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From February 07–11, 2019

Infinite Skulls

Robbie Barrat, Ronan Barrot

© Avant Galerie
An exceptional encounter between a contemporary painter and an artist, researcher in artificial intelligence

450 paintings of “Skulls” which Ronan Barrot has painted over the last few years have been digitally scanned so that Robbie Barrat could train a neural network to create new images of «Skulls» from these 450 works. Once this neural network (a type of GAN) has learned to create new skulls, a near infinite amount can be produced. Robbie Barrat creates images that Ronan Barrot never saw but that his hand could have created.
Artificial intelligence is able today to create new images. The question arises of their status: Are they works of art in their own right? Are they possible inspirations for the artist? Are they the beginnings of a new artistic field? Is the algorithm capable of creativity?

This exhibition shows that, contrary to what was read in the media during the spectacular sale at Christie’s, the machine does not create alone. Not being gifted of consciousness, the machine can not think. But it opens up a new field of possibilities, introducing a reflection on the act of creation in itself and the status of the images it generates.
Do these images create a new creative space for Ronan Barrot or do they provoke in him an irrepressible desire to «rework» them for them to become his? Can the painter continue to create serenely against the production of infinite images of the machine?
This exhibition demystifies the role of artificial intelligence in the creative process by showing the place of man at all crucial moments of its development. Neither magical nor sacred, these images coming from the artificial intelligence are above all the fruit of a human intention.
Instigating a meeting between Ronan Barrot’s works, very thick in paint, and the production of images generated by Robbie Barrat, all in pixel, thanks to an artificial intelligence, seemed to us a possible way to approach these questions, without predicting the answers…
Ronan Barrot will soon be able to proclaim the paternity of 9 billion skulls created by Robbie Barrat!

Written by L'Avant Galerie, reviewed and corrected by Milan Deroubaix.

Selected artworks




Outside events