An Informal Zombie

By Carla Rapoport August 25, 2020

There are lots of reasons to love working at Lumen but right at the top is learning about the artists who qualify each year. Ben Bogart, a Canadian who has been longlisted in previous years, qualified again this year which gave me the excuse to find out what they’ve been up to. It’s pretty cool.

The image to the right is the work which got them into the 2020 Longlist, a still image called IMAGINED FIELD FROM THE DECOMPOSITION OF AN APPARATUS. It was produced as part of the Leaning Out of Windows project, where artists, scholars and physicists are placed in collaborative dialogue. As Ben explains, the project linked experimental particle physics and their own work on the deconstruction of material in order to inspect the nature of objects and their constituents.

A stunning work to be sure and one which reflects the growing trend for artists creating work with technology to reach out to experts in a host of related fields. Since submitting their entry, however, Ben (pictured below) has begun a tech start-up that aims to upend the art
world by making digital AI art frames they hope will replace visual
artists. IMHO: Not going to happen but a fun idea nonetheless…

The Zombie Formalist predicts audience aesthetic preferences by learning what people look at in person, and what they like and retweet on Twitter. From the company website: “Imagine the art in your home changing when you get bored of it. An infinite variety of abstract artworks could be presented in your home without the effort of curating a collection. It uses AI to learn your unique aesthetic preferences.”

The Zombie Formalist has been uploading to Twitter for a few months now and you can see the kinds of work it’s creating at the top of the blog. You can even buy compositions that were selected by the audience here. Or if you’d rather not buy but would like to help the Zombie Formalist learn what “good” art is, ZF kindly invites you to like and retweet via twitter using the social media handle @AutoArtMachine.

The more people engage, the better the Zombie Formalist will be at
making art, or at least that’s what Ben is hoping for! Not so interested in zombies and A.I. art? Take a wander through Ben’s other engaging projects by heading over to their website.


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