast root network, always hidden in the background like infinite cosmic radiation. Exploring collections that iterate on the same forms helps us see art and our world through this more expansive dimension. As we look out into the real world, with enough practice, we may find that it is suddenly easy to imagine nature shifting and cycling through infinite variations as we stare into it. That feeling is wild and unsettling, but it pushes us to transcend the limits of our human minds, and helps us imagine all possibilities of the world around us and can function as a form of meditation in our daily lives.
West Gallery Collection 3 Unconscious Rebellion: What happened when AI was given instructions for simple geometric art. An experiment inspired by Sol LeWitt
Solomon “Sol” LeWitt (September 9, 1928 – April 8, 2007) was an American artist who is famous for, among many things, creating instructions for others to create his art. To quote the Whitney Museum of American Art, “Each time they are in an exhibition, Sol Lewitt’s drawings are made right on the wall. The people drawing them use a set of instructions written by the artist. The instructions are open to interpretation: often, the people following them have to decide where the lines or shapes should go. A wall drawing looks a little different every time it is created. At the end of an exhibition, the wall drawing is painted over and the instructions are stored until next time the drawing is made.”
This concept used by Sol LeWitt, the idea that an artist would come up with simple instructions for the art and then have others complete those instructions, is reminiscent of modern text-to-image generative AI processes where the artist gives a prompt that instructs the generation of an image.
This exhibit does not use any of Sol LeWitt’s original instructions, but pays homage to him by prompting generative AI with instructions reminiscent of the simple minimalist instructions that Sol LeWitt designed and used in his process; however, due to the inaccuracy of the generative AI in following directions, the resulting images disobey the orders from the artist and this unconscious rebellion by the AI makes for an interesting expression of the “art as a set of instructions” genre. The “misbehaving” artwork that follows began as the result of just one prompt, “14 thick black lines coming from each corner of 3 boxes.” Then, human editing and painting was used to clean up and connect lines, remove artifacts, change contrast, add texture, and enhance the results.
A human-AI collaboration that began with one simple instruction: “14 thick black lines coming from each corner of 3 boxes“
Going further, the next set of images was made using the same process but the word “colorful” was added to the instruction.
A human-AI collaboration that began with one simple instruction: “colorful 14 thick black lines coming from each corner of 3 boxes“
West Gallery Collection 4 Artificial Readymades: Using generative AI to explore Marcel Duchamp’s readymade concept.
Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968) was a french artist associated with, among other things, the Dada movement. Dada means “hobbyhorse” in french and was a movement that, in part, was a response to the cold rationality that helped give rise to the horrors of World War 1. Dadaism was a revolt against the traps of logical thinking, and embraced absurdity, non-rationality, intuition, and the redefinition of expected concepts. One of the concepts it attempted to redefine was the very idea of Art itself. After World War 1, Marcel Duchamp called art that was merely visual “retinal art,” and he crusaded against it. In an interview with the BBC in 1966, Duchamp explained that his goal was to call into question all our accepted beliefs about what art is and to show that the adoration of art was unnecessary.
Marcel Duchamp’s readymades are ordinary objects that are altered and then presented as art. Some of them represent an early form of “art as a set of instructions,” a movement that would become popular in the 1960s among artists like Sol LeWitt, George Brecht, Lawrence Weiner, and others. Bottle Rack, one of Duchamp’s readymades from 1914, started as a letter of instructions to his sister Suzanne to paint the phrase “(from) Marcel Duchamp” on a galvanized iron bottle drying rack he had bought two years before. Unhappy Readymade, created in 1919, was also a set of instructions to his sister, telling her to hang a geometry textbook from the balcony of her Paris apartment so that – through exposure to the sun, wind, and rain – the problems and theorems could “get the facts of life.” Suzanne followed Duchamp’s instructions and then created a painting of the end result. Fountain, created in 1917, was a signed porcelain urinal that inspired a large debate about what is and what isn’t art.
This project, Artificial Readymades, instructed generative AI to create objects, which were then signed and are now presented as art. The images resulting from the generation process were first curated by a human artist, after which human editing and painting was used to correct artifacts, combine iterations, and enhance the final images. Three of these images pay homage to Marcel Duchamp by using simple prompts to direct the AI to generate similar objects to the ones he used in his work, while the rest of the images explore everyday objects in modern times. The signature was created by a human hand and then applied to each artwork because current generative AI is not yet able to create accurate text. Google Translate was used to convert “from artificial intelligence” to the French translation “de l’intelligence artificielle.”
Drawing inspiration from the Fountain, which gives a urinal an artistic name as a further way of calling a common object “art,” the art in this collection also assigns lofty titles to the common objects it presents. However, due to the fact that these are generated objects and not found objects and for other reasons open for interpretation, the meaning of this collection is not intended to emulate the meaning of Duchamp’s original readymades.
ArtificialReadymade 1: Temple of Free Stuff – a dumpster.
ArtificialReadymade 2: Curse of Atlantis – a geometry textbook ruined by water damage.
ArtificialReadymade 3: Manuscript of Life – a toilet paper roll.
ArtificialReadymade 4: Soul Cauldrons – an iron bottle rack.
ArtificialReadymade 5: Wheel of Helios – an old dusty tire.
ArtificialReadymade 6: Well of Man – an antique porcelain urinal.
ArtificialReadymade 7: Food That Does Not Exist – 3 loaves of bread.
West Gallery Collection 5 Empathy for living things: a collection of animal portraits
We share this earth with many creatures, each beautiful in their own way, and each worthy of respect regardless of intelligence or relevance to humans. Anything that can suffer, deserves compassion. As Loren Eiseley’s famous story “The Star Thrower” shows us, wherein a boy is throwing dying starfish back into the ocean despite the the impossibility of saving them all, when questioned about the futility of his efforts and asked “You can’t save them all, so why bother trying? Why does it matter, anyway?” he responds “Well, it matters to this one.” History teaches us that when humans forget empathy, we are capable of the worst acts, and also that when we embrace empathy we can be wonderful forces of good.
The goal of this collection is to celebrate living beings in all their forms and to remind ourselves that each life is itself a work of art. In a seemingly cold, dark, empty universe, each of us is a shining jewel, rarer and more precious than gold.
The animal portraits here began as images created by generative AI, and are not directly based on living animals, yet each portrait celebrates the living animals of that species, each worthy of empathy and compassion.
Clumsy.giba’s videos are reminiscent of zooming into the depths of the Mandelbrot set and they help expose, in real time, the endless root network of possibilities that every artwork contains hidden inside it. Clumsy.giba describes their work as “between the genius and the madness of an artificial intelligence artist,” and describes their approach as “the combination of multiple techniques, most of which are powered by machine learning, to create short and compelling artistic videos.” You can learn more by visiting their YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/@clumsy_giba/about and their Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/clumsy.giba/.