AI Heaven                    

“On top of reflections of the present, the Digital section is also an opportunity to relook at where we came from to understand where we might be headed. An example of this exercise is Ahmed El Shaer’s AI Heaven, a series of work created with the use of artificial intelligence to imagine what the afterlife could look like. In training AI model to visualise the metaphysical and transcendental, the artist utilises the machine as a portal into accessing imagination that goes beyond what is human and innate to us. Through this process, the artist also takes an intentional departure from what was understood to be Orientalist art from the 18th and 19th century, to reimagine and reinterpret what Islamic art could look like in the 21st century as it becomes integrated with machine learning. The generated visuals is also demonstrative of how artists like El Shaer are seeking to use technological innovation to bridge current digital aesthetics, which is often sterile and devoid of cultural specific motifs, with their own heritage and attempt at preserving visual histories in digital art.”


Clara Che Wei Peh, the founder of NFT Asia, and curator of Art Dubai Digital, surveys the digital art landscape: then, now, and what’s to come

In this series of works comprising several images and animated short loops, Ahmed El Shaer collaborates with artificial intelligence to explore questions about the afterlife and how a machine imagines the metaphysical and the transcendental. All images produced through generative technologies—the final artistic works are fully created by machine intelligence without the artist’s interference. A radical experiment in what Islamic art could look like in the 21st century, away from stereotypical expectations and orientalist images. ‘AI Heaven’ is alluring, and terrifying. The images play with our perception, unsettling our expectations of form and meaning, as we stare into these works, created by a nonhuman agent.
Adham Hafez

As a final stage for the Artificial Intelligence Paradise project, I will complete the questions that I started with the project in March 2021. What if we asked our existential questions that trouble humanity with artificial intelligence as a neutral party? In the world after death, whatever heaven or hell, can artificial intelligence exploit this human weakness and create an imaginary paradise to control our capabilities? So at this point in the project, we’re going on a tour of motion pictures created by artificial intelligence.