I know that many artists out there are struggling to understand how AI is going to impact themselves and their livelihoods. I am writing this article in hopes that it helps artists to remember who they are in the world, their role in the human drama, and the importance of their teachings, either as professional art teachers or as those who practice the life of being an artist, as an example to all, in form and function, in energy and heart. I speak from the belly of the beast here. I know what is going on in the mind of the tech world, and it will be greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Many artists will surrender and give up to the AI. I am not speaking to those artists.
First let’s be clear about art. Art is about lovemaking. It is an act of self-love and is the ultimate expression of the Whole through the individual. But we all know that it takes time and process to get there, to find full self-expression. The beginning years require a lot of work, learning skills, imitating artists that came before us. This is part of the process. My kids, who are budding artists, spend most of the time imitating what they see and what they hear from other artists. My eldest is just beginning to emerge, to find her own sound as a musician. She can feel it too – the other day she commented on her bass solo the other day: “I really felt myself on a whole other level, mom.”, she said. We emerge from the pre-existing world eventually, and that is the beauty of any emerging flower.
Back to AI.
AI imitates art. It only learns through imitation. The AI itself doesn’t experience or know the growth, the healing, the sense of love and adoration that creating art brings. And AI will not be able to give people that experience of creation that we all know, in our hearts, is the secret to the mystery of life, for creation is the essence of our fundamental process, the motion of love, and the exhilaration of birth – for SELF. For we are born twice: the first birth is the physical birth of our body. The second birth is the birth of the world as SELF, connected to the soul, and to Source. If AI ever took over humanity, humanity would absolutely perish from the cessation of creation and the mental insanity and disease that would erupt. When we stagnate, when our energy becomes stuck in any way, we cease to expand, and we cease to create. But art gives us the hammer to destroy the old, and bring us into being. it is the most powerful tool of life, because it is the essence of living and of the breath. Just as a tree must grow upwards, so too must our consciousness.
So, while we begin as artists by imitating, by learning from past artists, it doesn’t end there. If it were just a skill that we could teach, that would be easy for us to learn, and easy for us to learn life; it would also be easy for me to train an AI learning model how to be a budding new artist. But the artist isn’t entirely like a machine because the creation process isn’t linear nor is it three dimensional; it’s a process that is the culmination of various experiences, impressions, thoughts, and feelings that come and go inside our experience of life at varying levels of consciousness. That whole, that inner experience is what we want to express as artists. The medium, the technique is just a means, not the end itself, even though it is what we learn first. As the artist expands in consciousness, the possibilities of different techniques and media emerges. Furthermore, the product of creation (the artwork) doesn’t contain or reveal to an outsider the actual process of creating it. You can’t find Van Gogh’s process for creating Sunflowers by analyzing his work. Like a flower in the garden, there were days and nights and insects and birds and death that contribute it, every second of every moment. So, while a machine could learn to imitate and synthesize various art works, it will never be able to derive or learn the art process, which is the most joyful, rewarding, and educational thing about creating art, and is exactly the process of expressing and emerging from what you used to think about yourself. In fact, the more you grow and expand, the more you no longer feel as if you are doing anything to create the art. Something else is moving through you – something beyond what the mind can know, something that is actually who you really are, beyond thought, beyond mind, beyond ego.
This is why art is an act of self-love that takes lifetimes to evolve- and is where we begin to see that we are not machines, not monkeys, and not dust. When the young artist transitions from imitation into self- expression they begin to uncover layers and layers of uncharted territory of possibility – the world does in fact become their treasure. The skill part, the teachable part, the part the AI can train, is just the surface. Teaching people how to prompt AI to imitate an artist is fine – they can do that – but they will accomplish so much more if they learn the skills and find the inner power to create on their own using techniques that have been discovered by the masters. In an age that has serious problems with mental illness, the art process offers healing, self-reflection, self-love, and love of others as well, and an expansion of consciousness that cannot happen otherwise. It is similar to gardening. You can continue to shop for your food at the grocery store, but learning how to grow your own food? The act of gardening, its failures and its rewards, opens up our inner connection to the earth, to life, to birds, insects, to finding awe in the power of nature and the connection to all creatures – that cannot be found through a prompt except maybe in an intellectual sense.
Artists are treasures – all of them, not because we can imitate them, but because they set the beautiful example to all of us of how to express the mysteries of life – and so how to cultivate self-love and love each other. This is the consummate good that all artists bring to the world – whether they want to give their art to feed the AI beast or not. All artists are going to have to make a choice – will they give up their passion for art, at the feet of the AI beast, or will they travel more deeply inward, to find their humanity and to help others do the same?
As artists, your life is up to you to create or destroy.
AI can actually be a useful tool for getting immediate product, just like any other rapid development tool. But that is all it is and nothing more; people will use it to create interesting things, usually with a view towards making something economically sensible for themselves. It will not be used in the way art is intended to use – it will not teach human beings how to be the creators in their lives. Unfortunately, like any other instrument of power, humans will misuse AI and even do damage to billions of people on the planet if it serves them. So far, I have seen very little expression any consciousness regarding AI’s limitations in relation to the good of human life. Instead, I hear fear; I hear human arrogance; I hear how much people have lost connection to life and living, for the sake of technology.
In the end, AI will never replace the organic function of art or artists in the world. It will never replace that beloved, very special teacher that can guide souls from being young and raw into being tremendous forces of expression in the world. The joy and freedom in the process of learning and becoming who one is through true self-expression is priceless and cannot be controlled, simply because love cannot be controlled.
The day that AI does control us or overrides our sense for love, for Self, for Source, is the day when creativity and creation shuts down, and we will experience a nightmare of misery beyond anything we could ever imagine. This nightmare will be in the hearts of minds of individuals who are lost, as so many already are — only with AI it will be much, much worse.
I really see that the artists, the creatives are the last bastion of hope here to keep life analog, and protect that life, this world at all costs. Many of the people who support AI without question or concern are demanding that all humans submit to their “new normal”, that infamous catchphrase of the past three years. I am here to remind you to not surrender to anything but your art, your creativity, and your own life. That is how you connect to the Whole; that is how you embody love; that is how you feed and nourish the earth.
3 thoughts on “Art and Art-ificial Intelligence: Never Surrender”
I have always felt that my art and art making, for me, was a sacred personal experience. At some point, though, years ago, I tried exposing at galleries and boy what a tough thing to go through! I did not need to earn my living off of my art, so I was freed from enduring that art-gallery experience for too long! I had initially been full of starry-eyes at that time and felt I wanted to “share” my work with others, but the “business” of art was too crushing for my soft-gentle spirit! I was happy to pull myself out of it in due course, even though I had some successes!
Today, my art is a sacred-solo adventure into true creativity, abandon and connection to spirit! I have no need to show or share it with the world, and this has freed me in enormous ways and been deeply healing.
Today, I spend my days honing my artistic skills and revelling in the shear joy of the creative process.
Today, I feel that the time, unfortunately, has not yet come for the true creative process to be seen and understood by humanity at large, for the glorious thing that it is and I patiently await a time or a lifetime (maybe not this one) where artists will be seen and heard and understood for the gifts they create and the gifts they bear for all of humanity to benefit! I await this time and long for it. I spend my days visualizing this new world and creating in it. It is a gloriously divine space, an inner-world, where I create freely, exploring the truth of all of it!
Thank you, Anastasia, for your deep understandings which you share so graciously with all of us! 🦋🌻
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Thank you, Mary, for sharing. I truly believe that creators are here to learn to create at all levels. We are alchemists in the making – that is why we are all always targets for destruction in all ages. Art is Love and Love is something they need to defeat in order to achieve complete control,
““The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been inside the Ministry of Love, nor within half a kilometer of it. It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine-guns nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons” – 1984, George Orwell
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Yes indeed, art is love. We are all creators of love. Very beautiful! Thanks, always. 🦋