Ai Instillation, The Twenty-Eighth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal


I was tired, it was hot, and I was happy to be at MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art, on West 53rd Street.  The galleries were crowded, but I took my time enjoying new exhibitions and old favorites. After the slow perusal of four floors, I was spent.  But I still had almost an hour before our dinner reservation down the block.  



Lucky for me there’s an AI instillation that is a moving abstract representation, a curiously, animated piece, of the museum’s art collection. There are seats and cushions to view the instillation.  Fortunately I snagged a seat when a gentleman, probably my age, got up next to me.  I sat there mesmerized by this unusual data-infused screen.  

It was hypnotic.  The colors change constantly creating an unreal, but oddly familiar, explosion of hues.  It’s not quite like spattered paint, but more like a constantly morphing puff of colors that mimic what I imagine virtual clouds might look like.  It certainly held my gaze for just under an hour.  And, rather than exhaust me further, I found the piece to be uplifting.  

I was surprised that I enjoyed an AI instillation.  It may not be as inspirational as the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition on the third floor.  Nor was it as moving as the Van Goghs, or as stirring as the vast photography collection, but it held my gaze longer than even Monet’s Waterlily room.  The 24-by-24-foot instillation is called Unsupervised.  Rakif Anadol, the artist who conceived the piece, has used AI in his cutting-edge artwork for many years.  

I’ve been dismissive of AI.  I’m dubious of the impact to the arts.  But while I sat there mesmerized, I could see how AI can stand next to other modes of art.  Perhaps it can expand our minds.  Nonetheless, I will always want to go back to the fine and performing arts in which humans display their infinite creativity to uplift our souls.    

Self-Care Tips:

  • Look up an AI version of something you appreciate and see how it makes you feel.  You may be surprised how you respond. 
  • Do an art project.  It can be watercolors, a drawing, or dance to music, sing, play a piece of music.  Find a fun, creative outlet that you enjoy.  
  • Write a short thank you note to yourself for something you appreciate.  You can thank yourself for remembering something, or for your thoughtfulness.  We are told to practice gratitude, and here’s a chance to be grateful to and for yourself.