The internet is saturated with takes on the topic of artificial intelligence’s role in contemporary art, but few have made their point in as introspective and calming a manner as Zee Bashew does in his new animated short AI Art – Automation. A Working Artist’s Take.
The animation in the piece is minimalistic – many of the shots are still drawings – but it gets the point across and fits well with the stream-of-conscious story being told. Bashew’s overall message in the short is not anti-AI and he even says he’ll use AI tools in his own work, predicting that almost all artists will do the same at some point. Instead, he explains his dreams of a future in which artists can be compensated for the creative work used by AI companies to train their databases.
“I hope that we as a society find a way to incentivize people to learn real processes still,” he says, explaining that he’d prefer to live in that type of world rather than one in which data is scraped from unknowing artists without their consent.
After admitting that his hopes are perhaps too optimistic, Bashew suggests we take a moment to appreciate the world in which we live today, where artists can make a living. “Here and now, before process goes the way of the horse and buggy, we can sit and listen to the last generation of working artists.”
For music, Bashew used Nono and Anat Moshkovski’s instrumental “Un coin tranquille,” explaining, “I got it on Artlist (like most of the music on the channel) which is a royalty-free library that I understand pays their artists pretty well.”