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Ludica Futura (2022) by Vittorio Bonapace

Will our continued reliance on rapidly growing machine intelligence reshape future human creativity in its own image?

With his animated painting Ludica Futura, digital artist Vittorio Bonapace offers us a glimpse of what such a "bright potential future" might look like. With a generous dose of humor, the artist often manages to marry a love for classic fine art composition with very topical science fiction ideas. Here he takes us on a journey to a classroom in the blessed year of 2090, where we can quickly decipher a robotically sculpted re-interpretation of Caravaggio’s iconic David with the Head of Goliath as a central focal point. A divine switch is thrown and a flickering electric sun throws its dusty beam on our main decor. The gentle timbre of philosopher Alan Watt’s voice’s fills our ears and instructs us on the (coming) superiority of artificial intelligence. A dunce cap wearing pupil clearly hasn’t understood said lesson, but with the promise of "I’ll be good" he can now repent as his mechanised instructor points out the error of his perhaps too human ways. His classmates are clearly more eager to join the (r)evolution, although as the artist cleverly points out with his off and on use of illustrative illumination, the electronic anklets they all wear might point to a potentially less than utopian society.

The beguiling combination of 3D and 2D that has become Vittorio’s trademark also receives some artificial enhancement, as very fittingly all the works featured on the back wall were made using AI tools. I really enjoyed Bonapace’s clever take on a very actual debate, where we are becoming masters in teaching machines to create like us, but perhaps might face a reversal of fortune as the independence of our mechanical partners grows. Will machines really see the world like us or will we start seeing the world like machines? With artists like Vittorio around, we can certainly look forward to being mesmerised by more fascinating interpretations of these dilemmas as that eternal clock ticks us forward towards the fated 18th of December 2090. I hope some of you might still be around to see if this vision then becomes reality.

Vittorio Bonapace


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