July 18, 2019
Scott Eaton, Contemplating Mass Unemployment II, 2019
There’s something intriguing about this Rodin-like image of intertwining bodies by Scott Eaton: it feels both very familiar in terms of the wider artistic canon, and strangely futuristic. Likely that’s down to the fact the piece, as with his other works, combines AI technology with traditional drawing and sculpture techniques. Eaton creates and trains AI software—dubbed his “Assistants”—to translate his drawings and animations into his figurative 2D pieces and sculptural forms. “For as long as humans have made art, the figure has been a primary focus of creative exploration,” says Eaton. “In each age new tools, techniques and styles influence how the figure is portrayed. Often the tools remain the same—pencil, charcoal, paint, clay—but the style changes—impressionism, cubism, surrealism, abstract expressionism. At certain times, however, there are seismic advances in technology that create entirely new possibilities for representation—photography, moving image, animation… and now AI.” The piece was recently shown at Somerset House’s show of Eaton’s work, Artist+AI: Figures & Form in the Age of Intelligent Machines.