Loving Grace ?

CG Images

This body of work uses computer generated images to challenge the notion of autonomous thought within digital manifestations of the future.

With the rise of text to image AIs like Dall-E 2,Midourney and Stable Diffusion one may believe that creative intent exists within the minds of these neural networks. The word promptcraft gives hints to the true inner workings of these algorithms. Prompt craft is the act of manufacturing the perfect sentence of tags,artists and adjectives to yield a perfect image from these systems. The prompt offers a suggestion of which areas of the large corpus of content that the AI holds to search though.

From Text to image networks to symphony writing algorithms they all use these huge datasets of human creative output to produce their results. The steps that the AI takes between input and result are still unknown to us. Described as 'an abstract multi-dimensional space containing feature values that we cannot interpret directly', this space acts as a black box in our understanding of thought within the machine.

To demonstrate this often blurred line between free action and human coding within the machine I examined the obscure notion of robot breath. While computer vision watches us through facial recognition systems and Google listens to our conversations for targeted advertising, it seems that the breath is the last refuge for the human that the machine cannot replicate.

Through the lens of robot breath the images of this project flip the reality of autonomous action within the machine back and forth between the miraculous and the coincidental.


“The Cougar 20-H is a robot with the ability to hear breath through walls. With funding from the U.S. military the robot is equipped with a panel of ultra-wideband radio frequency sensors, remote control functionality, and integrated cameras for day and night time visibility.

The robot that is so sensitive it can not only detect motion through walls but, to ensure no one goes unnoticed, it can also detect the breathing of a stationary person.”


All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

- Richard Brautigan


       Cultural importance:
It has been a Western tradition for someone to blow on the seedhead and think of a wish they wanted to come true.


© rory malone 2023