Jonas Lund
Installation view photo Damian Griffiths
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Review

Jonas Lund: ‘In The Middle Of Nowhere II’

4 out of 5 stars
Eddy Frankel
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Time Out says

There’s a lot of anxiety about AI and its impending, unstoppable destruction of humanity. But few people are as nail-bitingly worried about it all as artists. AI tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and Dall-e 2 can all create art in seconds, prompted by just a few words. Artists know what’s happening: they’re being neutered, rendered useless right in front of us.

That anxiety courses through Swedish artist Jonas Lund’s latest body of work. You enter into the office of a CEO, decorated with corporate art and pot plants. A group of screens shows the CEO’s business in action, using ChatGPT to create art and drive profits.

Another video shows human support groups voicing their fears about AI. It’s glitchy, juddery, sadly pathetic. 

All the canvases - neatly woven tapestries based on AI-generated imagery - show cats in offices, pigs dining out on the company dime, elephants in suits, and a single fat human sitting at his laptop. These are images of AI openly mocking the corporate working class. 

In general, I find the act of turning digital AI imagery into something physical clumsy, clunky and not that interesting. AI imagery is inherently digital, and making it physical almost never adds anything. But here, it serves a conceptual purpose, it’s the tasteless, sneery art of a robo-corporate behemoth. 

Of the small handful of Ai-focused exhibitions heath have hit London galleries lately, Lund’s is by far the most successful. Because he’s not using AI as an end in itself, or as just another paintbrush to express his aesthetic, he’s questioning the means of AI production, asking fundamental, basic questions about the future of creativity in a world where AI can make art. He’s exposing a cultural, societal anxiety, laying bare our fears. It’s great, just don’t expect it to make you feel much better about computers stealing your job.

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