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For sundai this week, I wanted to share some historical #aiart from my collection and talk about where we've come from!

There have been two big step functions in AI art

First wave = GANs (generative adversarial networks)
Second wave = Latent Diffusion Models

A thread 🧵
Some early GAN artists were @quasimondo, @videodrome, @obv_ious,@VanArman, @soficrespo91, @ganbrood, and @DeepBlackAI.

I call the GAN movement "first wave" ai art. There was even earlier examples of "AI art" (wave zero if you may) but a Cambrian explosion started with GAN.
This week, I focus on first wave.

GANs work by having two different models *pointed* at each other.

One generates images. The other decides if it's "real or fake" and thus trains the other model to make better images.

Hence, adversarial!

img source: heartbeat.comet.ml/artificial-art-how-gans-are-making-machines-creative-b99105627198
The first (!) minted artist on @SuperRare was AI artist Robbie Barrat @videodrome.

Encouraged by @artnome, they decided to give away 300 pieces of AI art at conference in 2018.

Only a handful were claimed leading to the moniker the "Lost Robbies"

superrare.com/magazine/2020/09/05/the-lost-robbies/
One of these pieces sold for $1M.

Robbie was 18 at the time (!) and sadly gone on to leave NFTs/crypto but still creates incredible art on other mediums.

His influence also was felt in other significant AI moments....more on that shortly.
The artist collective @obv_ious made waves when their GAN portrait sold at auction at Christie's in 2018 for over $400k.

These first wave AI artists tended to focus on creating coherent images. Aesthetics are critical, but coherency was difficult in of itself.
Of course, being AI, there were early authorship questions and debates about how much of a project by Robbie they used and whether credit was properly given.


The @obv_ious crew has some amazing (and pricey) pieces available on @SuperRare. Underappeciated is how SuperRare was early and critical to the AI movement.

Obvious also have some more affordable GAN drops including "Dream Capsules" w/ @braindrops_art

Some from my collection:
Another early collection I love is DeepBlack (@DeepBlackAI) who asserts that they are the first end to end AI art minted (no human in the loop) in 2019.

#5903 from my collection
No discussion of GAN art is complete without the amazing work of @VanArman.

They have created work not only with GANs but also autonomous brush systems that painted physical art (!).

And continuing our theme, they were early minters on @SuperRare in 2018.

My PodGan below 😍🐙
Today, @ganbrood is known for incredibly detailed colorful explorations of alternative realities.

But his early work was often exploring making incredibly realistic faces which was a feat before today's Latent Diffusion models.

some of my early Ganbrood:
The wonderfully talented duo @entangledothers ( @soficrespo91 and @entangledlight) used GANs to create amazing look at our natural worlds, only...remember they're not natural.

🤯🦋

below my "Emergent Finale #00434"

An essential name is @quasimondo.

One of the first AI artists to sell in a major auction house and whose work was some of the earliest work on Tezos' hic et nunc.

Their work has always had a ting of mischief and moodiness I adore.
These lines between 1st and 2nd wave aren't always firm.

@RiversHaveWings is the lead developer at @StabilityAI. She also is a talented artist.

From my collection: "CTS Test #1," which I believe (🫣) is her first minted NFT and combines GAN and CLIP (more on that next week).
And....that's a wrap on Sund(ai)!

I hope you enjoyed this look into first wave AI and GAN art.

Next week, we're look at latent diffusion models and second wave AI art, when coherency goes from a challenge, to a baseline.

Onwards!

😍

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