ML Goya etchings & other updates

VisionarIAs

Dear reader,
This past year, I have been working on a series of prints based on the work of Francisco de Goya. Specifically, I’ve produced these prints by training a machine learning model on etchings from Los Caprichos, Los Desastres de La Guerra, & Los Disparates. These prints were finally exhibited this past week at the Etopia Center for Art & Technology in Zaragoza, Spain.

This work started with an acceptance to the VisionarIAs residency at Etopia last January. My intent was to work with Museo Goya Fundación Ibercaja to experiment with machine learning and their archive of Goya’s work. But, like so many of you have experienced, plans for 2020 did not happen as expected. So what was to be an in-person residency became a long-distance, asynchronous, online residency. Although I obviously would have loved to be in Zaragoza, I am so very grateful to Etopia, Museo Goya, and curator, Blanca Pérez Ferrer for facilitating this process despite all of the unexpected set-backs.

In training a machine learning model (Generative Adversarial Network) on Goya’s etchings, I was interested in generating images that would still reflect the aesthetic essence of the originals. While the generated images are quite abstract, features such the use of chiaroscuro and the compositional structure still carry through.

In terms of the printmaking process, I was able to translate machine generated images into etching plates through laser-cutting them into plexiglass. I then used these plexiglass plates to create intaglio prints (big shout out to Kyung Eun You at Lower East Side Printshop for teaching me how to do Intaglio!).

Here are some photos of the exhibition, the work, and my process…

Additionally, I have a few other updates:

1. I’m moving you all from Tinyletter to Substack. There seems to be some talk about Mailchimp (who bought Tinyletter) shutting it down, so I figured I’d move on ahead of time. As always, please feel free to unsubscribe at any time.
2. I’ve deleted my social media. Specifically I’ve deleted my instagram (where I think a lot of you found my newsletter). If you are interested to know more about how and why I deleted it, I’ve written a blog post about it!
3. And because I have deleted my instagram, here are some photos of my children…

Sending you all lots of love, good health and hope,
Aarati