What is the (aesthetic) essence of water?
Without water, there is no life on earth. Water is habitat to a multitude of life forms and all physiological processes take place in an aqueous environment. It covers about two-thirds of the earth's surface, mostly as saltwater (97.4%). All biochemical reactions require water as a lubricant. In addition to its vital functions, water has ever been an aesthetic fascination and a point of reference for artistic creation.
The large-format works of the photographer and patron of the Fraunhofer Network "Science, Art and Design" focus on water as a primordial element and its constant presence as a theme of artistic expression. In Neugebauer's works, water is displayed in different states of aggregation while it sometimes appears as a level structure, then again as a mirror or plastic body. The personal and respectful approach of the artist underlines the role of water as an ecological and aesthetic resource.
At the STATE Studio exhibition, we present you Neugebauer's works in adaptation by the “Intelligence Architects” of Birds on Mars, with the title water_on_mars. The AI (Artificial Intelligence) specialized company expands Neugebauer's artworks with a technological perspective: For more than one week they trained an AI, a “generative adversarial network” (GAN), to learn form, color, and space of water by analyzing 200 of Neugebauer’s photos. The photo series shows the one-week learning process of the GAN, not only by sketching connections between the photographic training data and the new AI pictures but also by illustrating how the AI apparently further develops motifs and creates new fictitious water worlds. The human perception of water is being transformed by the technology into a visual interpretation from an “artificial point of view". On display is a series of 20 images showing the results of the AI in different phases of its learning process and a video loop of the machine trying to understand and recreate the visual essence of the photographs and the depicted motif as well as the training data.
The project is realized in cooperation with Fraunhofer Communication Headquarter and is supported by the Fraunhofer-Netzwerk Wissenschaft, Kunst und Design.