good artist copy, great artist steal

Algorithmic Alchemy

Creating New Beauty

with Neural Networks

and complex Algorithms

a sorta artistic devlog...

Work for Rotterdam-Zuid Spring Expositions

Verbondenheid (2022)

Eenheid (2022)

Alertheid (2022)

Creating Generative Art with the Subbody-Butoh-Method with text-to-image Neural Nets and Tatsumi Hijikata's Butoh-Fu...

a research project...

At the end of January 2022, my grand daugther Tala (17) showed me Wombo Dream, an app (and webapp) with a simple interface that lets anyone play with a simple text-to-image system.

Wombo Dream is a great (is't network knows a lot about Art and Visual Artists), it is easy to create something that looks appealing, but it was not creating art to my liking. Let's say it has a high kitsch output.

But it was a lot of fun, and invites co-creation and games. We played 'Guess the three words', and even more fun, every participant writes down one word, and we see what the combined spell (called the prompt) will magick up from the system. Try it and invent your own games...

I call the prompt a spell, because it is like a set of magick words. It took time and a lot of trial-and-error, to find out what combination of words seeds the creation that I was aiming for.

We (the AI and me) created more than 700 wombo's, some successful, most of them nice but boring.

See the 3 examples...

Since 2007 I studied Butoh, and during the research, I encountered butoh-fu, the notation that Tatsumi Hijikata (founder of the Butoh Movement)

In 2015, during a workshop in den Haag, Natsu Nakaima told us that for 'Butoh, in essence, is the effect of words on the body' *

Note, it is effect on the body, not on the mind.

Rhizome Lee, a Japanese butoh teacher who lives in India, feels that the body contains the subconscious.

He teaches that this subconscious, which he calls the darkness of the body, contains the seeds for all creation.

Basically, he puts his student performers in a trance. Then exposes them to words trigger the subconscious of the performer, and make the performer move and create novel beauty...

Soo, being bored with Wombo, I found another system, Nightcafe Studio. It gives better pictures, has a much better network, and playing with his I realized I was doing what I learned to do with my butoh students. Carefully observing their subconscious as expressed by the body, and tuning the words to get to some in interesting creation.

With the AI I was doing the same, and it stared to work for me. I found some spells to get into the darkness of the AI, it's subconscious.

And yes, feeding nightcafe Hijikata's butoh-fu creates interesting stuff

But the best found was Disco Diffusion...

The best one for Cyber Subbody Butoh, that is...

Sorry, at the moment I can only express this in subbody code...

This is one frame of DD's interpretation of the Whereabouts Qualia * (Quiet House)

*This is the word Qualia, as it is understood within the framework of Subbody Butoh. The concept can only be understood by moving the body, I am afraid. Luckily for the brave, there are a few Subbody Midwifes that still teach this technique.

Anyhow, I feel that the AI here equals us humans in understanding what Hijikata was about, but then she has the virtual body of our pictures that were scraped...

...that virtual body can be midwifed

Feel Free to help by PayPalling to

Really, I am a 'poor old bastard living in a squad in de Wielewaal in Rotterdam Zuid'

And a beggar...