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Den artificiella konstnären: En undersökning av den artificiella intelligensens inträde i Konstvärlden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2020 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the sale of a painting titled Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, a portrait produced by an artificial intelligence, at Christie’s auction house in New York in October 2018. The piece was created by the collective Obvious Art using the AI system Generative Adversarial Network (GAN). An art piece of this genre has never before been presented at a prestigious institution such as Christie’s. The purpose of the study is to estimate the importance of this auctioning for the Art world, based on textual analysis. Firstly, the essay will consider written articles processing the event of the auctioning by using a discourse analytic method. Secondly, the thesis will place the event into a context of art concepts, where Arthur Danto’s theories of the institutional art theory and George Dickie’s reasoning about the conferred status of art are particularly important. In addition, Stephen Davies’ theory of the concept of authority is equally essential in this part of the study. This part of the thesis also considers the historical event when Marcel Duchamp presented the urinal Fountain as art in the early 1900s. Finally, Portrait of Edmond de Belamy is analyzed using Heinrich Wölfflin’s formal analytical method. In the final discussion all parts of the study are merged, and it is argued that the sale of Portrait of Edmond de Belamy may represent a milestone for the art world, the art history and, in particular, for the AI art genre. Since Christie’s has the authority to confer art status upon objects and, based on the act of doing so regarding Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, one can see a clear change in the art history when an AI art is presented as an important piece in the art scene. On the other hand, it is also argued that it is far too early to predict what impact the auctioning will have for the future of the art history as the event is still imminent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 86
Keywords [en]
Artificial intelligence, Obvious Art, institutional art theory, Christie’s, creativity, conferred status of art.
National Category
Art History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-403582OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-403582DiVA, id: diva2:1390041
Subject / course
Art History
Educational program
Master Programme in the Humanities - Art History
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-01-31 Created: 2020-01-31 Last updated: 2020-01-31Bibliographically approved

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