Kokomo Art Center exhibit explores themes of chaos

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Nov. 15 — When creating art lost its appeal, Patrick Redmon decided to try something new. He was tired of using the methods that reliably yielded translated his creative vision into real life. Hoping to rejuvenate his joy of discovery, he stopped going into projects with a final product in mind.

The Kokomo Art Center, 525 W. Ricketts St., is filled with an exhibit put together by the Maconaquah Middle School art teacher that explores what happens when an artist stops pursuing a finished project and focuses on the process instead. It’s called Form from Chaos.

The artist explained the gallery is named after his experience with pareidolia, connecting meaning to an image that isn’t meant to convey any.

Redmon explained he often goes into a project without knowing what colors or brush sizes he’ll use.

“The kind of joy for me comes from the color combinations and the discoveries that I make while painting in regard to color,” the artist said.

When he first returned to painting, he would simply experiment with blending colors on a ping pong table. He wasn’t looking to depict an object or person, but eventually spotted abstract shapes that resembled figures, similar to shapes people see in clouds.

With a bit of practice, he’s learned to articulate the figures he finds in the chaos. Often, more than one figure occupies the same space.

“I found a great joy in seeing that appear because it didn’t take any thought from my mind, in order for that to happen. That was just finding the form from the chaotic movements,” Redmon said.

Redmon explained he’s been interested in chaos theory — the notion that seemingly random occurrences can be explained through an intricate series of cause and effect — since watching “Jurassic Park.”

He deferred to the popular summation of the theory — a butterfly flaps its wings, causing a tornado to eventually appear somewhere else.

“What we call chaos is simply something our minds can’t turn into a concept or an object or a pattern,” Redmon said. “I’m not sure that chaos actually exists.”

The exhibit also features 48 pieces of art created by artificial intelligence via starryai.com.

“Once you get started, it’s a really cool process,” Redmon said. “It’s fun to see what the AI creates.”

He explained he was initially drawn to AI by Chat GPT, but was soon fascinated, even addicted, by how quickly his computer was able to translate his ideas into an image.

A small image can take hours to paint, Redmon said, while hundreds of iterations can be generated in one session. He added the AI images are often different from what he imagines when writing prompts, which leads to a bit of excitement.

The artist predicted AI will grow among artists, and celebrated it as a tool that could allow people without formal training to produce their own art.

“I love showing people that they can create art, a lot of times people have this concept of they’re not an artist,” Redmon said. He later added, “That doesn’t mean you don’t have ideas, you may not be able to express the ideas in the way that you want, but this is a tool that can help you do that. Literally anybody can use it.”

And in an era where a banana taped to a wall can be sold as art for $120,000 — Comedian by Maurizio Cattelan — Redmon argued AI art should be recognized as legitimate art.

Discussing arguments that prompt-writers don’t actually create the art, Redmon pointed out photography was once secluded to people with specialized information and the resources to develop photos. But technological developments have put photography — and photo editing — in the hands of everyday people.

During an artist’s reception, he showed attendees how to use AI to create art. Most people tried to get the computer to create a nature scene.

“I had a lot of fun putting it together,” Redmon said of the exhibition. “I was really happy with how it turned out”

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