In an era where artificial intelligence is starting to help realise the wildest imagery, the work of one of its trailblazers helps us focus on its power to communicate a certain transcendental human feeling.
With the aid of a proprietary enhanced version of Google’s ‘DeepDream’, digital art pioneer Daniel Ambrosi bends and blends a whopping 84 high resolution photographs together, all taken of the Kolob Canyon in Utah’s Zion national park. At its core it feels like this vibrant ‘Double Arch Alcove dreamscape' hopes to convey an almost out of body experience, sharing a sort of simulation of what the unique fireworks of internal neurons within the artist’s brain forged when confronted with the heart stopping aesthetic wonders that mother nature provided. Within a career spanning more than four decades, this piece so far is the only one where its creator used three distinct hallucinatory passes at three different scales, yielding a truly satisfactory result.
Seemingly embracing its own version of machine-driven post-impressionism, the exuberant hues and tints of the composition imbue the tableau with a continual sense of motion. It’s artificial enhancements somehow seem to solidify the vivacity of its subject matter while at the same time abstracting it, a tender balance that shows the difficulty of incorporating separate effects into one image. Staring at the surreal scenery I discovered the shape of an immense, imagined eye, it's pupil looking somehow both inward and outward, to the future and the past.
What I really enjoy about Daniel’s alternate panoramas is how they makes us question the fundamentally experiential nature of reality. It feels crucial that we as thinking beings explore different ways of seeing what’s in front of us and somehow finding ways of sharing those sensory observations with others. For isn’t art a lot of about sharing an internal experience externally? And regardless the technology, work like this even more underlines that we need human voices like Daniel’s, with his continued sense of wonder and eagerness to experiment, to be our guide in exploring these enhanced frames and giving soul to captured pixels.