A sculpture known as “the Impossible Statue” is currently on display at a Swedish museum thanks to the training of artificial intelligence (AI) by a historical dream team of five famous sculptors, including Michelangelo, Rodin, and Takamura.
“This is a true statue created by five different masters that would never have been able to collaborate in real life,” said Pauliina Lunde, a spokeswoman for Swedish machine engineering company Sandvik, which employed three AI software programs to produce the artwork.
The stainless steel statue challenges conventional ideas about creativity and art by showing an androgynous person clutching a bronze globe in one hand while the lower half of their body is covered with a swath of material.
The monument, which is on display at Stockholm’s National Museum of Science and Technology, is 150 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches) tall and 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) in weight.
The goal was to combine the distinctive styles of five renowned sculptors, including Michelangelo (Italy, 1475–1564), Auguste Rodin (France, 1840–1917), Kathe Kollwitz (Germany, 1867–1945), Kotaro Takamura (Japan, 1883–1956), and Augusta Savage (US, 1892–1962), who each left their mark on their own eras.
The museum’s idea development manager, Julia Olderius, told AFP, “Something about it makes me feel like this was not made by human being.”
Visitors will notice the Michelangelo-inspired muscular body and Takamura-inspired hand gripping the globe.
The AI was educated by Sandvik’s engineers by being fed several photos of sculptures made by the five artists.
The software then suggested a number of 2D graphics that, in its opinion, captured the main ideas of each of the artists.
When all was said and done, we obtained 2D photographs of the sculpture in which we could see the reflections of the several masters. Our next step is to incorporate these 2D photos into 3D modeling, Olderius stated.
But which comes first, technology or art?
“I don’t believe that art can be defined. Every person must decide for themselves whether something is art or not. And the decision is up to the audience,” Olderius remarked.
In the midst of discussion over AI’s potential impact on the art industry, Olderius expressed optimism.
She asserted that there is no reason to be concerned about what AI would do to creativity, concepts, art, and design.
“I just think you have to adjust to a new future where technology is part of how we develop ideas and artistic expression,” the author says.