An Artist’s Frustration: The Limitations of AI in Art

The intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and art has been both fascinating and controversial, captivating audiences around the world. However, one artist, known as Supercomposite, has decided to step away from this new technology due to its limitations and the toll it took on her creativity and well-being. In this article, we explore Supercomposite’s journey with AI art and the reasons behind her decision to leave it behind.

In 2022, Supercomposite, a Swedish-based artist and writer, delved into the world of AI art, eager to explore the new artistic possibilities offered by AI. Armed with tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DALL-E, Supercomposite was able to generate stunning images from written prompts. One of her noteworthy creations was a haunting female portrait called “Loab.” The image went viral on social media, sparking intense debates about ethics, aesthetics, and the role of technology in art.

While Supercomposite initially found joy in experimenting with AI to create art, she soon discovered the limitations and frustrations accompanying this process. Working with AI proved to be “very frustrating and very limiting,” according to the artist. The addictive nature of the dopamine rush experienced while generating new images became overwhelming. It felt like repeatedly pressing a button to receive results, which ultimately hindered Supercomposite’s creativity and productivity.

Supercomposite’s creation, Loab, took on a life of its own in the AI-generated realm. The artist utilized “negative prompts” to exclude certain elements from the image, resulting in unexpected and often haunting visuals. As Supercomposite continued to modify Loab and make new requests to AI, a strange trend emerged. Loab would vanish for generations, only to reappear alongside dismembered children in a macabre and bloody world. These shocking images were deemed too disturbing to be shared with the public.

The true origin of Loab and the AI tool used to create it remain shrouded in mystery. Supercomposite deliberately refrained from disclosing this information, fearing that it would shift the focus away from the art itself. Despite her intentions, doubts were cast upon the authenticity of Loab, with some suspecting manual alterations or the fabrication of a digital horror theme. However, Supercomposite vehemently denies these claims, considering them to be a compliment that indicates engagement with her work.

The intense journey with Loab and AI art took a toll on Supercomposite’s mental and emotional well-being. Feeling exhausted and burned out, the artist decided to step away from AI-created images and instead focus on writing a screenplay. The frustrations and limitations of AI were too much to bear, leading Supercomposite to echo the words of Nam June Paik, a video art pioneer: “I use technology in order to hate it properly.”

Supercomposite’s experience with AI art highlights the complexities and pitfalls of relying on technology to create art. While AI can offer exciting possibilities, it also comes with inherent limitations that can stifle artistic expression. The addictive nature of pushing boundaries and constantly generating new images can lead to exhaustion and a loss of creative drive. As the art world continues to explore the boundaries of AI, it is essential to acknowledge the challenges artists face and the emotional toll it can take. Perhaps, in the pursuit of art, there is value in embracing both the capabilities and the limitations of technology.


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