Oct 082019

Scott Eaton giving creative AI lecture MaltaStill from ‘Entangled II’

I was privileged to be invited to speak again at the THU conference in Malta, this time on the main stage talking about my explorations using machine learning (AI) as a ‘creative collaborator’ in my artistic process. The talk, weighing in at a hefty 75 minutes, explored the genesis of this body of work, my early steps (and missteps) in this emerging medium, and how I’ve started integrating it into my artistic practice.

Scott Eaton Figures & Form AI lectureHyperbolic Composition I with drawing underlaid (left)

The talk included a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration, production and labour that went into the pieces for the Artist+AI: Figures and Form exhibition. I was also excited to show, for the first time, a number of my fun, early experiments that compelled me to dig deeper into the potential of these new tools.

Scott with mind map planning the Figures & Form exhibitionImportant musings from a sketchbook

Even though much of the talk revolved around how powerful these digital tools are, I am a firm believer in the intrinsic value of analog mediums and I am especially committed to drawing as means of visual exploration and ideation.

My sketchbooks (an armful shown below) are my visual playground – full of scribbles, sketches, nonsense, good ideas, terrible ideas, sprawling mindmaps, plans, studies, and lots of coffee stains. In one of those I rediscovered the original mindmap (above) where I was brainstorming ideas for this exhibition. Two years old, it foreshadowed about 90% of the work that was eventually produced for the show. The seeds were planted haphazardly on that page, and then grew in fits and starts over two years of technical and creative exploration until they were finally mature enough to exhibit.

Scott Eaton with sketchbooksKeep and use sketchbooks, but remember, you don’t have to show anyone what’s inside

Scott Eaton giving his Figures & Form AI lecture - Showing Humanity Fall of the Damned image Talking about the creation of ‘Humanity (Fall of the Damned’)