Saturday 3 October 2020


I submitted my AI warped pencil drawing to the AIKPHRASIS project, organized and conceived by Holly Grimm.  "Aikphrasis" is the AI (artificial intelligence) spin on "Ekphrasis." This is my visual response to the poem she gave me written with AI using GPT-3.

UPDATE:  As of December 2020, the Aikphrasis Project is now posted on the NeurlPS Machine Learning for Creativity and Design Conference website in the Highlights section, along with other AI art projects (six rows down, far right).  Holly Grimm, who conceived and organized Aikphrasis, reflected on the project in her blog.

The AI Poem
(written with GPT-3)

I can’t see the figure or the table or the mirror
beyond, or the light or what’s casting the light. I
really can’t bring this into focus: everything is motion,
everything kind of moving around itself. It’s just like a
polaroid that you’ve got to hold super still under the light and 
press. If you let it go, everything will just blur.
The figure is in there somewhere, just kind of disappearing
and then appearing again. It’s somewhere in there: it’s
a white dot. It’s all through there. There’s this sense of,
there’s a ghost world and a real world and they’re both in
here. The bird’s in here I think, flying around.



The poem evoked the space of Roberto Matta, one of my favorite painters.  Thus I started with one of my black and white pencil drawings and altered it in Deep Dream Generator, a free online AI program by Google.  What better way to answer AI than with AI?

The foundation image,
one of my black and white pencil drawings

Then I animated with a few ephemeral birds.  The second bird was generated in Runway ML by StyleGAN2 (another AI program), partially in my drawing style, and faded in using EZGif.   I documented the long drawn out process on this blog.

I downloaded the first low poly animated bird by Charlie Tinley from SketchFab.  The final video was created in Blender.

Title:  aiK*RЯR*Lsis
Medium:  Pencil, warped by AI
Instagram:  @Krrrl


Perhaps the most poetic answer would have been to respond with AI entirely -- an instant AI image responding to the AI written prose.  I uploaded most of the poem to Runway ML's free text-to-image program -- Generative Image -- and got the push-button image response:

AI answering AI --

miniscule intervention by me

Just for fun, I blended the Generative Engine result with my back and white drawing in Deep Dream Generator, but the blend was not that artistic, nor did it answer the poem very well.

Too Much AI?
My drawing blended 
with the Generative Engine result
 in Deep Dream Generator
did not give the best answer to the AI poem


I tried to add some AI music to the animation, but it distracted from the poem, which I felt was more nebulous and open ended.

The AI music programs I found online:

Rejected Solutions

I applied a lot of other styles to my black and white drawing in Deep Dream Generator, but none answered the poem as well as the one I submitted.  Go to THIS LINK to see the discarded alternatives.

Original black and white abstract drawing

This project may have opened the Pandora's Box of other AI ventures.  Like whatever below: 

I should have titled my animation "aiKЯЯЯLsis," but who could roll their Я's backwards?

Proper pronunciation of the title of my piece
-- aiK*RЯR*Lsis --
with the R's rolling backwards

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