Fusion: Landscape and Beyond 2.0 is an AI art installation that explores the concept of "AI memory" in real-time through the lens of Chinese urban and natural landscapes. By reimagining the traditional Chinese brushwork technique, Cun, the artwork creates a continuous visual calligram of synthetic Chinese city images, transforming these urban scapes into artificial nature. Viewers interact with the piece, revealing layers of the landscape and highlighting the human impact on nature. This artwork merges the digital with the real, underlining the shared existence of humans, AI, and the environment, and fostering an ecological dialogue.
"Fusion: Landscape and Beyond 2.0" (2023) is an ambitious exploration into the potential of AI as a poetic and critical voice within our interactions with both urban and natural landscapes. Building on our 2022 project, "Fusion: Landscape and Beyond," this interactive art installation ventures into the concept of AI memory, viewed as a dynamic cultural institution that both interacts with and reshapes our perception of the environment.
Informed by the theory of Cultural Memory, we draw a parallel between the ever-evolving and responsive nature of AI's memory and its generative image algorithms, which adapt and react to diverse human instructions. Our installation, therefore, operates as a real-time visualization of AI memory, crafting a continuously evolving, texturally rich visual landscape of Chinese cities and nature.
In this project, the aesthetics of traditional Chinese landscape painting are intentionally employed to enrich our exploration. Chinese landscape aesthetics, deeply rooted in the philosophy of harmony between humans and nature, perfectly resonate with our endeavor to foster a dialogue about ecological balance. It also aligns with our ambition to fuse the past, present, and future perceptions of our environment.
Reinterpreting the traditional Chinese brushwork technique, Cun, we've devised a new model that amalgamates AI's understanding of city aesthetics with traditional brush strokes. The result is a visual calligram, a unique blend of text and image that blurs the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds. Our computer vision system, empowered by a self-fine-tuned Stable Diffusion model and Clip Interrogator technology, continuously generates a canvas of synthetic Chinese city images that mirror our tangible urban experiences.
These city images are subsequently transformed into an artificial nature, rich with Chinese landscape aesthetics. This is our interpretation of a calligram - a visual poem that captures the synergy of text and image, creating a contemporary landscape that is constructed from digital data but deeply tied to our real-world experiences and cultural heritage.
Viewers are invited to immerse themselves within this synthetic environment. As they traverse the installation, their bodies function as scanners, instigating the screen to reveal the underlying layers of the AI-generated landscape. With the help of simulated infrared imagery, we highlight the often overlooked human encroachment on the natural world, aiming to inspire a harmonious dialogue about the relationship between humans and nature, and awakening the unconscious to the importance of ecological balance.
"Fusion: Landscape and Beyond 2.0" blurs the lines between artificial intelligence and human cognition. Even though the memories and impressions are forged by AI, they resonate within our collective consciousness, emphasizing the symbiosis between humans, AI, and the world we jointly inhabit.