New York-based artificial intelligence artist Ben Snell investigates materialities and ecologies of computation. He uses contemporary techniques in dialogue with traditional motifs; he situates technology as a mirror to reveal the self as a computational being. With an emphasis on inquiry and introspection, his work takes the form of drawings, photography and sculpture.
Ben Snell trained his computer Dio to become a sculptor. Dio, named after the Greek God Dionysus, made a sculpture with its own style, inspired by the classics.
Not only is the sculpture made by the computer, it is also materially made from the computer (Dio) that conceived it. Snell ground Dio to dust and utilized it as physical medium, transforming Dio the computer into Dio the sculpture, fusing process and product.
This physical form possesses an uncanny figurative quality distilling the essence of Greek and Roman sculpture while hinting at the twisting forms of Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp and Henry Moore. It questions the creativity, originality and agency of the machine.
Classical sculptors worked in stone and bronze, so Dio is a sculpture materially of our time, made from the raw materials of computation.