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German astronomer, mathematician and philosopher Johannes Kepler wrote the book Somnium in 1608.
In this novel, which is regarded as the first science fiction book in history, Kepler mixes knowledge with fantasy in a time when the sciences were young and naive, and the line between hard truth and creative imagination was indistinct more often than not. The pseudo-figurative creations of Ganbrood blend abstract and figurative shapes and patterns by amalgamating classic and modern elements of culture, art and mythology through the use of Deep Learning, image synthesis software. Working with a multitude of different algorithms trained on billions of images, Ganbrood scrutinizes the essence of creativity and is trying to discover if what has always been regarded as exclusively human, could be replicated by artificial intelligence. Using the algorithm as his silicon muse, his works are walking a mystifying tightrope between abstraction and figurativity, bred from the Latent Spaces where his fantasies and memories coincide with the vast multi-dimensional possibilities of the neural networks.
Bas Uterwijk aka Ganbrood, (1968, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) has a background in special effects, 3D animation, videogames, and photography. Mostly self-taught, he has always been involved in forms of visual storytelling that imitate and distort reality. Since 2019 he combined his different skills and experiences when he started working with generative adversarial networks (GANs): Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence based software that interprets and synthesizes photographs. With the help of these neural networks, he constructed photos that were never recorded by an actual camera. Portraits of people that lived before the camera was invented or people that never existed. Since early 2021, he has been minting Non Fungible Tokens on the Tezos blockchain. His latest series of artworks are more abstract: "pseudo-figurative" pieces in which he interrogates GANs on creativity and their ability to disrupt human visual recognition. The phygital works in the "S O M N I V M" series are available through Kate Vass Gallery. More information in this catalog.