entry 05 - oct 04 2023 

Gabe BC Talk - Reflections 

I appreciated the humanizing element of this talk and was really eager to learn more about Gabe's perspective and approach after being underwhelmed by the show. I was hoping it would share some of his insights that I felt were difficult to identify in the works themselves.
While he seems like a pleasant person, and a passionate artist, I still felt that the ideation behind the pieces were underbaked.

In the beginning of the talk Gabe says "we're praying to the new religion which is AI." But he doesn't articulate how or when that change occurred, and how the ways in which that might be true is reflected in the exhibition. Is it because we're reliant on AI to analyze data? Is it because it produces innovations in knowledge? New analyses that shatter our conceptions of everything that came before us? He just doesn't say. As far as I know, the only thing AI has been able to identify that we didn't already know about ourselves is how the shape of a human iris is gender-specific.

Gabe says: "I do believe someday people are going to believe AI is the truth the same way some people believe social media is the truth"

--I found this observation stale, the likes of which a journalist at a major newspaper would adopt, not an artist pushing the limits of their mind. If you took an earnest and thorough interest in the subject, you'd easily observe that public confidence in major institutions and well-established seats of power is particularly low right now and continues to erode by the day.

In fact, aesthetically, zoomers are more interested in posting pictures of road kill and their messy rooms than they are the hyper curated and sterilized images favoured by older generations -- they completely recognize the artifice and futility of placing too much stock in the validity of what they encounter online.

His Adam and Eve piece, "Paradise," apparently used synchronised timing and music as the background soundtrack to which the subjects were responding.
If the intention is to assess the "divinity" of AI - why not use AI- generated music as the prompt for the subjects in Paradise? Why not capture the emotional resonance of Al music?

If he personally provided the two figures with prompts of what to do is he still not the mastermind of the piece, and not AI? What if he had asked an AI to provide the action prompts instead?I acknowledge that it's a collaboration between him and AI but I don't really see how the religious over and undertones of this piece are particularly relevant to the stated themes.

If it's about atomization or alienation, why not make one of them - either Adam or Eve a computer generated image? Like Jonzes' Her where a human man falls in love with an AI of sorts. Of course, that's already been done as well but that's why new work on the subject of AI has to have something interesting to say!

Honestly, I got the impression that he was trying to ride a wave of hype around AI and rushed through this exhibition.

"What if Adam and Eve met on Tinder" just isn't good enough.

When asked why he decided to use AI generated people as opposed to real people for the enunciation piece, he said that there's a shift that happens when a real person is used — which is in direct contradiction to what he said just moments prior about how it could be "anybody that's a saint" in the age of AI.

Gabe apparently is "using AI as a question and not as an answer" — but just because the curator says it doesn't make it true.

I did learning more aobut his family history and the inspiration behind the shrine-like pieces.