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Art Imitating Life, A. I. Imitating Art

Art imitating life, artificial intelligence (A.I.) imitating art or whatever artificial intelligence uses to create art. This art was created by artist McArthur Freeman II and Sociologist Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman and is being displayed at the galleries at Creative Pinellas, now through

February 26th, located at 12211 Walsingham Rd. Largo FL from noon to 5pm Wednesday through Sunday. This husband and wife dynamic duo created the display called "Imagine Blackness: Alternate Realities and Collective Dreaming ".

The free event is awe inspiring as well as mind boggling on how computer technology has developed over the years. More importantly in this conversation is how African Americans will be described by A.I. With displays like this we can see just what our contributions are as well as what it looks like.

The art is created with text prompts and the words used are pivotal. To generate the images, existing software is used, but being in this digital creative space helps to foster a true blackness in how A.I. creates and generates Black peoples.

A master's degree of fine art in painting from Cornell University, McArthur is an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida teaching video, animation and digital arts. “Our work is essentially about affirmation, escape, and alternate realities. We wanted to explore fantasy, create stories, and imagine a world where Blackness is not marginalized. We are inspired by the way that AI (artificial intelligence) technology allows us to address the limited range of representation that exists by creating new Black images and stories”, says McArthur.

His lovely wife and better half, Elizabeth, is a Sociologist and interim Associate Vice-Provost at the University of South Florida. She also has her Ph.D in Sociology from Duke University in North Carolina. She explains, “As a 4th generation native of Tampa and sociologist, this collaboration has been an incredible opportunity to bring together the power of art, technology, and sociology to highlight and celebrate Blackness especially in the Tampa Bay area. In this current climate, we believe it’s important to inspire and encourage our community by focusing on our potential and the future.”

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