William Shakespeare’s performs have endured not simply due to their inherent dramatic and linguistic qualities, but in addition as a result of every period has discovered its personal method of envisioning and re-envisioning them. The expertise concerned in stage productions has modified over the previous 4 centuries, in fact, however so has the expertise concerned in artwork itself. Just a few years in the past, we featured right here on Open Tradition an archive of three,000 illustrations of Shakespeare’s full works going again to the mid-nineteenth century. That website was the PhD mission of Cardiff College’s Michael Goodman, who has just lately accomplished one other digital Shakespeare mission, this time utilizing synthetic intelligence: Paint the Image to the Phrase.
“Each picture collected right here has been generated by Secure Diffusion, a robust text-to-image AI,” writes Goodman on this new mission’s About web page. “To create a picture utilizing this expertise a consumer merely sorts an outline of what they need to see right into a textual content field and the AI will then produce a number of pictures akin to that preliminary textual immediate,” a lot as with the also-new AI-based artwork generator DALL-E.
Every of the various pictures Goodman created is impressed by a Shakespeare play. “A number of the illustrations are expressionistic (King John, Julius Caesar), whereas some are extra literal (Merry Wives of Windsor).” All “provide a visible concept or a gloss on the performs: Henry VIII, with the central characters represented in fuzzy felt, is grimly ironic, whereas in Pericles each Mariana and her father are seen by means of a watery prism, echoing that play’s concern with sea imagery.”
Deciding on considered one of his many generated pictures per play, Goodman has created a complete digital exhibition whose works by no means repeat a mode or a sensibility, whether or not with a dog-centric nineteen-eighties collage representing Two Gents of Verona, a starkly near-abstract imaginative and prescient of Macbeth‘s Bizarre Sisters or A lot Ado About Nothing rendered as a modern-day rom-com. Theater corporations may hardly fail to take discover of those pictures’ potential as promotional posters, however Paint the Image to the Phrase additionally demonstrates one thing bigger: Shakespeare’s performs have lengthy stimulated human intelligence, however they end up to work on synthetic intelligence as effectively. Go to Paint the Image to the Phrase right here.
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Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embody the Substack publication Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by means of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.