Gilbert

Gilbert

18-07-2022

10:33

Now that Midjourney is in open beta the deluge really begins. Their having chosen a Discord bot as their interface makes the path to over-saturation and Serious Midjourney Aesthetic Aversion so very short. Sit in the Discord for a while and it rapidly becomes inane.

Remember when Rudnick first posted Tombs on here the reaction was incredulous.

The word ‘drawing’ invokes a certain kind of graphic labour. An investment of time (more than of medium-specific skill necessarily) whose value primarily equates to *intent*. The proverbial 'trackpad all-nighter' narrative confers meaning because it is a marker of *intent*.

So now we have an intent disconnect. Of course there is a path around aesthetic banality by taking Midjourney image materials as input not output — by reworking and recombining them. Totally confident in that direction.

But it does seem to render intent abstract and diffuse in a way that I can't seem to formulate yet.

If Midjourney becomes the source of generic *found image* matter then the *found image* genre is de-contented. Midjourney is just the finding place, like a convenience store.

And if to *find* is the operative verb in the production of an artwork then finding at the finding place is not compelling.

The *matter* of the image becoming more diffuse creates difficult conditions for making images with intent.

For clarity, the *most* *opposite* of that diffusion might be something like this: Vladimir Shevchenko’s film documenting the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. The film was exposed to light *and* intense radiation.

Shevchenko’s image matter is so uniquely ultra-specific that it would unstoppably create conviction and intent in the artist that works with it.



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