Interviews | November 6, 2022 |

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Image courtesy of Peter Vanicsek and 3DAI Ltd

Interview: Peter Vanicsek sponsored by 3DAI Ltd
Luca Curci talks with Peter Vanicsek sponsored by 3DAI Ltd during the 11th Edition of CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2022, at Palazzo Bembo.

“Born in Budapest I worked as a designer, journalist, and travel/fashion photographer for many years for the world’s largest companies. I have always been attracted to minimalist photography to tell complex stories with few details.”

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Image courtesy of Peter Vanicsek and 3DAI Ltd

Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice? Where do you find your inspiration?
Peter Vanicsek –
I still remember my first foray into this new form of digital art. It was about 30 years ago, at a street market in a small village in Greece, that I captured a very simple photo of a basket of fish. But after developing the image I recognized that it all looked like a bunch of random grayscale impasto brush strokes on a canvas. And there, I fell in love with this level of abstraction immediately. Since then I kept exploring that special niche of art where I could push my pictures so far that only the core idea of the original photos remain recognizable. But at one point I couldn’t be more abstract with my photos, so I started to transform the images digitally into almost non-figurative, abstract spots and patterns. So decades later of course I became an early adapter of AI art also. In the summer of 2022 when artificial intelligence and text-to-image technology imploded into digital art tens of millions of pros and amateurs started experimenting with those top-secret prompts and short descriptions. So now we are in the midst of a worldwide search to put the “art” in artificial intelligence. This genius technology made it possible for me to further push the frontiers of digital art. Just imagine what Warhol could’ve done with this technology that is affordable for almost everybody now.

LC – What is art for you?
PV –
To be fair, there is a lot of debate going on about whether this is just some new dream tool for lazy creatives, or whether one day AI art will be mentioned among the other famous disrupting art trends. Some say artificial intelligence only copies existing images and styles. But it’s not true. In most developed algorithms there are 2-4 Billions small digital descriptions of different objects. So when you ask for a sunglass or a painting in the style of DaVinci it makes a so-called seed, a selection of parts it will use, and starts to build from tiny fractures the image. And it’s really very random. If you feed the AI the same prompts 10 times in a row you will get different results every single time. And it’s up to the artist to push the algorithm where they want it to go. Of course, AI is not in competition with paintings and sculptures. Nor should it be. AI is in a different league altogether, and the only thing that’s common is the emotions they evoke from the viewers. I strongly believe that we’re in the midst of a long journey to explore this fresh medium, but at the end of the road, AI art will surely be able to claim its place under the sun, with its own star artists and its own distinct visual culture. Of course, to accept AI as a valid presence in the art world, we need to be a little flexible. After all, this art form is not about the skills, the techniques, or the materials. But the algorithm is not the creator either. It’s only a tool in the hands of the artists. It’s the paintbrush of the 21st century. And what’s special here is the intention, recognition, selection, and digital post-production work. Because turning a bunch of pixels into something that looks like art is still a highly complex and uniquely human skill. In my opinion, Artificial Intelligence has a mind of a 5-year-old child that understands the words we use as prompts but does not necessarily recognize their full meaning and context. That’s why AI creates so wonderfully weird associations. And the artist’s job is to push it in directions where context, meaning, and storytelling elevate simple generated pictures into some kinda art. Actually, that’s great fun. Dali once said: “The fact that I myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand my own pictures, does not mean that these pictures have no meaning… all explanation arises a posteriori; once the picture already exists as a phenomenon.”

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Image courtesy of Peter Vanicsek and 3DAI Ltd

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
PV –
What I loved about your exhibition is the open-mindedness and the exploration of this new art style. I can’t tell you how happy I am seeing my pictures in the beautiful Palazzo BEMBO on Venice Grand Canal. It’s hard to imagine a better place for art.

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
PV –
My sponsor and partner 3DAI Limited is using a brand-new image creation technology to print 3D sheets as 2-3 millimeters thick images that give viewers a similar experience as when you look through a Venetian glass from Murano or through a piece of amber stone. Our pictures in your exhibition represent these kinds of novel technologies where the new meets the classical. And in the future, it would probably also be cool to create an homage to the legacy of this world-renowned glass art with 3D printing. Just an idea. Don’t tell the AI yet…

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us? 
PV –
Absolutely. You with your colleagues are pros on every level. I love the locations, the build-up, and the communication. We in 3DAI started to talk about the next exhibition.

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Image courtesy of Peter Vanicsek and 3DAI Ltd
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Image courtesy of Peter Vanicsek and 3DAI Ltd

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