Feeding Energy

A modern Madonna breastfeeds her Child on AI-integrated scene.

Feeding Energy (2022)   AI integrated photo

Feeding Energy (2022) AI integrated photo

Feeding Energy is a staged photo I realised for the Terna Prize I edition. I interpreted the contest’s suggested  theme “Driving energy” by imagining a modern Madonna and Child recharging her infant while recharging her electric car on a summer night. A double transmission of energy, one biological, the other artificial in a sort of symbolic, evolutionary and technological continuity.

It amused me to decontextualise this archetypical image and make it appear in the street with a cinematographic look between Pasolini, Nan Goldin and Gregory Crewdson.

The photo, however, is not entirely ‘human’: the background, half the column, half the pavement, half the car, the leaves are in fact generated/integrated with DALL-E 2’s  ‘outpaint’ tool, the TTI-based artificial intelligence algorithm.

I deliberately kept the AI-errors of the car as its ‘signature’ and I also made DALL-E 2 to freely and re-iteratively interpret the same image and generating variations of it. As the machine gathers errors over errors generating more and more twitted images, it somehow defines a weird style on its own and partly reveal its working.

Just as in psychiatric studies it is often the malfunctioning or alteration of the mind that reveals its ‘healthy’ or ‘normal’ functioning, so it is through the artificial intelligence’s errors that it is possible to deduce and interpret how it ‘thinks’, even, if desired, to favour anomalous results – which are the most interesting.