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Albert Barque-Duran painting on a tiny board
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My artificial muse

City researcher and artist to paint innovative AI-designed mural at Barcelona festival

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

A researcher from City, University of London is using an Artificial Intelligence ‘Muse’ to create the first mural/Fresco designed entirely by a computer at the Sónar+D Festival in Barcelona.

Taking place between the 14 and 16 June, Dr Albert Barque-Duran from the Department of Psychology at City will use a Neural Network designed by Mario Klingemann to paint a huge mural/Fresco based on the design shaped by the machine.

Using what is known as a ‘pose-to-image approach’, the Neural Network is fed with a stickman figure, which is the most simplified and abstract version of a Muse, based on classic paintings. From this simple figure, the machine is then able to create a painting from the input. At the same time, the installation will perform a projection on how the neural network by Mario Klingemann generates new paintings with the aim to give a glimpse into the process behind it.

The collaborators hope that the piece will help people to discuss how to integrate Artificial Intelligence as a creative collaborator in artistic processes, and the project also hopes to explore whether a computer-generated muse be as inspirational as a human-like one. The project is sponsored by “laCaixa” Banking Foundation.

Speaking about the project, Albert said:

“My Artificial Muse aims to be a disruptive project by using Artificial Intelligence as a creative collaborator in artistic processes. We believe that combining classical techniques such as mural/Fresco Paintings to reflect about contemporary and futuristic topics is really powerful, and in the course of doing so, it helps the public better understand a technology that will increasingly be a part of their lives, used to make decisions about them and the world around them.”

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