DANCE OF THE BROKEN – النكسر رقصة(2023)

Ali Talaat
Sponsor: Cairotronica, Host: V2_Lab

Ownership and entitlement of ideas shape countless artworks. Art’s value—especially when  replicated—is hotly debated. Can a copy ever rival the original’s worth? This discourse impacts  how art weaves into our daily lives.

Globally, art’s value lies in its ability to mirror and reimagine both the absurd and the abstract. As  it is repeatedly represented, its significance grows, and its value radiates until it becomes an  ingrained part of daily cognition and an everyday object. Yet, the Egyptian market contrasts this,  using replication to amplify value, often at the cost of art’s true essence.

In essence, this debate emphasizes the importance of ownership in art. The balance between  accessibility and originality value is crucial in shaping our appreciation and understanding of  artistic expressions.

Delving deeper and as part of the research, “If Copy Then Value”.

Imagine a canvas ever-evolving, a line constantly transforming, and a machine continuously  learning. Here, in a mesmerizing dance of technology and human input, a simple paper roll  becomes a testament to the dynamic interplay of creation and alteration.

At the heart of this work is a fundamental question: How does a machine emulate me, as the artist draws? As the artist starts to draw a line, a camera captures the creation. This visual data feeds  an AI-powered pen plotter which attempts to mimic my actions, reproducing the line atop the  same canvas. Yet, with each iteration, the line mutates, potentially evolving into a radically  different form.

This loop—seemingly endless and infinitely variable—challenges our understanding of originality.  What begins as a direct copy, with time, bears only a faint resemblance to its inception, prompting  one to ponder: Where does the original end and the derivative begin?

Such a process defies the confines of traditional copyright, allowing the artwork to evolve with  context and time, highlighting the temporality and fluidity of artistic expression. While the creator, might intervene to disrupt or guide this evolution, it is the machine, our modern muse, that serves  as both creator and curator. “I copy therefore I am”.

Dance of the Broken – النكسر رقصة is a work by Ali Talaat
Text edited in collaboration with Youssef Salah
Software and tech support by Omar Kamal
Video edited by Momen Nabil

This project was developed during a residency as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.