Ivona Tau Interview

“Dreaming future #5” by Ivona Tau

Who are you?

Generative AI Artist. Girl coder & photographer.

When did you start taking photos?

I was probably 18 when I got an old soviet camera from my grandfather that read “LOMO LC-A”. I bought a film roll and was instantly amazed at how this small analog camera saw the world differently with bright colors and crazy flares.

When did you start messing around with machine learning?

I was bored at my old job working as a financial analyst and started doing online courses and learning about machine learning. It sounded like magic to be able to recognise what’s in the images by just using code.

What is the process for creating a piece?

I start with the pictures. I might go through my archives or have a specific task in mind and go outside and shoot square images for weeks. It is a meditative process as it’s also quite different from the usual way that I shoot, as I’m hunting for a particular subject. Then I go through the photographs and filter out the ones that do not fit with the theme or consistency. I might apply some standard pre-processing in Lightroom – modify the colors or exposure. Then comes the training.

I usually choose one of my previous models as a starting point, even if it was trained on something completely different and switch the data. The neural network training normally takes a few hours, but sometimes I have to leave it for days to let the model learn some finegrained details. I check in from time to time and when I like the results I stop the training process.

Then comes the most important part of the process where from technically infinite possibilities of the generative images I need to choose the ones that best represent my aesthetic goals and my personal style and combine them to produce the final looping animations.

“Phantom Pt. II #AFGHEN” by Ivona Tau

What hardware do you use for your art?

Canon 6D and analog Canon AE-1 mostly was well as a MacBook Pro. All the neural network training calculations are performed on servers in the cloud (typically using 1-2 GPUs with at least 10GB of RAM).

Why did you join hic et nunc?

When I created my Twitter account in October 2020 I only followed a dozen of prominent crypto/generative/AI artists and a couple of months later I noticed many of them posting about this bizarre platform “Hic Et Nunc”. It was the early days, the big news was designing the logo for the site. I signed up somewhere around 40th day of the Hic Et Nunc, out of curiosity.

What do you want your art to make someone feel?

I want them to feel those forgotten emotions triggered by particular memories or places. Maybe it’s nostalgia, longing, sadness or contempt. We have so many new experiences every day that we tend to forget about what was important 10 years ago. I want them to remember that.

“#11 of 25/1 Blue Hours” by Ivona Tau

What adds value to your art?

The combination of human touch and A.I.’s’ super-human ability to generalize from huge amounts of signal.

Do you have any pieces that are your favorite?

Yes! They tend to change as I develop and grow, but currently it’s the Disintegration of the Machine Memory as for me it’s a perfect illustration of my creative process.

“Disintegration of the Machine Memory” by Ivona Tau

What do you have in store for the future?

I’m currently working on a couple of incredible collaborations that I can’t wait to finalize. Also, I have a long list of the ideas to try out from the technical perspective of fiddling with the generative adversarial networks and experimenting with them. Finally, it’s time to create a new training dataset (=go out and photograph for weeks).

What have you loved the most about the Tezos community?

That it embraces so many different, weird, amazing people playing with so many mediums and experimenting with tools. Nobody is worried about the polished end product and they share their raw art. Also, it has been the best place for new and unrecognized talent, helping them to grow!

“Reimagined Manila – night” by Ivona Tau

Anyone you want to shoutout?

So many incredible people in the community that I’m grateful for ! Ymyke, SubEk, BangBangkok, Chris Trueman, FluffheadChaser, Niwin, Cabline, Byron, Leon, Ganbrood, RubenFro, Fund137, Noah Ito, Jesse Altman & Wise & more!

Anything else?

I guess Hic Et Nunc will always be my favorite platform. Regardless of the success on Foundation and ETH I’m still saving my best drops for H=N.

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