In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and computer-generated imagery (CGI) have become increasingly commonplace in the world of art. AI and CGI can be used to create realistic or abstract images, videos, and sculptures. Some artists use AI and CGI to create works that explore the relationship between humans and technology and others use these tools for fantastical works of art that would be difficult to create without them. Such tools and programs have changed the way art is created and opened up new paradigms of creativity and self-expression.
Exploring the same is a 3D designer and CGI visual artist, Cezanne Ali. He is also a VFX consultant and a compositor for film and TV. He recently shared his latest project called 'A documentation of aliens in India with the progression of time' in collaboration with his friend and video creator, Bijoy Shetty. The duo used AI to imagine a hypothetical, sci-fi world where aliens lived among us.
We spoke to Cezanne about this project, his creative process, and his inspiration.
What are some of your biggest influences as an artist?
The works of people like Ash Thorp, Cory Strassburger, Neill Blomkamp, Hideo Kojima, Baran bo Odar, etc. have had a huge influence on the kind of work I hope to achieve in regards with the Indian subcultural wave of new art emerging from the underground. My workflow as an artist is also utterly influenced by musicians like, Alfa mist, Aphex Twin, Bonobo, Shpongle, Ólafur Arnalds, Yussef Dayes, Tool, Porcupine Tree, etc.
Who are some artists who are currently on your radar?
Sava Zivkovic, Ian hubert, Arun kumar, Sujat Roy, Ashima Raizada, Naveli Choyal, Philip john, Neeraj Saraswat, Varun Ramanna and Jishnu Chatterjee.
What are some things you learned while putting this project together?
That a lot of mutual taste in a room can be dangerous, it can either create awe-inspiring art out of the rarity of mutualism or it could just suspend existentialist questions to take over what can potentially be the energy that helps us create things out of thin air. The answer is to always be creating, no matter where we seek the questions from. The collaboration with Bijoy stems from our friendship and the things we want to create together as a collective. We thrive on inspirational kicks and gems and this project was full of those manifestations.
Tell us about your project.
This series is a work of fiction created in collaboration with Bijoy Shetty using AI-generated image prompts to mimic the "Documentation of Aliens in India through the progression of time." The idea of alienation that we've felt inside being outsiders led us to create this project. It resonates with the ever-growing alienation the world faces each day as our individualistic understanding of the world defines what we believe is real. The project served as a way to expand our imaginations to the point where we could 'edit' the past and add onto it elements that change cultural beliefs at least for the amount of time we wonder upon the powers of AI to make us imagine things that didn't exist in the past before. The possibilities are endless and so are the outcomes, this is the future we weren't expecting.
What are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?
Coming from a family of an artist, I have grown up around cameras and great cinema. My initial inspirations from childhood have been a big factor in my career as an artist. The translation of thought clusters into visual representations really move me. Cinema, Music, Poetry, Philosophy are key elements and major tools to conquer the unnamed through the expression of art.
Describe your creative process and the purpose with which you create.
My creative process involves a lot of real-life inspiration for CGI. The method is to create highly realistic 3D Artworks out of photographs I capture for referencing to create things I'm unable to emulate in real life- visions and ideas that can take an eternity if executed with physical sets and techniques. I majorly dwell on Procedural setups and non-destructive workflows; even for the big-budget CGI projects and short films I involve myself with. Currently Researching on AR & VR for Metaverse integrations/film/games, motion capture for film and TV, sound design, AI for visual storyboarding, etc. to incorporate into what I eventually want to turn into - a CGI film maker.