Chinese Ink is a generative installation in which electronic ink screens are displaying real-time streamed outputs of an AI system, trained on images of inkblots and set to generate visually similar images, producing dozens of samples per second.
The AI system is a generative-adversarial artificial neural network that is trained on a dataset of nearly a thousand blots of ink splashed onto watercolour paper. The installation calls on the traditional chinese ink wash painting technique. However, it is not directed towards stylistic connotations or iconography of Eastern cultural tradition, in focus instead is the ink itself, its material qualities and ontology. With this project Egor Kraft questions the ways in which the chinese ink technique continue to survive through the stages of ever-expanding industrialization. The work is a visual meditation on tracing the links between traditions, technologies, time, and techno- industrial processes leading to automation and new tools bringing forth new emerging aesthetics, as they derive from formerly dominating visual languages.