Interview with digital artist Alfred Stoll

HAZE.GALLERY : Can you tell us about your background and how you first got into AI art?

Alfred Stoll:  I'm a digital artist, with a degree in architecture. In 2019 I started my first steps in art,  in August 2021 I had my first solo exhibition. In art I have always emphasized the digital creation of artwork, a process that has fascinated me since I was in high school. Before using AI I had experimented with digital collage, 3D modeling, animation and Augmented Reality. Those tools are still in my possession today. In my work I started to use artificial intelligence in the spring of 2022, when the first Midjourney AI apps started to gain popularity. Since then AI has been one of my main tools for creating art.

HG : How do you approach the creative process when working with AI technology?

A.S. : I approach the creative process as an experiment, as I do in all my creative work as well as in my work with AI. Often these are aesthetic-moral experiments exploring the boundaries of social constructs and patterns. AI technology itself is for me a digital tool that helps to reflect the questions I ask of the world in visualized answers.
HG : What are the biggest challenges you face when creating AI art, and how do you overcome them?
A.S. Moral and ethical norms have reached here as well. The creators of AI art apps are restricting the standard user from a range of renderings of their requests that are unacceptable by the standards of social norms. This can severely limit visually meaningful forms for artists and their expression through a digital tool. However, every tool hides its limited capabilities, whether it is a paint brush or AI technology, and going beyond these capabilities is the skill of the artist.

HG:  Can you walk us through a recent project, from concept to completion, and the role that AI played in the project?
A.S: My last project “Prediction 000” which is also partly on the 3D Collective AI Art Exhibition by HAZE GALLERY, is entirely generated using AI technology. The project idea and concept itself came a little bit after the beginning of the creation process, tied the pieces together and provided the impetus to continue the project to its completion. The collection consists of 128 AI generative collages; dozens of variations are generated to create one work, select the most suitable elements, and then the elements are glued together. The project idea is based on the theory of the artist’s reflection of reality, where artists use their experiences, observations, and emotions to create artworks that express their perspective on the world. The project reflects the chaotic, undefined and violent nature of the non-binary ambivalent metamodern world, yet at the same time, it showcases the extraordinary depth, sensuality and sincerity of trying to feel the truth without the need to understand it.

HG: How do you see AI art evolving in the next few years, and what role do you see yourself playing in its evolution?

A.S: At this rate of technology, it is likely that what you now understand as artificial intelligence art will remain a tiny moment in the history of art, so it is very important to enjoy this moment and this aesthetic, free play, full of experimentation with forms, combinations and blending all the aesthetic baggage of humanity into one cauldron. It brings us closer and it is liberating. How long such a gift will be freely available remains to be seen. For the moment, it already sounds threatening to many of society's rigid structures and institutions.
HG: How do you balance the human element with the use of AI in your art, and how do you ensure that the final product reflects your artistic vision?

A.S: I always have a clear vision of what I want to end up with, there is only one main censor for me and that is something inside me that tells me that what I'm doing is either what I want to say at the moment or it's just visual rubbish.

Apart from that, over the years I've developed a recognisable style, a signature by which one can recognise my work. It comes with time that, of the various possibilities of expression, you find what you like and what you want to work with. To achieve a maximum desired effect with a small amount of means is the mark of an artist. Of all the above, in my art there is perhaps only a small part of the artificial intelligence factor as a co-creator, otherwise it remains a standard tool for me.

HG:. How do you stay on top of the latest AI technologies and techniques, and incorporate them into your work?

A.S: In the present times it is wise not to follow but rather avoid the flood of information which destroys everything on its way sometimes to the point of death. I always stay loyal and faithful to those whose work I like as well as to verified interesting sources of information. Just remember your information won't miss you and will come in time when you are ready for it.
HG: What advice would you give to aspiring AI artists who are just starting out?

A.S: "I can resist anything except temptation." - Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan.

That goes for anyone who would like to be an artist. If you can afford not to pursue art please don't pursue it. For those who have already started and can't see their way back, study styles from different eras, take an interest in the history of art, architecture and costume, find your favorite materials and forms from organic to artificially created or digital, don't be afraid to experiment and mix, reflect the surrounding world as best you can, keep trying and trying again and again.
HG:. How do you see AI art influencing other industries, such as fashion or advertising?

A.S: Advertising and fashion designers are already actively using artificial intelligence in their ideas and projects, so that AI is already directly influencing these sectors both as a visualization tool and as a co-creator. Art itself has always been the trendsetter in these fields; designers are always inspired by actual art and recycle it into a visually functional product, so AI art will be no exception.

HG: Can you speak to any ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI in art, and how you navigate those considerations in your work?

A.S: Modern ethics is that it is impossible to please everybody, and the main thing is to try not to offend anybody, and this is becoming difficult, because the Western society is in the phase of new romanticism and is pampered with sensuality, where again the main is the sensual aspect and humanity of the actions to the surrounding world. A prime example of such contemporary ethics is climate change, ecology and nature, which have become in the minds of people a single anthropomorphic object, which  humanism has also not spared and which urgently needs to be saved at any cost. 

Ethical considerations in art are the same as applying a beautiful AR effect to the face. The reflection that the artist proposes should always be clean and clear without correctors smoothing corners, even if this truth may stab someone in the rib.


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Text by Irina Rusinovich