Art is Dead: We Killed It (with AI) - Student Knitwear Project

There’s enough being written about artificial intelligence by experts, pundits, et al that its refreshing to see a student perspective. Coming via a Mastodon post by my good friend/colleague Grant Potter I really enjoyed seeing this poster that is part of the Teaching, Learning & Research Student Showcase 2023 Posters at Vancouver Community College

Art is Dead, We Killed It (with Ai) poster by Allison_Dunne appears in a VCC Library collection labeled licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

From text extracted from the image*


A knitwear project exploring the benefits and costs of technological progress

This year I researched and knit a sweater which responds to the recent use of Ai software, in the production of art. The sweater features Python computer code set against a Fair Isle motif, and the Mona Lisa with a slit throat. My process of creating this sweater combined traditional knitting with self-teaching on a modern hand knitting machine.

Through my applied research I was reminded of the importance of human experience in art creation. I argue that this lesson is essential as we move forward in a world that increasingly prioritizes instantaneous rewards.

This is a powerful statement communicated in a creative way (I think so). Where else are we seeing anything that represents student perspectives on this burning hot topic? What are you seeing from students?

* As a bonus of reading this, my “trick” for extracting text from images (there are other ways of course) is to upload the image to Google Drive, and from there, use the option to open the image in Google Docs- it will extract any text in the image as text you can copy.

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I am pleased to say that Allison_Dunne submitted a truth i.e. "Art is dead and we killed it.

I am willing to talk with you for the purpose so, I would like to request you to kindly provide an opportunity & oblige.

S.N.Srivastava, CEO

Awesome project! So much to love about every part of it, from the concept to the execution to the presentation (and the open licensing). :heart::heart::heart:

Thank for your responding, and that is exactly the point here- this is your opportunity to talk, share, inquire with anyone else here.

Tell us why this is a truth to you? Is Art dying from AI or might it thrive? or both?

I shared this as an example of how a student perceives something that is dominated by loud voices of technology advocates and educators-- I would like to know more what students and citizens think,

Please talk here!

I agree @NateAngell but to be honest, I found the licensing ambiguous-- individual works are not explicitly licensed, there is only a blanket statement on the footer of a web site template.

Does this apply to everything on the page the license sits? Likely not as the content was not created by the Library.

Everything licensing seems like unpeeling onions.

I agree it would be great to see the open license on the poster itself so the licensing is more clear. I’m still loving how many “threads” (ha ha) were woven together in this project.

(Human) art is IMHO very much alive and it will be just as alive if not more in the future (even if us humans no longer are the only artistic species) but do I love the creativity here. :innocent:

Ah, and what’s not to love about Python code on a sweater? :wink:

To me, this sweater illustrates the opposite of what it’s trying to say – it shows that (human) art is thriving. If this were designed by a computer and cheaply machine-knitted, it would be cool but nowhere near as cool as a student making it with her own hands.

Will our original Mona Lisas be less valuable in the deluge of imitations, fakes and slightly off hallucinations? Sure, machines get better over time but will I remove the kids’ drawings from my fridge and replace them with amazing AI-generated art? Highly unlikely.

Looking forward to my restaurant meal tonight – but I can’t help noticing the three McDonald’s within a 300-meter radius. Fast food is practical but there’s no human connection with the chef and waiters / waitresses and no sense of pride that comes with serving a delicious meal. I’m super grateful for the industrial food supply chain that keeps people from going hungry, but there’s something to be said for traditional restaurants and skilled chefs. Has industrial food killed them? Nope. Do they still have a place in our culinary world? – You bet. :wink:

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I think there are other species on this Earth that create just for the joy of doing. Elephants, birds, apes, etc. Can AI really make art when there is no feeling or strong emotional response?

The joy of making things, the emotional involvement (of both the creator and the audience), the self-expression,…


We will forever create. We have to, it’s who we are.

Just yesterday I watched this movie (which was very meta – actors acting as actors, inside a movie):

One sequence in particular touched me (translated here via DeepL from French subtitles floating around).

It’s not a hobby to play. (…) It’s dangerous, it’s serious. (…) Does it affect you, the love stories? The fact of living? (…) Does it make you suffer, laugh, cry? (…) Why would I watch people pretending to be, on stage? I mean, there’s no point. If that’s what it is, I’ll sit on a terrace and watch REAL people. What am I doing in a theatre wasting my time?

These words were spoken by the character of Patrice Chéreau.

In a masterclass that followed yesterday’s screening, professor Soňa Šimková explained that Chéreau was continuing in the tradition of Konstantin Stanislavski.

It was all about embodying the character.

Re-living the internalized and previously experienced emotion.

It is through art that we can connect. To ourselves, to others,…

If art ever dies, so shall we.