Snell’s piece, named Dio, follows the basic methodology of these earlier works. Machine learning algorithms are used to scan and digest a database of historical artworks, and then attempt to reproduce the data they’ve seen, with their output guided by the artist.
In the case of Dio, the training data was an archive of more than 1,000 classical sculptures (including canonical pieces such as the Discobolus and Michelangelo’s David), though Snell is keeping shtum about the contribution he made in shaping the algorithm’s output.
After Snell finished creating the 3D model, he disassembled the computer he made it on and ground it to dust using a specially-designed sealed box. This included the computer’s enclosure, its hard drive, its RAM and its graphics processing unit. He then 3D-printed a mold of Dio and cast the sculpture into this mold using resin and the ground remains of the computer.
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