Deep Dreaming The Archi…

Art Life , Stuff Jul 27, 2015 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

Google’s Deep Dream is a highly complex visual recognition technology that can be ‘taught’ to recognise shapes and patterns within images. As Wired explains “…the technology basically works by spotting patterns in pictures in order to identify them — and it’s already being used in Google’s new photos app to recognise faces and animals”. Now a number of websites have sprung up that “…allow you to take your own photos and run them through Google’s AI code. The results? Some seriously psychedelic and eye-popping images, from trippy landscapes and abstract cats to swirly recreations of famous paintings.”

The colours in Michael Zavros‘s Wynne finalist painting Weeping looked remarkably like the colour casting that some of Deep Dream’s landscape imagery has used and so it seemed like the logical thing to do to upload a JPEG of the painting into the net’s subconscious and see what came out the other end. Here’s Zavros’s original, and then Deep Dream’s version:


Deep Dream Weeping


Deep Dream slept on Zavros’s image adding elements to the picture that the artist might have considered adding himself – some tug boats, a fair ground in the lake and distant lights. While Deep Dream’s additions of dog faces within the picture details such as the pooch looming out of the top of the willow and in the tree tops seem pretty bizarre, it’s the hell hounds within the black stripes that are truly disturbing, and complete,y original additions.

Obviously the next step was to upload Nigel Milsom‘s Archibald winning portrait of Charles Waterstreet and see what came out.  Once again, the original, then the nightmare…


Mislom CW




Somehow it doesn’t seem so horrible after all. There’s a good boy!

Natasha Bieniek’s Wynne Prize winning miniature Biophilia is replete with hidden details in the original, but in Deep Dream’s version we find a few extra elements  that are quite at home – cars and dogs, and odd figures popping up out of the undergrowth:


Biophilia Org

Biophilia DD


The winner of the Sulman – Jason Phu‘s I was at yum cha… was already monstrous, so it seemed more fitting to find the hidden monsters in Catherine Abel‘s At The Opera. Little could we have imagined that Deep Dream would reanimate that fur stole…



Sweet dreams everyone…


The Art Life

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