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AI (Art Index)
James Tunks

AI (Art Index), James Tunks

AI (Art Index), James TunksAI (Art Index)
James Tunks
Perimeter Editions


First Edition of 400
120 pages
200 x 130 mm
ISBN 9781922545138


How far can the resonances of art history, shared cultural knowledge, and language echo in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning? Can such rapidly developing technologies play a meaningful part in the broader art historical schema? These are some of the questions that AI (Art Index), the new book from Vienna-based Australian artist James Tunks, broaches in its dialogue of historical texts, images, and their machine-generated counterparts.

Exploring the format of an art history textbook, the project uses the language of artworks as its starting point, combining original works from museum collections with images created by cutting up and fragmenting various written resources from museum collections – artwork descriptions, keywords, and exhibition texts – before feeding them into machine learning text-to-image generators. The results prove provocative and perplexing, teetering between improbable likeness and alien flourish.

The application of techniques such as machine learning and AI image-making tools not only raises the question of whether machines can truly think, but also whether they have the capacity to interpret and visualise abstract ideas and concepts synonymous with the history of art. In this re-reading of some of art’s canonical signposts and footnotes, AI (Art Index) helps open a new line of communication. 

About the Artist
James Tunks was born Australia, 1988. Lives and works as a photographer in Vienna.

About the Publisher
Perimeter Editions is the award-winning publishing imprint of Melbourne-based bookstore Perimeter Books and distribution house Perimeter Distribution. Releasing its first publication in 2012, Perimeter Editions’ focus rests on publishing autonomous books in close collaboration with photographers, artists, curators and writers. Its publications exhibit a criticality and sensitivity to content and form.