Top AI Artists You Should Be Following in 2021

Take a look at this list of top AI artists and explore how each artist integrates AI into their work and respective mediums in this new and exciting era of collaboration.

7 months ago   •   4 min read

By Olivia Lengyel

Art and technology have always been interconnected. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the new mediums being created with the help of artificial intelligence. Artists are now designing AI-enhanced experiences that were previously unimaginable.

We've put together a list of AI artists who we think are ushering in a new era of creative expression. As you learn how each of them integrates AI into their work we're forced to ask: What is the definition of an artist?

It seems like every era in art history has a period during which the establishment declares that something new is "not art" – this is almost predictable at this point. But AI-enabled mediums are here to stay and they're already creating a lot of controversy – most notably around Deep Fakes and other GAN-assisted artworks.

We hope you'll take some time to check out these other artists. We couldn't be more excited for the artistic work that machine learning is helping to create.

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Dance

Louise Crnkovic-Friis

Originally a dancer and choreographer, Louise recently shifted her focus to the intersection of somatic practice, machine intelligence, and neurodiversity.

Her most well known work is the paper β€œGenerative Choreography using Deep Learning” where she trained 5 hours of contemporary dance for 48 hours.

The model was able to learn the nuance of the dance style as well as the nuance of the dancer's movement to create a higher lever of choreographic cohesion rather than generating random sequences of movement.

Wayne McGregor

In the exploring the intersection of art and technology, Wayne McGregor and Studio Wayne McGregor focus on research and collaboration with dancers, writers, composers, producers, software engineers, visual artists, and scientists.

Studio Wayne McGregor has also opened a first-of-its-kind space in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the mission to be a place for making, developing creative practice, and collaboration across arts, science, technology, and research.

Digital Media

Ctrl-shift-face

Ctrl-shift-face is an anonymous artist based in the Czech Republic and has made a career for himself in deepfakes starting in April of 2019. They initially made a deepfake video for fun, and now has upwards of fifty videos. His advice on creating a deepfake is as follows, "You need a very powerful machine, time, patience, but, above all, skills." Read our interview with them here: https://blog.paperspace.com/faceswap-face-off-viral-video-creators-dr-fakenstein-ctrl_shift_face/.

Jesse Richards

Jesse Richards has gained recent popularity with his videos on TikTok and Instagram by featuring characters from hit shows and combining them with various TikTok and Hollywood celebrities. Richards has been creating videos since childhood and decided to pursue video making as a career after being introduced to and working with popular creators on Vine. Check out our interview with Jesse here: https://blog.paperspace.com/getting-real-with-deepfake-artist-jesse-richards/.

Music

David Cope

David Cope started integrating machine learning into his work in 1981 as a result of composer's block by writing a code that mimicked his sense of musical style. His initial attempted resulted in "vanilla" music that was technically adhering to his code, but to a trained musical ear, was not of the level he was satisfied with. In 1996, he published his book "Experiments in Musical Intelligence" where he described how he worked with the understanding that most western music is composed of twelve pitches of the equal-tempered scale and their octave equivalents, and that when he created new instructions lead to more sophisticated music. David is now a professor at UC Davis and teaches at the annual Workshop in Algorithmic Computer Music.

Yona

Yona is an auxiliary human created by the artist Ash Koosha and Isabella Winthrop. They created Yona with the goal to produce a series of auxhumans to alleviate the "mental turmoil" that many artists express while creating new works. Yona's music is created using software that generates both the lyrics and melodies and then a text to speech process to construct the voice, with Ash finalizing the songs with mixing and production.

Visual Art

Refik Anadol

Refik is one of the premier large scale visual artists in the industry today. His works can be seen in many public institutions in London, Dubai, Seoul, New York, Boston, Istanbul, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. With the help of software developers, computer scientists, engineers, and architects, his work is a reflection on the "challenges, and the possibilities, that ubiquitous computing has imposed on humankind, and what it means to be a human in the age of machine intelligence".

Sougwen Chung

Named Monaco's Woman of the Year 2019, Sougwen has made it her life's work to integrate robotics and AI into her artistic process. She uses Doug (Drawing Operations Unit, Generation Four) to follow her movements while drawing to created AI-assisted artworks that she would present in large venues such as a stage or gallery for a real-time presentation of her work. What is unique about Sougwen is how she is more interested in integrating the technologies in a physical way, rather than the digital ways that most artists are using AI.

Considering we are just on the horizon of exploring how technology and art interact with each other, we can’t even imagine where this collaboration will go within the next decade. Let us know which artist inspires you the most, or if we're missing any outstanding work that's premiered this year.

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