Blood on the Goban: Exploring the Myths of an Ancient Art

This article is a re-formatted extract from Issue #1: Birth, which you can read more about here.

Go, in its impenetrable elegance, is quite possibly the oldest board game that still sees widespread play. A product of ancient China, its popularity in East Asia far surpasses that of chess. In comparison, I’ve heard Go’s complexity equated with that of a war; opposing the self-contained battles fought on a chessboard. Though exaggerated, there’s some truth to that analogy, which has helped Go to maintain its appeal for over twenty-five centuries. In fact, it was once considered a founding art of the Chinese aristocracy.…   [continue reading]

Issue #1: Birth: A Final Announcement and Update

Several months ago, we announced our first physical zine. Since that announcement, Benjamin and I have been working hard to make Issue #1: Birth a reality. On the same day as this post’s publication, we’ve made our final order for the complete batch of debut issues. Once we’ve received them, we’ll send out individual copies to our subscribers. With its release just a few days away, this post will take a look at each of the zine’s talented contributors. In addition, I’ll detail a few of the difficulties we’ve encountered in the process, and how they’ve helped us to develop.…   [continue reading]

Caedmon: Creating Creativity (Maurizio Fusillo Interview)

This article ties in to a podcast I recorded with Maurizio Fusillo, the creator of Caedmon, available here.

At Secret Cave, we’ve always had an obsession with the output of artificial intelligence. Across a variety of fascinating bots and other projects, it’s been shown that their artwork is more than worthy of scrutiny. Since the birth of the internet, and the entropic prevalence of technology over the past century, the capabilities of such bots has improved at a vast rate. It’s allowed certain older ideas, about the creation of art without emotion, to be explored in the depth they deserve.…   [continue reading]

Stefan Bohacek on AI and Pareidolia (SCP Mini)

This week, Benjamin brought out an SCP Mini based around his interview with Stefan Bohacek. As the founder of BotWiki, he’s someone with an impressive knowledge on the nature of artificial intelligence. In this video, he highlights an interesting phenomenon. Pareidolia is the force in our minds which makes us see faces in toast, or on the surface of Mars. When applied to interaction with bots, it can have a profound impact on our perspectives. Despite knowing that an AI is a construct, with clear limits to its capability, we can easily project humanity onto them regardless.

However, the uncanny valley always snaps us out of it eventually.…   [continue reading]

Neural Network Art: From AI Nightmares to Alien Volcanoes

As we’ve seen from many Twitter bots, software is more than capable of creating captivating art.

But art created by neural networks moves past basic random patterns, using millions of source images, and AIs so advanced they can create surreal landscapes from scratch, paint portraits of dog-men and model alien volcanoes on planets we can’t closely observe.

In this post, I’m going to explain how neural networks — software designed to emulate the human brain — generate images, and speculate what that could mean for the future of art and entertainment.

…   [continue reading]

The Art and Nonsense Poetry of Obscure Twitter Bots

Art and curation left in the hands of scripts and algorithms is fascinating, and nowhere more accessible than when on Twitter. There are a handful of bots that tweet varied and interesting art. Art that makes you wonder how useful humans are anyway, other than for coding thousands of these things.

Some bots on this list drip out material from a database, while some procedurally generate art, or mash up existing material in new ways.

My obsession with machine curated/created art has led me to hunt for more and more Twitter bots, and I’ve found and followed some great ones so far.…   [continue reading]

Hatewatching: The Silent Taste-Maker

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

Some of us may not discuss it, but we all do it; to some extent.  Hatewatching is an odd phenomena that seems to be an offshoot of general rubbernecking.  More than the human thrill of seeing a metaphorical train-wreck, a good hatewatch can be delicious in its provocation.  After all, anger and hatred are powerful emotions.  If you consider emotions of similar strength to be one of the main thrusts of art, as I do, then it’s certainly a viable avenue to explore.  As sentient beings, it’s natural for us to want to discover our feelings.  …   [continue reading]