World Festival of Animated Film /
3 to 8 June 2024
World Festival of Animated Film / 3 to 8 June 2024
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ANIMAFEST PRO | ANIMAFEST SCANNER XI | Panel 4: Authorship In/Of AI Animation

AI, an Inhuman Perspective but a Diabolical Fascination - Paola Bristot (Italy)

05/06 WED 15:55-16:25 KIC

The use of virtual techniques called Artificial Intelligence is spreading due to the increased generative potential of computerized systems and connective applications. Its use is observed at different levels, from the medical field to the administrative one, in the financial and economic system and also in the artistic one. The man-machine relationship has been investigated in literature by many authors, and we will mention one example, Alfred Jarry and his famous Supermale. Even animated films have not escaped this operation, and its consequent production. In my opinion, not all artisanal works are to be considered artistic just because they are made manually on ‘analogue’ support; and the opposite is not true either, not all experimentalism that pursues technological innovations will necessarily produce interesting results, classifiable in an artistic context. I would like to analyse some animated short films made with AI that I encountered during the selection process for the Piccolo Festival dell’Animazione: Igor Imhoff’s videoclip Oblivion, Carlo Fusani for TARM’s videoclip La sola concreta realtà, Reinhold Bidner’s Internet Gaga, and Bruit Rose by Ulysse Lefort, Martin Wiklund, Arthur Lemaître. They are very different films, among these Bidner's one is the most ironic and comical, while the others follow the visions expanded by this generative system. Evidently, there are some cognitive limits of ours related to the achieved results. Our perceptive abilities, those linked to our senses and our brain synapses, are differently hardwired compared to the sophisticated and illusionistic potential of AI. But when guided by those who know well enough what goals the machine should achieve, the effect is that of a fascinating trip albeit a diabolical one at the same time. Perhaps these are the futuristic heralds of the psychedelic genre for films born from classic animated drawings, though lysergic and hypnotic, I can quote, for example, The Yellow Submarine. With AI, a threshold has certainly been crossed, and we are certainly not capable of competing with a machine, like Jarry's poor cyclist against a locomotive.

Paola Bristot (Aviano, Italy, 1961) graduated in 1985 in the field of Discipline Arti Musica Spettacolo and in 1991 she specialized in Art History at the University of Bologna. In 1995 she became professor of History and Languages of Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and since 2020 she has been Professor in Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia of Turin. As president of the Viva Comix Association she organizes many exhibitions related to comics, illustration, animation and visual arts. She has been the Artistic Director of the Piccolo Festival dell’Animazione since 2007. She curated the anthology Animazioni in 6 volumes (2010-19, Viva Comix, Ottomani, with A. Martignoni) where more than 100 short Italian films are collected. As Art Director, she produced the experimental film Re-cycling (Arte Video, Viva Comix 2014, and a new version in 2019). She is curator of the ‘studiovivacomix’ in Pordenone where she lives and works.