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SCHIELE'S GHOST

How we got here

„Ich bin alles zugleich –

aber niemals werd ich alles

zu gleicher Zeit tun.“

Egon Schiele, 1910

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#1 POWERED BY D#AVANTGARDE

SCHIELE'S GHOST

AN AI-NFT ART PROJECT

Can a dead artist become a patron?

A NFT project to support art

"May you live in interesting times," was the slogan of the 2019 Biennale in Venice. The last „normal“ before the world changed, before the pandemic swept over us and seemed to take everything apart.

An ancient curse has seemingly caught up with our present. Or is it just a part of human history that is repeating itself? Pandemics and diseases always intervened in societies, changed, killed and reshuffled everything. Is it different this time?

 

The last pandemic in Europe that was similar to, yet different from, Corona today was the Spanish flu then.
 

One of its most famous victims was the Austrian artist Egon Schiele - the virus did not stop at him either. He died in 1918, at that time there was no vaccination and one may assume that there were no state subsidies to facilitate the survival of the survivors.

Egon Schiele died, at the peak of his career, and a century later our society, ours in which we live today, is experiencing a similar scenario. Albeit, much more attenuated, nevertheless comparable. Is history repeating itself today in a modern way? Have we as a society learned and evolved or are we doomed to repeat ourselves?

 

We live in interesting times, don't we?

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THE PINKLIST

In the first round, over 200 people had been personally invited to join

the Schiele's Ghost project.
This list is known as the pinklist.

It was set up as the answer to the so called "White Lists" a lot of NFT projects used to get their NFTs sold to a very advanced group of people. The Pinklist ensures that even though one is not involved into the technology he/she can be part of the NFT game from the very beginning in having one Schiele's Ghost received

ABOUT

2020 s.myselle got an artist in residence at Schmiede Hallein, Austria. Her intention was to research what artificial intelligence was about, from an art perspective. In the book Horses: CoEvolution Storytelling Zukunft she wrote about her experience with artificial intelligence, how society changed, and art - and she talked with a lot of people about this technology.

Martin Gasser was one of the AI artists she had the most interesting conversions with and finally they agreed on doing an AI project together. The very first attempt was to create a machine learning tool that writes an Austrian filmscript. For the first experiences they chose Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden that was written by Hilde Berger and Dieter Berner. This it opened a new world for the artist s.myselle. The world of Egon Schiele.

New technology is expensive and everybody has to live out of something and the AI-Austrian filmscript seemed further away than expected. Funds were not granted and in the end s.myselle refused to give up and did another experiment with an ML Application RunwayML and the pictures of Egon Schiele. The initial dataset consists of 994 digital images of Egon Schiele from the Kallir Research Institute.


Since then, their main question was whether a machine could capture Egon Schiele's mind and art and reproduce it at the push of a button?

The preoccupation with Egon Schiele's history, his essence, his thoughts, as well as his style was the incentive for this art project, which resulted in 10,000 Machine Learning-generated images - GANART.
After several months, the artificial intelligence creates new works that contain traces of Egon Schiele, analyzing him and remixing him again - always evolving - directed by  s.myselle.

What remains is „Schiele's Ghost“ in a possible infinite series of synthetic images, generateable at any time at the push of a button. They all look alike and yet are different. None will ever resemble the other. Same same, but different. The complexity is reflected in the total work of 10,000 images, and if wanted, „Schiele's Ghost“ will show itself to its viewers.

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STEPHANIE MEISL - S.MYSELLE

Media Artist

Stephanie Meisl started her artistic life in 1997 as a live performing visual artist. She witnessed technological change from analogue to digital, from landlines to mobile phones and now she is starring at the abyss of AI, NFT, Blockchain and art. 
 

In 2018, she came into contact with the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) for the first time and processed it in 2019 in the visual installation "digital terrorism. 2.0".

In 2020, the theme of art and artificial intelligence manifested itself in an art residency at Schmiede Hallein. This research became an important basis for further artistic work under her new alias s.myselle.

 

With "OK, Computer. I want full manual control now", she takes a step back into her own past and seeks new ways of media art with AI technologies.

Her artistic expression does not follow fixed rules, but adapts to new working techniques. With the artist figure s.myselle, Stephanie Meisl interprets humans as humanoid intelligence whose data set (information archive) consists of personal experiences and adventures. Her preference for past art movements, artists and thinkers inspires the new works that emerge from them. By looking into the past, she tries to reshape the future and finds herself in a new digital avant-garde.

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MARTIN GASSER

AI/Music Artist

Trained as a computer scientist and musician/artist, Martin Gasser works on multi-disciplinary projects and focuses on Sound&Music.

Computing and on applications of Artificial Intelligence&Machine Learning technology to music, other media, and the arts

in general. His thinking is strongly human–centric. Machines should assist humans, not replace them.

Martin Gasser is well-versed in several programming languages, frameworks and major desktop operating systems. Furthermore, he is experienced in development for mobile and embedded devices. He is not only in academic as well as industry experience, but is also an avid musician.

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