The works in sculptor and installation artist Maja Petrić’s Lost Skies series are collage-like data visualizations generated by an artificial intelligence algorithm that scans the web for images that match the search criteria she provides. The resulting images represent a synthesis of diverse human viewpoints, a kind of collective hallucination that combines perspectives in ways that are deeply and simultaneously human and not. Two works from the series juxtapose a visual impression of California’s latest wildfire season with an epic summary of skeptical opinions about deforestation. Both images are deeply layered and richly textured with varying qualities of opacity, and they are seething with fragments of photojournalistic and documentary images. Heroic focal points emerge from this landscape: the California state flag, a rushing waterfall, human figures, and fragments of architecture, all selected and arranged by a machine programmed to recognize patterns in human categorization.
Lost Skies, California Wildfires Through the Eyes of a Believer and Lost Skies, Deforestation Through the Eyes of a Skeptic, 2018; lightbox with AI-generated image printed on canvas (AIEye artificial intelligence algorithm by Mihai Jalobeanu and Maja Petric); courtesy of the artist and Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle
Maja Petrić ’s installations and sculptures combine light and sound with cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics to create immersive, multi-sensory experiences that evoke the sublime in nature. Based in Seattle, she is a recipient of a Lumen Prize for Art and Technology, and has produced installations for Google, Microsoft, and Henry Art Gallery, among others.