Enter : Pastoral is generated by artificial intelligence (AI). The body of work aims to question the position of the artist within the context of emerging technologies and the post-human condition. The art is generated by using public image databases, from museums and institutions and targeting classical pastoral oil paintings, and the artist’s own dataset created by digitally documented consumer waste, mainly consisting of single use items and plastic wrapping. The end result are images reminiscent of classical pastoral paintings generated by waste with the help of AI.

The artworks were created during the second and third Covid-19 lock-down in France. As the pandemic had altered the ‘post human’ condition to such an extreme that the outside natural world became off limits, the network society belongs to servers, algorithms and AI. The work explores the boundary of technological substitution and consumption, as technology has replaced physical inter human contact, removed encounters with strangers from our daily lives and replaced the public spaces with Zoom, Slack etc.

The installation toys with the idea of a more efficient AI substituting the artist and the consumer. The machine utilises garbage to create the artworks. The result is a theoretical prediction model of future landscapes built on waste. Installation’s AI uses two different GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks). GANs are machine learning algorithms where two networks compete against each other, through a zero-sum game approach. The result is an algorithm that learns to produce new images that resemble real ones, fitting in the probability distribution.

The second algorithm is a different kind of GAN, where through the competition between components, it learns the high level features of different image styles, merging their characteristics. As a result of this process, Enter : Pastoral is thus capable of generate an original piece of art ‘imagined’ by the machine.

Mikki Nordman is an internationally exhibiting Finnish born visual artist based in London and Stockholm. She has a BA Fine Arts (Central Saint Martins, digital and time-based media) and a BA Design (Istituto Marangoni). She is member of the London based WMC Collective. The artistic practice is a form of digital Arte Povera, where the mundane surroundings become the studio and medium for the art. The practice aims of using emerging technology unconventionally to create artworks that does not adhere to traditional image production. The multimedia installations seek to question perception and the relation between the self and the other, human and technology in the context of the post-human anthroposcene. The artist is currently focusing on producing art machines generated by public data.