MORF Gallery presents 'The Future of Re-Imagination' at the SingularityU Greece Summit
Now on to our next speaker. What lies at the intersection of fine art and cutting-edge technology? As CEO of MORF Gallery Scott Birnbaum works with an award-winning team of artists that bridge these two disparate worlds to create highly collectible fine art. He was at the forefront of many industry mega trends, including the vidification of devices, making the moviegoing experience more accessible by bringing it to homes and pockets everywhere and enabling televisions that double as art galleries. Let's welcome Scott who will be talking about re-imagination onto our virtual stage.
Thank you very much everyone and welcome to the 'Art of Re-Imagination'. Together we'll be peering through a window exploring the journey of five artists that ponder the question what if. We'll explore how technology impacts the creative process and how these artists are creating the next breed of art This new breed of art requires a new kind of gallery. Hi I'm Scott Birnbaum
and CEO and co-founder of MORF Gallery a Silicon Valley tech startup that's infused with the excitement of Hollywood. MORF offers fine art by award-winning artists that push the bounds of creativity. We customize solutions for our meticulously curated artists pushing their dreams even further with technologies like the ArtStick™. We'll explore exponential technologies and how this is extending creativity. We will look at the areas of robotics neuroscience and artificial intelligence.
Our journey starts here. We'll look at how robots have become creative, how paintings have come to life, how art that's been lost to the ages is being resurrected, and how artwork can be teeming with artificial life that you can interact with, and you'll see photos that can dream and dream again. Welcome to the art of re-imagination. Id like to introduce you to Jerry Saltz. Jerry is a Pulitzer prize-winning art critic for New York magazine let's hear from Jerry. I'm looking for humanity here, dignity, originality something, something that's what we're looking for.
On this episode of HBO’s Vice News Tonight Jerry was asked to give his critical feedback on AI generated art. Jerry was getting more and more frustrated as he looked at some the most recognizable AI generated art saying things like, "derivative, seen this before, no imagination, looks like it's been created by a machine". That's until he saw the art of our first artist on our journey Pindar Van Arman. As we start our journey, Pindar asked the question what if what if a robot could paint with the free spirit of a child. He started on a 15-year mission to actually have robots
that can have the ability to have some sense of creativity themselves and his art has won him Robot Artist of the Year in 2018. And his vision has taken his art even further. The video that you just saw with the artwork that was painted by one of his robots, utilizes a camera the camera stops at each brushstroke, allowing the robot to decide what art should be, what brushstroke should be chosen next. Just like the inner struggle that an artist has when he is or she is looking at what their next brush stroke should be and is going through all the emotions, the creativity process. Pindar's robots are doing that. His journey took him from originally just having a printer that could allow the technology to be able to take over mundane tasks things like background and things like proportion and moved it into a realm of creativity. Pindar's taken his art even further entering the NFT market which is
now more than 10 billion dollars in third quarter of this year alone. Pindar asked the question what if AI could create lovable animated collectible characters and his are some of the most collected characters in the NFT world. His bitGANs are where ai meets 8-bit so you could think a space invaders character meeting the most complex AI algorithms to create these lovable bitGANs and Pindar is really at the forefront of the NFT trend today. Our next artist grew up in a family of painters growing up in Hawaii and he asked the question what if a painting could move. What if a physical canvas painting
had the ability to have movement. I'm very proud of our next artist Steve Matson who's also a co-founder of MORF gallery and a good friend of mine this journey took him 30 years and actually brought him to Hollywood. I want to reveal some of Steve's secrets on how he creates his art. A painting for Steve could take eight to ten
months. It's actually a moving artwork that's made up of more than ten thousand individual artworks. He starts off with a very traditional process where he's using paint on canvas and creates a storyboard for what his artwork would look like over this journey. Then he adds on cinematography, visual effects, digital painting, animation and sound and what you see is just simply incredible. Steve's 30-year journey took him to Hollywood where he was a part of the crew that put together the Academy Award-Winning 'Life of Pie' and he's been on such iconic films like 'Star Wars' and this has enabled him to learn technology and processes that can make his paintings come to life If you can think for a moment how many works of art have been lost to the ages, incredible masterpieces. If you tried to collect all of those and bring them back, they would fill all of the world's museums combined. So, this next artist which is actually two researchers from the university of Central London PhD candidates asked the question what if this lost artwork could be resurrected with artificial intelligence. Their exploration of this activity
has won them the CogX 2021 Best Innovation in Creative Arts. Let's explore their technologies and what they've been able to do to bring back some of the world's lost masterpieces. The process is a is part of a white paper that this team created and what they did was they started with a known painting. In this case it's Leonardo da Vinci's 'Madonna of the Carnation'. By starting with a known painting and then taking away all the elements from the artist with the exception of a sketch of what that image looked like. They wanted to see if AI could actually reproduce this painting not knowing what this painting looked like. When they stripped out the color the style the texture they were left with the image on the right. Then using machine
learning data from all of da Vinci's other works that were fed into a training model and then using edge detection. Because they knew what the image had looked like they were able to create this using their ai models. If you look at this, it brought back the color the style of a true da Vinci and this paper was published. If you notice the image to the right which was
created not knowing what the image on the left look like, at least the algorithms did not, brought back da Vinci's "Madonna of the Carnation". You will see some slight differences like the button is a gold color versus a black on the left and the baby has a little bit more hair but it's an amazing recreation. So now knowing that their theory does work, they wanted to take this to the next level and look for a lost artwork. This image that you're seeing on the left-hand side is actually a painting that's in the Tate in London. It's Modigliani's "Portrait of a Girl", a very famous artwork by this painter. Using the process that I described earlier and using an x-ray they discovered that there was a painting underneath the painting. This is called a pedimento, meaning an image under another image.
Using this AI training model and other works from Modigliani and edge detection, the area on the right you could see the ghostly image was recreated onto canvas as lost Beatrice Hastings. This video that we'll show next is showing the recreation process so we start off with the actual painting, go through x-ray then create the outline of the image that was underneath the painting. Then using the AI algorithms to be able to look at Modigliani's other works, this artwork was actually brought back. But this was taken much farther than the white paper. This was taking not only flat images that would be created from these AI models but three-dimensional height maps were created with new patent-pending technologies to be able to produce this onto canvas using 3d printers. And MORF gallery
added an additional patent-pending process that allows this painting to be protected from fraud. So, the combination of these technologies as well as this machine learning process and AI is now opening the floodgate to recreating the lost artworks of the world. Our next artist on our journey is Daniel Ambrosi. Daniel asked the question what if. What if a photograph could dream? Daniel takes hundreds of photographs of iconic landscapes from around the world and then stitches them together. In cases like this there's more than 80 individual photographs that are stitched together to create this actual landscape. This high-resolution image is combined with artificial intelligence and using algorithms that were created specifically for Daniel's work with an engineer from google and one from Nvidia, a Dreamscape was created.
So, if you look inside of the artwork and you drill down even further when you zoom in, you'll see incredible detail that wasn't in the original images. This Dreamscape is contextually aware it knows where the rocks are, where the river is, where the trees are, where the lights are, where people are and create this incredible Dreamscape image. But Daniel didn't stop there. Daniel asked what if again and he asked what if a painting could dream. So he took those photos
used the dreamscape process and then dreamed on it another time and created an abstract dream. A Chihuly glass style type of art that was recognized and was shown as one of the new advancements in artificial intelligence at a recent Nvidia global technology conference. Our next artist is a pretty incredible person Kevin Mack uses neuroscience and the 'theory of awe' . He was inspired by his childhood visions and he wanted to be able to share these with the world and the technologies didn't exist. He waited and utilized new technologies and neuroscience
to bring his art to life and his artificial life to visitors as they explore and 'Anandala'. We're going to play a video and let you listen to Kevin as he explains his 2021 Venice Biennale Finalist. Anandala is a virtual and abstract art installation unconstrained by the limits of reality. Visitors explore a complex connected labyrinth through personal flight. It is designed to inspire awe, engage the imagination, and enhance well-being
through shape color motion sound and spatial presence. Anandala is inhabited by artificial life entities called blorts each shape-shifting blort is unique and has complex emergent behavior. Blorts express themselves and interact with visitors and each other through their movement changing color textures and their own musical language. Kevin is an academy award winner for best visual effects for the movie "What Dreams May Come" in 1999. He was made an honorary neuroscientist by UCLA Geffen School of Medicine in 2006. In the film that you just saw which is an interactive virtual reality experience where individuals can interact with artificial life was awarded the Biennale Finalist 2021 in Venice. Our last artist on our journey Kevin Mack is a great example of how technology can provide an endless palette of possibilities that allowed Kevin to dissolve the traditional boundaries of medium process style and genre.
But not just these five artists are asking the question what if. One of MORF gallery's co-founders Nic Donel asked the same question to try to solve digital arts biggest challenges. What if a single device could protect store and play digital art and add new work works at any time so he created the ArtStick™ This is simple plug and play device that will MORF any television set into a fine art gallery. Your entire art collection could be put onto a single ArtStick™ adding new pieces at any time. And it's not just used for art within homes MORF is working with a company called Aesthetic and is using MORF Gallery ArtStick™ technology in Rejuvenation Stations in some of the busiest emergency departments in the country allowing doctors nurses and health care workers to take a few moments out of their day to relax, unwind, reduce their stress, reduce their blood pressure and enable them to go back to being the world's heroes. It's a pretty amazing technology that's it has far-reaching examples of where this technology can help.
So, the future is pretty incredible and we can't leave the future without talking about the Metaverse. Be anywhere, anytime, do anything with anyone. The experiences that you'll have are going to be amazing. Digital twins are being created around the globe including a digital twin of earth which was just announced at Nvidia's conference by their CEO which is going to help model and help the world look for solutions on climate change. The metaverse is going to be
more than just a place to explore and have fun but it's going to solve the world's problems. I wanted to leave you with a really interesting experiment and getting you to re-imagine the next piece of art. If you could close your eyes and imagine the most spectacular painting that you've never seen. And then realize that you're the artist that you've created this yourself,
even if you don't have artistic talent, you don't have fine motor skills or you may not even have the technological background of some of the artists that we went on our journey with today. Tomorrow's preference engines are going to enable you to create and enjoy the next masterpiece just like Netflix today is enabling you to see a movie or a show that you may not know about by picking one that you would enjoy, preference engines will help you select art in the future and maybe even create it. During our journey, we explored how technology enabled the creative process. We talked about how Pindar Van Armen enabled robots to become a bit more creative. How Steve Matson was able to transform canvases into moving paintings and how Oxia Palus opened gateways to resurrect the world's lost art. Daniel Ambrosi created photos that could dream and Kevin Mack use neuroscience to create interactive artificial life experiences so if you're an inspiring artist, a researcher, a technologist, or fine art collector, or maybe even a tech startup investor, MORF Gallery would love to work with you. So, now you have the
opportunity to re-imagine yourself and ask what if and together we could turn that into what's next. Scott, thank you so much for being with us today and thank you so much for being with me a few days ago in Cincinnati Your presentation is mind-blowing as always. Thank you so much don't go stay because we're going to have a fireside chat later.