These 7000 Oaks Do Not Exist
(Celebrating 100 years of Beuys)
GAN art, NFTs, Installation, Books.
In 2020, I discovered the website www.this cat does not exist.com. It uses styleGAN to create new images, portraits of cats that actually are only interpolations from an existing database of cat images. Although my work since 2019 uses machine learning extensively, I also have concerns about the ecological impact that systems like machine learning and cryptocurrency have on the environment. In thinking about this cat does not exist.com, I wondered about Joseph Beuys' seminal work "7000 oaks" and whether that can be used as a framework for commentary upon machine learning in cryptocurrency.
In the spirit of the coming "100 years of Beuys" celebration I envisioned "the 7000 oaks do not exist", in which I took a database of over 250 oak trees on white backgrounds and generated the 7000 Oaks as the result of AI-based GAN image generation. Also in the spirit of Beuys' environmentalism, "my "7000 Oaks" could be expanded also to "might not exist (because of this GAN or NFT)..."
The installation, which consists of 14 document boxes filled with a print edition of these 7000 unique GAN-created images.
Another form is a 15 volume book set (the 15th volume being my critical research on the project.)
The third manifestation of the work is 14 InifniteObjects video objects of sequences of 500 Oaks.
And recently, I am minting an NFT of series of the oaks as a critical response to NFT and CO2 generation