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  • Foto do escritorRuy Cézar Campos

[imaginAIres] Strata: a geophotographic AI fiction

Atualizado: 9 de out. de 2023

I am currently reading the book 'Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings,' edited by Jack Flam, with the aim of gaining a deeper and more varied understanding of the potential contributions of the artist to a geological media thought. In 'Geology of Media,' Jussi Parikka identifies Robert Smithson as a foundation for an alternative media thought line to Marshall McLuhan and others, due to his focus on geology and the implications that geological thinking generates in the context of the Anthropocene recognition.

One of the texts that surprised me was 'Strata: a geophotographic fiction.' The text features a layout that plays with the relationship between text and image and provides a series of prompts that can easily be applied in artificial image generators today. I am not convinced that these image generators produce art as a result, nor do I believe that the imagery they evoke can correspond to Robert Smithson's imagination.

Nevertheless, I undertook the exercise of selecting 72 prompts offered by Smithson and inputting them into the Dall-E3 image generator for an assignment in the course 'Making a Life of Art,' offered by Nato Thompson at the Alternative Art School, where I am a fellow. Below is the list of prompts along with a selection of images. At some point in the future, I hope to write something about this exercise.

greensands accumulated over wide areas in shallow water

remains of a flightless bird discovered in a chalk pit

a display of plaster trriceratops eggs in a glass case

infra-red photographs of the gulf of geosyncline

data drilled from holes

a landslide of maps

tectonic islands surrounded by greem foam

a generalized geologic cross section showing magma offshoots

a diagram showing a fault zone, 1970s paper

a photograph of rotten diabase

evaporation causes land to shrink

a drawing of the skull of the repile elginia (related to pareiasaurus, from permian sandstone in englin, n.e. scotland, drawn to one-quarter natural size)

emains of slow waddling creatures found in russia and south africa

a vulcano is a spiracle to a subterranean furnace

dward fauna

aerial photographs of glaciation

daguerreotype showing vasts deposits of salt and gypsum

stratigraphic maps of oil deposits

photomicrographic studies of fossil frost

a spirally coiled band of teeth belonged to helicoprion

diorama of ash heaps

negatives of shelly organisms

photograph of limestones near bloomington, indiana

purely static shapes, flumps glimpses through the eyes of eriops

words sinking into the muck and mire

a camara obscura reproduces a paleologic map

diagram showing eustatic movement - rise and fall of sea level of 100 feet in 400,00 years

aquatint engravings of fossils

geography of the lower carboniferous period shown on an oval map, with black dots symbolizing land plants

slug like creatures glide over dead calamites

polished pieces of silica rock, fungal thread and resting spores

tree ferns decay into flora cemeteries

a faint illusionistic backdrop extends a false undersea landscape

fossiliferous rocks crumble in maine

huge quantities of pebbles, sand and mud

nothing but bland references to a vague set of geologic formations

the silurian night casts the nine foot sea scorpions into total darkness, where they lived mainly in estuaries and coastal lagoons

silence, darkness, and dismal perfection

coral breakdown

sodium chloride in the eyes

sponges with a framework of silica

painting showing an ordovician south dakota

a sort of jigsaw puzzle for geologists

x-ray view of an oil well

an illustration of the austral sea (blue on gray dots)

excavations at dinosaur national monument in northeastern utah

they ploughed their way through the mud

plaster restorations collecting dust in the museum of natural history

accumulations of waste on the sea bottoms

limp-looking crustaceans, dying by the millions

lime-secreting collenia

mountains of jelly fish

clouds made of paper

a drawing of cascadia drawn parallel to the pacific coast

half tone pictures of stratified rocks

photograph of banded red chert or jasper in the soudan minnesota (minnesota geological survey)

an aerial photo showing the drift of lava

geological ghcosts on the pages of a book on viruses

pouring tons of mineral matter into a lake

petrified scum on display

absence of oxygen

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