Imagined Delft Blue Pottery Bots 

LGBTQ+ Pride exhibition, Moth, London Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, August 2023

Imagined Delft Blue Pottery Bots is about my fear of a future that is already here: an AI manipulated one, like the work itself. It’s asking lots of questions like how AI technologies have the potential to undermine LGBTQ+ histories and communities and impact negatively on human intelligence, creativity and artistic expression. Generative AI is also an energy-devouring technology which contributes negatively to the climate crisis.

‘Imagined Delft Blue Pottery Bots’ portrays virtual hollow Dutch pottery bots made out of virtual clay. There’s nothing physical shown here, just the appearance of an image: an image as hollow as the pottery itself. It’s made up from whatever the bot could find, applying my word-based instruction inside colossal global databases of collated images of artworks. This is an image for the sake of an image, a con photograph showing con pottery. It’s a record of nothing that doesn’t exist, a type of anti-art in a virtual game of annihilating human artist-makers.

I prompted this work in late 2022 just before AI image generation software made a huge leap forward in image creation capabilities. I was drawn to the aesthetics of the visual limitations of the render and the clumsy pottery designs. My personal touch is also part of the artwork’s making. I have cropped, colour balanced and retouched the image. Once I decided to present it as a print, I explored size, paperstock and framing to make the work physical and enticing, to draw people in and start a conversations with my Delft Blue pottery bots.

Giclee print on 100% cotton Hahnemühle Photorag, 308gsm. Print size: 21.2cm x 21.2cm. Framed size: 23.2cm x 23.2cm, archival board and materials, museum glass. Short-listed for Royal Academy Summer Show 2023

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Roelof Bakker, all rights reserved, 2023