Fakewhale Solo Series presents Vantalight by A.L. Crego

On April 10th, Fakewhale Gallery’s Solo Series is set to unveil “Vantalight” by A.L. Crego, an exhibition that explores the delicate balance between the accidental beauty of natural phenomena and deliberate creation enabled by digital technology.

Featuring works titled “Clue,” “Tangle,” and “Closure,” every piece of the series is a dialogue between the erratic beauty of natural pareidolia and the intentional execution of artificial intelligence, culminating in what A.L. Crego defines as “promptographies”. Integral to this exploration is the concept of light as a metaphor for determination, illustrating how both its absence and excess can blind us.

Tangle by A.L. Crego, Vantalight, Fakewhale Solo Series, April 2024

Vantalight: From Generature to Promptography

A.L. Crego is a self-taught digital artisan who walks comfortably between the stillness of a picture and the continuous yet destined-to-end frames of a film. Since 2014, he has been using impressive loops to directly represent his very own mental images in GIF format.

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A.L. Crego’s upcoming exhibition for the Fakewhale Solo Series, “Vantalight,” is inspired by two main concepts.

On one hand from what he calls “Generature Art”, a term that serves as a playful, somewhat sarcastic label for what are essentially natural art pieces: the unexpected, often overlooked formations created by nature’s own mechanisms—be it the gradual wear of stones through erosion, the organic growth of branches and leaves, or the random patterns found in wood grains and water stains.

These natural occurrences tap into the human propensity for pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon where the mind perceives recognizable patterns, figures, or even stories in random or ambiguous stimuli.

By coining “Generature Art,” Crego draws a deliberate contrast with “Generative Art,” an art form known for its reliance on digital algorithms and technological processes to create art. Unlike Generative Art, created through code and digital mediums, Generature Art emerges spontaneously from the natural environment, untouched by human hands. A distinction that not only highlights the diverse origins of art but also prompts a deeper reflection on how we, as viewers, engage with and interpret the world around us.

On the other hand, A.L. Crego’s “Vantalight” series is deeply influenced by his engagement with artificial intelligence (AI) in the process of art creation.

Although Crego has been experimenting with AI since 2017, his initial reluctance stemmed from the technology’s lack of precision in image generation, aligning more with the concept of “generative art”, due to its inability to produce the detailed, figurative artwork he envisioned. However, as AI technology advanced, providing artists with tools to finely tune image outcomes, create custom models, and dictate compositions and aesthetics—thanks notably to developments like ControlNet—Crego gradually found a way to integrate AI meaningfully into his art practice, experimenting with all his previous works as a starting point.

Nevertheless, A.L. Crego refers to his AI-driven artworks not as “generated images” but rather as “promptographies” — a term he crafted to reflect this new process of creating images more accurately.

Drawing a parallel with photography, which derives its name from the Greek words for light (“photo”) and drawing (“graphy”), “promptography” similarly relies on prompts—specifically, words—as the primary catalyst for the creation of images. A conceptual shift, that underscores the importance of intentionality in the creative process, suggesting that the art of image-making with AI is just as nuanced and deliberate as traditional photography.

In the same way that not every photograph taken with a smartphone is considered art, the value of an AI-generated image lies in the artistic process behind it far more than anything else; a process, that highlighted by the term “promptography,” underscores the artist’s role in carefully selecting prompts that ultimately lead to the creation of something meaningful.

“Creating an image with AIs is as ‘easy’ as creating an image taking a photo with a phone. The point is creating something meaningful that can reach people’s mind. Art ‘starts’ in other people’s perception, not at the end of the generation/creation of it in a machine.”

__ A.L. Crego

The three artworks within “Vantalight” – Clue, Tangle and Closure – therefore represent a synthesis of these two principles, blending the organic allure of pareidolia found in nature with the technological capabilities of AI to craft what Crego refers to as “promptographies.”

A synthesis reflecting Crego’s established approach in photography and video, where the initial image serves not as the final piece, but rather as the foundational canvas for further artistic exploration. After all, for A.L. Crego, the essence of photography and video has always been about transformation—a base to be built upon rather than an endpoint.

But most importantly, his preferred medium and lifeblood of his art: Light.

The series’ title, “Vantalight,” takes its name from an imaginative counterpoint to Vantablack—the darkest substance known, absorbing nearly all light.

By contrast, “Vantalight” imagines a hypothetical light, one so intense it can pierce through any obstacle, symbolizing a force of unwavering determination and commitment.

Yet, Crego explores the dichotomy of such determination, suggesting that while it can illuminate our path forward, it may also confine us, acting as a “mental jail” that limits our vision to only what lies directly ahead and not what surrounds us. In his own words, “Both the absence of light and its excess can blind us”.

"digital art is handmade but untouchable" by A.L. Crego

The Release Dynamics

The “Vantalight” series encompasses three distinct pieces, all three in Jpeg format, each offering a unique perspective on the subject matter:

Clue: 1/1 – 1500 xtz

Tangle: 30/30 editions – 30 xtz

Closure: 24-hour open edition – 10 xtz

The Solo Series release will go live on Wednesday, April 10th, at 4 PM CEST / 10 AM ET on objkt.com.

To stay updated on the release in real-time, follow Fakewhale and A.L. Crego on X.

Closure by A.L. Crego, Vantalight, Fakewhale Solo Series, April 2024

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