There’s nothing on it yet. I’m working hard on the first video. In the mean time, I thought I’d introduce the title, banner, and logo. I plan the channel to be for art history/criticism/theory, and showcasing art and artists. All original content by yours truly, of course.

The title is Art vs Machine. I’ve got some feedback on it already, and there are mixed opinions. A couple people love it, and one person has some reservations about how the meaning will be interpreted by people who don’t already know me.

My intent is just to have a good hook that is also easy to remember so people can find the channel. It had to have the word “art” in the title. I toyed with something like Art & Transcendence to capture a general tenor of what aspect of art interests me. But after sleeping on it I thought of using the opposite: what art isn’t. Yes, Andy Warhol said he wanted to be a machine, but he’s a shinning example of art I’m not that into.

Art vs Machine is kinda’ like man versus machine. Also, one can think of the name of the rock band, Rage Against the Machine, or Pink Floyd’s song, Welcome to the Machine. In these cases machine indicates bureaucracy, the status quo, or the system.

It’s not specifically about art and machines, in the same way The Beatles songs aren’t about insects, or Led Zeppelin doesn’t sing about the Hindenburg. I just want a connotation of controversy, a vague notion that could hint at the role of consciousness and transcendence, and a feel that isn’t going to be just another art channel that rehashes the same art and art history we already know.

The banner has Salvador Dali and some Daleks from Dr. Who. People might get the comic angle here. Dali is a character who easily shades into the ridiculous, and is perpetually pretentious. Daleks are most known for blasting EXTERMINATE!. It’s a humorous juxtaposition. How would Dali fight the Daleks?

I went through every font on my computer to choose the one for art, and I had to download a bunch of fonts for machine before I was satisfied. So, in the end, you have the combo of title and image that I think is catchy, whether one truly likes it or not.

The logo comes from one of my B&W digital paintings.

Arrival, by Eric Wayne, 2017.

They eye, which is a marriage of biology and machine, fits well within the circular-mask used for the logos.

If fits with the retro-sci-fi feel of the Daleks and the B&W theme.

I’m quite happy with how it all came together. Branding isn’t my thing, nor advertising or marketing. Alas, today’s independent artist may need to branch out into that territory, unless he can pay someone else to do it for him. I figure, much as it’s not my cup of tea, if I applied a fraction of the time to it that I spend learning Blender, I could probably be OK at it.

In the last week I taught myself to use Filmora, which is a bargain video-editing piece of software. It’s very powerful, and user friendly. It’s not as professional as Adobe Premiere, but not knowing how much I will get into video, I didn’t want to invest in expensive software, or in the time needed to use it.

The reason I decided to try to make videos is because I watch a lot of them, and there aren’t that many decent channels about art. Virtually all of them, at one point or another, upload a video praising Duchamp’s “Fountain” with the same extravagant adjectives they’d used for Michelangelo. There seems to be an open space for someone, particularly an artist, to share material that is independent, idiosyncratic, and has teeth.

I anticipate getting lots of down-votes on my videos, because I am not a true believer in the dominant narrative of art, and that’s going to rile some people. That, I would consider, a good sign, indicating a healthy controversy.

I have a list of 28 ideas, so far, for videos to make. And then there’s hundreds of articles I’ve written here that I could translate to video. I don’t know if I’ll pursue it or not, and I imagine it’s very difficult to break into getting any audience at all at this late stage in the lifespan of YouTube.

The first video should be up next week. It’s been a lot of work because I’m trying out all the different possibilities, and figuring out how to create the effects I want. I’ll share it here when it’s done. I can already tell you the opener is badass;, it’s going to be punchy; and there is irreverence and humor. I can’t help but get a bit creative about it. There are even sci-fi elements, so it all fits nicely with the theme of the channel.

Here’s the url if you want to subscribe in advance: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCChKwTcCr0wFpLfy6UYsLFw

Stay tuned,

Eric Wayne

8 replies on “New YouTube Channel: Art vs Machine

  1. I love your banner Eric Wayne! I get your thinking behind it and I am a Dr Who tragic as well. As a photographer I grappled with the transition from film to digital – how much is me as an artist and how much is dictated by computer software. Your title got me thinking about human interaction with the machine. Machines have their genesis in human endeavours so we all have a part to play in how we interact with them.
    I also love the idea of art as a force for peace. My Australian friend directed a documentary film which was released early last year “Can Art Stop a Bullet?” which featured the work of artist and pacifist William Kelly.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10098048/
    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great news, Eric! I love your articles on art history and art criticism, so I look forward to seeing the videos you make.

    I think the title of your channel is great. I know it’s not what you intended, but it made me think of the coming AI art revolution. In photo editing, more and more effects are becoming “plug ins,” so where does the human influence end, and the machine come in? Is the march of computer technology philosophically different from the invention of oil paints vs tempra or whatever it’s called that they had a thousand years ago, that unlocked new techniques due to advancing technology in paint chemistry?

    A few months ago my friend sent me a web page where some computer researchers basically fed thousands of hours of death metal to a machine learning algorithm and the computer “composed” new death metal songs. I have been listening to extreme metal for almost 30 years so I consider myself something of a connoisseur, and although the music was shitty, if I didn’t know that a computer had composed it, I would have said, “Sounds like some 14 year old kids in a garage band who are not old enough to have developed good taste yet, but they are learning.” So where will we be with AI-generated art 10 years from now, given the rapid advances in computer technology? Will an “artist” just be someone who spends time feeding various inputs to an algorithm and then choosing to share the most pleasing results?

    I know that is not what you mean with the title, but that’s what I thought of.

    As for video editing, since you don’t have any experience and you are starting from scratch, my advice (that you didn’t ask for) would be to go with open source, or cheaper software. For what you are talking about doing, Adobe Premiere is way overkill. And you have to climb a learning curve anyways, so may as well get started with software you can live with for a while. I am just mentioning this because I remember your blog posts about struggling with GIMP and other OSS after having used Adobe products for so long and not wanting to relearn, which I can understand.

    I have dabbled in video editing. Here is a 6 minute video that is my most polished work if you want to check it out. I call it “Political Surrealism” and we made it about 1 week after the Brexit vote that said that England had to leave the European Union. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJBgEoBU77M

    I edited that with open-source Kdenlive, which, for what you are talking about making, is probably more complex than you need. I am guessing that you will be doing “talking head” type videos with some example photos of art interspersed and doing voiceovers while the art you’re discussing is shown on screen. Even the most basic video software is capable of that.

    Good luck, and I think you are onto something. I love art and aesthetics but I can’t stand the homogeneous political beliefs and worldview that you find anytime you enter the “art” world. Some ideological diversity will be a great thing!

    This blog comment is all over the map, but the idea of you having a youtube channel inspired me too much, I guess, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Will an “artist” just be someone who spends time feeding various inputs to an algorithm and then choosing to share the most pleasing results?”

      That’s quite the question. Just to ask it is already an astute observation. I think the answer is that the real artist will distinguish his or herself by how they go beyond just feeding inputs, which just becomes a new tool. So, what the computer would do with algorithms would not be the end point for the creative person, but just the starting gate.

      The algorithms, powerful as they may be, do not belong to a conscious entity. The author in question then is not only completely indifferent to what it creates, but also entirely oblivious. This does not allow for any creativity anchored in being. Nevertheless, it can create some spectacular effects that humans couldn’t hope to do. Google’s Deep Dream is a prime example.

      Ah, I’ve even collaborated with AI in my SFAU series.

      If a computer can beat the best chess player, can it beat the best artists?

      I think not because it is not aware, anchored, nor does it even care. As far as we know, only mortal, biological entities (with large brains) are capable of consciousness. I’m skeptical that a machine could become conscious, because it is not alive, in which case it doesn’t have any motivation or desire, and is completely indifferent to its own survival.

      All of that is just to say that without the human element the art of computers can’t address what it is to be human, or to “be” at all. It also would have no taste or preference. That’s where the human needs to step in, and now he can use his creativity to do something special with it, and that becomes a new skill set.

      Just my thoughts at the present moment.

      I’m using Filmora for video-editing. I’ve already pretty much got it under my belt. It cost me a one-time payment of $70, and I think it was worth it. I could do pretty much anything I could think to do within reason.

      I watched your video and learned how to make a cucumber sandwich, among other things. Nice job of narration. That was a bit ambitious with the actors, including the canine variety.

      Like

      1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply. This stood out to me: “All of that is just to say that without the human element the art of computers can’t address what it is to be human, or to ‘be’ at all.”

        Thanks for checking out the cucumber sandwich video, glad you liked the dogs.

        I’m looking forward to seeing your channel and am already subscribed.

        Best wishes,
        Damon.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s really easy to go down a rabbit hole trying to find the “perfect” title, type style, banner, logo et al. I think you’ve done well with creating something visually stimulating curiosity while keeping the title simple and easy to remember. Carry on…

    Liked by 1 person

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