Tuesday 2 April 2024

The Illusion of Ownership: Digital Art's Existential Quandary

 You can't buy my art. It doesn't exist.

In a world where physical ownership is often equated with value, the realm of digital art poses a fascinating paradox—it exists, yet doesn't exist in the traditional sense. Schrödinger's art if you will. Unlike tangible artworks that occupy physical space, digital art challenges our notions of ownership and tangibility.

The essence of art lies in its ability to evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and challenge perceptions. However, digital art blurs the lines between the tangible and the intangible. It resides in the digital ether, accessible with a click, yet elusive in its formlessness.

While we can admire digital art on screens, share it with others, and even purchase digital copies*, the notion of ownership becomes nebulous. Unlike a physical painting or sculpture that we can possess, display, and pass down through generations, digital art exists in a realm where replication is effortless, and originality is often questioned. This is what I so love about it. Art as a commodity is just bollocks.

The concept of scarcity, which underpins the value of many physical artworks, loses its footing in the digital domain. With the ease of duplication and distribution, the scarcity that drives traditional art markets is diluted, challenging the conventional mechanisms of valuation.

Moreover, the intangible nature of digital art raises questions about authenticity and authorship. In a world where digital manipulation is commonplace, distinguishing between an original work and a reproduction becomes increasingly complex.

Yet, despite these challenges, the allure of digital art persists. Its fluidity allows for experimentation, collaboration, and democratisation of artistic expression. Artists can transcend geographical boundaries, reach global audiences, and engage in dynamic interactions with their viewers.

Ultimately, the paradox of digital art lies in its ephemeral nature—it exists in the digital realm, yet its impact transcends screens and pixels. While we may not be able to possess digital art in the traditional sense, its influence on our culture, creativity, and imagination is undeniable.

In embracing digital art, we confront the evolution of artistic expression and redefine our relationship with the intangible. As we navigate this ever-changing landscape, we are reminded that the true essence of art lies not in its physical form, but in the emotions and ideas it inspires. It is the ultimate art!

I actually like the fact that my art does not exist. I like that it can only ever be printed as a copy if, for some reason, a physical copy needs to be displayed. I gave up trying to sell my art quite a while ago. I found the whole process of trying to hawk my wares to be a pain in the arse. Now I just make my art and if people get something out of it then that's good. If not then it doesn't greatly matter. Not being an artmonger is quite liberating.

*I realise that there'll be some knobhead who will probably mention NFTs and all I would say to that is please do fuck off.

Monday 26 February 2024

Cash is king

And like any monarchy it exploits and oppresses people.

To all those ostriches who are continually whining on the social medias about cashless businesses, self-service tills and using cash. You need to wake up. You're wasting your energy on a lost cause. And indeed the wrong cause. All because you are frightened of change. These changes are inevitable. You will not stop them. The cashless society is coming. The real enemy is not the cashless society. The real enemy is capitalism. Capitalism is all consuming. It is wasteful. It is inherently unfair. And it has total control. But, It doesn't have to be like this. Put your energy into something productive. Take back control in the only way possible. Support, promote and fight for socialism. It is the only sane, equitable, fair and credible solution. Socialism will ensure your safety. Nothing else will.

At best all you'll do by complaining is delay the demise of cash a little. If you think that cash somehow makes you immune from control then you are a complete idiot. Governments can make cash valueless overnight if they so wished. It could be that easy. Cash only has value if it is backed by a government. In other words it only has value if a government says it has value.

Stop worrying about the minutiae and focus on the bigger picture. You have no freedom because you have opted out of democracy. Because you are too lazy or stupid to join in. As a consequence the cancer that is right-wingery (the political wing of capitalism) has taken hold. If you'd been a bit more vociferous about losing control of your rights, or just plainly voting them away then you might not be so fearful. Cash isn't going to save you. Nothing will save the completely stupid. FFS wake up.


Sunday 21 January 2024

I'm not afraid of AI

 I know I've written before about AI but I thought a little update on my thoughts etc. might be useful. Well for me it would.

I know that there's been a lot of scaremongering and quite frankly false information about AI but it really does have great potential to enhance our lives. I think that for a start AI is wrongly named. Artificial intelligence is a bit of a misnomer really. It isn't really intelligent, as far as I can understand it. At the end of the day it is just software. Albeit very sophisticated software. Essentially its software that recognises and discovers patterns. The universe is governed by numbers and patterns. Who knows, one day it might even tell us why the meaning of life, the universe and everything is 42. As always it's just a tool. You have nothing to fear from it. And as always it is people you have to fear. Particularly people who think that AI is infallible. 

The Post Office debacle showed us that if you believe software (which is written by humans) isn't intrinsically flawed then people suffer. Nothing is perfect. Software certainly isn't.

Having said all that, AI definitely has its uses. I find it useful to sometimes incorporate it into my art. I think of it as a pseudo ekphrasis. Offering inspiration in a serendipitous form. It's also useful for writing stuff. As those who've read this blog on previous occasions will know I'm not really an accomplished writer. I struggle to get across what I want to say. But I want to say stuff, and sometimes I'm put off from saying it because the words just don't come. That's where AI comes in. You can get AI to form the skeleton and perhaps some flesh. After which one's own personal input can be added and edited. I think it's going to be invaluable. It's going to help with all sorts of technical things in our daily. We just have to make sure we understand that it is just software.

I have decided anything created in this way will be credited to G.P.Thomson. A name I have made up. I would also add that AI was not used in the writing of this post but it was for the picture.

Saturday 30 December 2023

Nothing is random

The concept that "nothing is random" suggests that every event or occurrence in the universe is interconnected and influenced by various factors, rendering true randomness non-existent. This perspective stems from the belief that all phenomena, even seemingly unpredictable ones, are governed by underlying laws, principles, or causes that may not be immediately apparent. In this view, randomness is merely a limitation of human understanding rather than a fundamental aspect of reality. It suggests that if we possessed complete knowledge of all relevant factors, we could predict and explain every outcome, eliminating the notion of true randomness. Proponents of this idea often argue that seemingly random events are the result of complex interactions between numerous variables or systems, making them deterministic in nature. However, it's worth noting that this viewpoint remains a subject of philosophical debate and may not be universally accepted.

Monday 25 December 2023

The bollocks of tradition

As an adult I've always been rather bemused by the grip that tradition has on people. How important it is to hold those traditions and how disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

As a kid I loved Christmas. It was a magical time. Me and my sisters used to get so excited. We were lucky. We had a happy family. My parents could just about make ends meet so we feasted quite well. The house would be full; grandparents, great aunt and uncle and sometimes other relations. Whilst we never always got what we hoped for in the way of presents, we were mostly happy with what we got. That's not to say that there were no anxieties. I've always been an anxious person, so why should Christmas be any different? There were many things to worry about. So much to go wrong. Would Father Christmas be able to get down our chimney? Would the bread man or the milkman deliver? Would the chicken/turkey that had been ordered actually be there to collect? Adult worries that I as a child should not be concerned with. But I was. I see now that these were the seeds sown for my adult hatred of Christmas. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

As an adult I have always found Christmas a horrible time. Far too stressful. Stressful because in earlier years there was an expectation to spend money. Money that I did not have. It has taken me a long time but in the last five to ten years I've managed to extricate myself from all of the nonsense. I celebrate Christmas no more. I'm happy. The sky has not fallen in. The world goes on. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

The true meaning of Christmas, or rather Yule because that is what it really is, has been lost. It was a time of feasting around the winter solstice to get people through the dark cold days. Nothing to do with the christian god at all. The buggers just conveniently hijacked it to help reinforce their bizarre superstitions. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

Superstition and tradition oppress. Getting out of it requires you to think. But if you make the effort you will be happier for it. Go on, set yourself free. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

You might say that you love Christmas, which is fine, but do consider others. Spare a thought for those that find it an unhappy season for whatever reason. Others including your nearest and dearest might not enjoy it as much as you think. Please do not inflict forced jollity onto them. Do you want them to be crying inside?

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Nothing is ever black and white (revisited)

Fundamentalism, political or religious, is the greatest philosophical danger to humankind; there are no one-word answers to the problems that beset our world. There are rarely simple solutions. Life is much more complicated than a tabloid headline. Unfortunately 'public debate' all too often sinks into polarised, lowest common denominator, narrow mindedness. Creating the Promised Land is not as easy as a political sound-bite or any religious teaching might suggest. Economics and indeed life itself are complicated webs.

Just as you don't stop murder by having a death penalty, you don't necessarily improve education by building more schools, or improve health care by employing more doctors; society’s ills can only be resolved by holistic solutions.

Right and wrong are only matters of opinion and not some kind of universal truth. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems, if you only take things at face value and you do not bother scratching below the surface how can you ever understand the true meaning or the true implication of an idea? That's not being glass half empty or pessimistic about things. Life is complicated, and dealing with life is equally complicated.

By way of example take ‘cost saving’, that great mantra of the modern age. The concept of cost-saving is probably a myth. Is it really possible to get something for nothing, or is a cost saving really just shifting the burden elsewhere, or a mixture of the two?

Culture, economics, education, health, law and order and many other aspects of life are so intertwined, so reliant on each other, that if you legislate or change one thing it will usually affect something else. Just like the 'Butterfly Effect', if you make a change in one place, it can reverberate and create change elsewhere; often in unexpected places.

Things are not always as they seem. Nothing is ever black and white. At best there are invariably shades of grey, but mostly things will be multi-coloured multi-faceted and fractal. Life is a rainbow. Look beyond the obvious. The obvious often isn’t.

*This was originally printed on my website paulgarrard.com

Wednesday 14 June 2023

The ambient somnambulist

In twilight's embrace, a figure roams, An ethereal presence, in the silent homes. The Ambient Somnambulist, a nocturnal sprite, Awakening in slumber, to wander through the night.

In moonlit realms, where shadows dance and play, This mystic wanderer treads an unseen way. Through hushed abodes and dreams so deep, They tiptoe softly, where secrets often seep.

A ghostly silhouette, shrouded in veils, Their footsteps whisper like elusive tales. Unbound by time, they traverse each room, Where night's embrace envelops like a tomb.

With half-closed eyes, they move with grace, Exploring realms, both known and outer space. They drift through realms of forgotten thought, In twilight's depths, where the truth is sought.

Their presence stirs the dormant minds, A muse for dreamers, the creative kind. For in their wake, inspiration blooms, As poets find solace in their moonlit rooms.

The Ambient Somnambulist, forever in flight, Embracing the darkness, seeking inner light. They carry the dreams of a slumbering world, In whispers and echoes, their essence unfurled. So let us marvel at their nocturnal quest, For they are the messengers, divinely blessed. Awakening dormant thoughts, they gently persist, The Ambient Somnambulist, the dreamer's tryst.

In the tapestry of night, they find their way, Guided by stars that adorn the astral fray. The Ambient Somnambulist, a guardian of dreams, In their ethereal dance, reality redeems.

So as the night unfolds its veiled design, Embrace the wonder of this realm, so fine. And know that in slumber's enchanting thrall, The Ambient Somnambulist awaits your call.

A poem and picture created entirely by AI apart from the title, which was by me.