This Art Exhibit Is Bringing New Life to Allen Ginsberg’s Poetry Using AI

black and white image of Allen Ginsberg in a crowd, whose poetry is now being created by AI

The Ginsberg Estate is using AI to revive Allen Ginsberg’s legacy through poetry. Soon, the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles will host an exhibition showcasing poems generated by an AI trained on Ginsberg’s literary body of work. Let’s take a closer look at how the AI generates the poems, and what this means for artists after death.

TL;DR:

  • The Ginsberg Estate is using AI to generate poems inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s literary body of work. These  will be showcased in an exhibition at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles.
  • The AI-generated poems are created using an AI-powered camera that turns visual imagery into text.
  • The exhibition, titled ‘Muses & Self,’ is a collaborative effort involving the gallery, NFT poetry gallery, the digital community TheVERSEverse, and the support of the Tezos Foundation. 
black and white image of Allen Ginsberg in a crowd, whose poetry is now being created by AI

Photo by Cyril H. Baker/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Who is Allen Ginsberg?

Allen Ginsberg is the writer behind the 1955 poem ‘Howl’. This poem challenged societal norms, and also inspired the Beat Generation literary movement. To clarify, the Beat Generation was a literary subculture stated by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. Unfortunately, Ginsberg passed away in 1997, at the age of 70. However, his impact on the world of poetry and literature still lives on today.

Muses & Self: Photographs and AI Poetry

Starting August 10th, the Fahey/Klein Gallery will host ‘Muses & Self’. This exhibition is a collection of photographs from Ginsberg’s personal achieves. Alongside the photographs, the gallery will show ‘A Picture of My Mind: Poems Written by Allen Ginsberg’s Photographs’. These poems are AI-generated. To explain , the AI is trained using Ginsberg’s literary work. This is achieved by using an AI powered camera! The camera turns visual imagery into text – for example, you can take a photograph and receive ‘expressive text rated to the image’. The result is an innovative fusion of his iconic vision of American counterculture, poetic responses influenced by Ginsberg’s literary legacy, and the collective memory woven into the vast expanse of the internet. Then, AI artfully analyses all of these.

This exhibition will run through September. It is a result of a collaboration between the gallery, the NFT poetry gallery, and the digital community TheVERSEverse. The Tezos Foundation also lent its support to this visionary endeavor. The gallery eloquently describes the essence of this exhibition, stating, “Just as Ginsberg innovated with automated writing techniques and popular technologies, this collection of AI-generated poems taps the contemporary linguistic avant-garde to engage ritualistically, intuitively, and meaningfully with Ginsberg’s visual and poetic vernacular.”

AI Tools and Artistic Visions

The development of AI has exploded in recent months. Now, tools like Chat GPT and Midjourney have become the norm. However, the use of these AI tools has also impacted many artists and the way that they work. Some, like Claire Silver, have harnessed the power of AI. Others, like Greg Rutkowski, fight back against the use of AI in artwork, due to concerns of misappropriation and lack of proper credit.

Despite these concerns, the Gallery’s AI-powered poetry collection showcases how we can harness AI for creative innovation. This exhibition – supported by the Ginsberg Estate – assists Allen Ginsberg’s work to not only live on, but also to grow.

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