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DEHISCENCE
@DehiscenceArt Published July 7, 2023

What’s your background and how did you get into AI art?

I’m a Toronto based, multi-media artist. I have no formal art training, my background is in forensic anthropology and most recently in healthcare. I like to refer to my art as visual anthropological explorations of the human experience, which is quite a mouthful, but I refer to it as such, because my art is heavily influenced by my interactions with the human body through both my previous careers.

The Emptiness of Being” by DEHISCENCE, 2023, available on Objkt

I was a really late bloomer when it comes to art, I didn’t start making art until I was 46. I started with digital painting, moved to mixed media, jumped back and forth between the two. With regards to using Artificial intelligence as part of my art process, I tinkered with Art Breeder in 2018/2019 but I really didn’t find it that useful with what I was trying to create, I like the idea of being able to “modify genes” but it still wasn’t working for me. I didn’t feel like I had enough control over the output.

Resurrection” by DEHISCENCE, 2023, available on Objkt. This artwork is part of the “Wisdom of Time” Collection which is an exploration of the natural experience of aging and a reflection on the cycle of life.

A couple of years ago I was accepted into an art residency called Perfection/Speculation which was a multi-disciplinary investigation into the meanings and ethics of genetic technologies. The residency was initially postponed for a year due to COVID but proceeded in the summer of 2021 with two hubs. One in Oslo, Norway for the EU artists, and one in London, England for those of us who couldn’t travel to Oslo due to covid restrictions. Because of the need for the two hubs we decided as a group to go the digital route because the residency was a collaborative project. At that point, I started moving away from collage and digital painting and more into using artificial intelligence as an artistic tool. As I studied gene editing technology for the residency, combined with my interest in medical technology, I realized I wanted to learn to use technology to modify the human body artistically, edit my own artworks, and to build my models suited to my needs.

What drives you to create?

I am driven by strong moral ethics, I believe in fairness and equality, no single individual is better than any other despite their social status, or the size of their wallet. I have no room for hate or biases in my personal or professional life as I have seen first hand what hate can drive people to do and it is completely unacceptable to me. My morals and beliefs come through in my art subjects and themes.

My Kingdom for the Sun” by DEHISCENCE, 2023, available on Foundation. This artwork is part of the “Misguided Fortunes Series” which explores the theme of wealth and its impact on the perception of reality. Living a life in a bubble of luxury offers a very distorted view of the world as a whole.

I think of myself as a visual storyteller and I do that through my art. The stories are based on my own life experiences and the experiences of others I’ve witnessed. The social aspect of my art is heavily influenced by my work as an anthropologist and the merging of art with technology such as artificial intelligence, is influenced by my career in post-surgical critical care. My themes may be dark and gloomy or bright and vibrant. They are a reflection of the world in which we live and I hope the viewers of my art can take time to reflect on the space they hold in the world.

I believe that artists should have the space and the access to tools which allow them to fully embrace their creativity. To experiment, try new topics, themes or styles. To create however much or however little they choose to. So I am very much an advocate of artistic expression in all the many forms it may take.

The Coming Storm” by INTROVOID, exclusively for the AI Surrealism, 2023

What does your workflow look like?

My workflow is pretty standard. I start with either a rough sketch or collage and take it into Stable Diffusion. I could run it through once or multiple times depending on the outputs or whether I need to tweak the parameters. I might do some manual editing on the image in between Stable Diffusion runs or I might not. Once I get some images I can work with further, I then finish them in Photoshop or Procreate with basic things like colour correction or more complex edits like overpainting. When I make animations I use Deforum Diffusion but I have recently jumped onto the Runway Gen 2 bandwagon and have been experimenting with text to video. With the release of Midjourney V5, I have started to use Midjourney for the blending option to blend some of my older works into new base images for stable diffusion.

Inclusion” by DEHISCENCE, 2023, available on SuperRare. This artwork is from “Fragmented Reflections” which delves into the enigmatic realm where art and technology converge to explore the profound impact of lived experiences on our existence. Each artwork portrays a subject seemingly trapped within a maze of distorted pixels and fractured lines, representing the complex tapestry of memories, emotions, and perceptions that shape our identities.

How do you imagine AI (art) will be impacting society in the near future?

AI tools for art are already evolving at such a fast pace, I can’t imagine what it will be like even a year from now. I think there is room for both traditional artists and artists who use AI as a tool in their workflow. There is certainly a shift in the art world and AI plays a big part of that, I don’t want to speculate too much on what the future holds but the concerns around copyright will get sorted out, the technology will adapt, the artists will adapt and I think AI as an artistic medium will be around for some time.

One area I’d like to touch on is the use of AI tech in physical and occupational therapy. With my background in post-surgical critical care physiotherapy, I have often thought about how useful AI tech could be for those with reduced mobility, cognitive impairments or as a therapeutic tool for those with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI’s). Whether it is used simply to help pass time in a hospital setting or used for more complex cognitive rehabilitation, the possibilities are endless. This is definitely an area which should be explored.

Fractured Planet” by DEHISCENCE, 2023, minted on SuperRare. This artwork from “Corroded Horizons” Collection prompts us to reconsider our relationship with nature, reminding us that we possess the power to either continue fracturing our world or work towards healing and preserving it for future generations.

Who is your favourite artist?

I have quite a few, I really enjoy street artists and I am always on the hunt for new murals. Herakut, Nychos, Various & Gould are a few artists that come to mind. I also enjoy the work of Adrian Ghenie, Gerard Garouste, and Conor Harrington who also paints beautiful murals.

From the digital world, there are so many I cannot name them all, but there is a special place for Daniel Jerome Obispo, INTROVOID, Evelyn O, and Violet Bond and Olga Shpak are my two favourite photographers.

Out a Day” by Evelyn O, exclusively for the AI Surrealism, 2023

What is your favourite prompt when creating art?

I have a lot of prompts I use and they are rarely the same one repeated. I’m always editing them slightly. Words I often use in prompts include, hacker, meat and bone, gothic and anatomical ecorche. I also like to use medium shot to frame the image and the style I use is expressionism.

@nftlisa No blue in Anatomical Study 29.0. https://t.co/1UMDZJlYoc
January 26, 2023 00:38

Do you have a specific project you’re currently working on? What is it?

I usually work on a few projects at time. I recently finished working with @Hudah_Idiot and the crew at CryptoBatzNFT which was really fun. I made six bats for that project.

Very happy to announce that I have designed some bats for @CryptoBatzNFT 🦇 Created by @OzzyOsbourne x @SutterSystems Thank you @Hudah_Idiot and the team for having me onboard. Here are 2 of 6 designs. Please stay tuned for more details 💙🦇 https://t.co/rVhIYDrVWS
March 20, 2023 19:13

I also had a recent collaborative project on FXHash called SESSIONS with Frank Force which was curated by Fort Gallery NFT and NFT Museum of Newberry, SC. Artists are paired with a generative artist for the project, ours was called “Brutal Nature”. Very fun to collaborate with a generative artist. Highly recommend it.

Currently working on a collaborative collection with Daniel Jerome Obispo on Objkt called “Strange Echoes” and have ongoing collaborative projects with Hell D. who I have collaborated with on numerous occasions.

I have also recently started incorporating glitch work into my AI infused work for two new series. One is called “Fragmented Reflections” which is figurative work and the other is outside of my norm as they are landscape images called “Corroded Horizons” which is about humankind’s relationship with nature. The first in the series is called “Fractured Planet” and it is currently available on SuperRare.

Would you tell us about the AI Surrealism exhibition in NYC?

I thought the Exquisite Workers curation by Roger Haus and Anna Dart was incredible. They did a fabulous job at getting a wide variety of artists with a diverse pallet of artwork. It was quite the honour to be included. The artist DM chat was lively and supportive of one another and it was really nice to learn more about other artists.

AI Surrealism” official flyers featuring 100 AI artists including Time Traveler AI, St Laurent Jr, Mielconejo. The largest AI art show in history.

I’ve worked with Superchief Gallery NFT before and I am always thrilled to be part of an exhibition with them. The venue at Canvas 3.0 in the Oculus building within the new World Trade Centre in NYC looked amazing. While I was not able to see it in person, the photographs were proof enough.

AI Surrealism show by Exquisite Workers on display at Superchief Gallery NFT at the Oculus, NYC until June 24, 2023 with DEHISCENCE.

My artworks for the AI Surrealism exhibition consisted of two 1/1 artworks from my “Bleeding Earth” Collection. “Polluted Horizons” (which is still available) and “The Last Breath” (sold). The central figure in both artworks is Mother Earth herself, presented in a dapper but frail appearance, embodying both her resilience and the impact of our actions on the natural world.

Polluted Horizons on display next to @sonyamova and @RogerHaus in the #AISurrealism show at Canvas 3.0, World Trade Centre, NYC, until June 24. A @SuperchiefNFT x @ew_corpse exhibit Available on Foundation - reserve 0.35 eth https://t.co/BNfvjOBIek https://t.co/W5ctyqgobl
June 7, 2023 15:08

The strange and unsettling biological creature she holds serves as a potent symbol of humankind’s greed, arrogance and individualism. The creatures remind us that our actions have consequences beyond our own individual lives.

GN, I leave you with The Last Breath on display @SuperchiefNFT at Canvas 3.0 inside the Oculus, World Trade Center in NYC. See it IRL until June 24th. Reserve has been met by @Biggartner1 💙🙏 - Just under 8 hours left in the auction. https://t.co/vpQYVsV5Dg https://t.co/cb273DR6SI
June 7, 2023 23:28

The imagery highlights the delicate balance between human action and natural consequence. At the same time, the frail appearance of Mother Earth reminds us of our own mortality and the finite nature of the resources we so often take for granted.

What does it mean to be an AI Surrealist for you in the times we live in

I never really considered myself a surrealist before taking part in this exhibition. Historically surrealists often used more than one medium and experimented with subjects and mediums. In that way, I would fall under the Surrealist umbrella. I also think artists who use AI as part of their process, can automatically be labelled as surrealist. When one incorporates emerging technology into an art process they are going in somewhat blind as to what the output will be. The artist must use their creativity to drive the AI to obey their creative design. Elements in my work are sometimes taken from dreams I’ve had. I have very vibrant and dramatic dreams, and there is always something that would look great in a piece of art.

AI Surrealism official flyer featuring 100 AI artists including BLAC.ai, True Camellia, Roope Rainisto, Stephan Vasement, Ai Machina.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would recommend being diligent and patient with your curation of output images. I think curation is very important and it is one area I wish I paid more attention to when I first started using AI. I believe quality over quantity is also important.

Don’t let the drama in the space get you down. Focus on your skills and your art. Mint what you want, when you want. I often think of minting as a blockchain portfolio and a history of my work. Whether it sells or not, it is an official record.

AI Surrealism show by Exquisite Workers on display at Superchief Gallery NFT at the Oculus, NYC until June 24, 2023 with DEHISCENCE.

Lastly, you are free to express your artistic vision in whatever medium you want to, however you want to. Have fun and remember to have a good work/life balance. Taking time away from social media is important.

by @dreamingtulpa