Issue #2: Breath: General Updates and News #2

You can find some more background on Issue #2: Breath here!

Since posts have definitely been slower here this year, I feel it’s only fair that we show why. We stated our heavier concentration on Issue #2: Birth in this previous post. But, with so much going on in the background, it’s about time we gave an update.

Several contributions have already come in, and received full page formats from Benjamin and I. Neither of us can believe the quality of submissions this time around, and we’ve tried to live up to that with our designs. Last week, we worked on a three-page spread exploring the art of Katrine Claassens.…   [continue reading]

Written in Stone, When All Stones Erode

Often, we think of an artwork as absolute. Picasso’s work, for example, is simply Picasso’s work; unchanged over time. We’re aware that a digital JPEG of a painting will lose all of its tangible resonance, such as its finer brushstrokes. Yet, we still consider it to be a fair representation of an essential absolute. Those with a passing interest in art may even have some peripheral sense that a long life would naturally degrade the brilliance of a piece. But, outside of the exclusive world of art criticism and appreciation, it’s rare for us to consider the ways that an individual expression can evolve.…   [continue reading]

The Work of Art in the Age of Microsoft Paint

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

As Microsoft throws Paint into the digital wasteland with the rest of the internet’s abandonware, it’s hard not to get nostalgic about the simple graphical editor that influenced the “shit is good” aesthetic of the early 2000s internet. Its influence on internet culture is huge, with obvious examples being rage comics, stoner comics, and any image macro with awkwardly superimposed text and graphics.

Digital art that looked like shit started out as a necessity, yet slowly became a preference. Even today’s memes hark back to the days where the best material was thrown together on Paint in a matter of minutes.…   [continue reading]

SCP3 #11 – Zine

Click here to hear SCP3 #11 on YouTube.

Since Benjamin and I recorded a bonus podcast detailing our first tape release, we thought we’d do a longer episode on Issue #1: Birth itself. Throughout this conversation, we discuss the zine page by page. We wanted to give some of the background behind the talents involved, and why we chose them. Each of the artists provided wonderful work, and deserves a spotlight. There are also some good stories behind some of our meetings. The intention is for listeners to have a copy of the zine open during this podcast, for some more context on our dialogue.…   [continue reading]

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]