Artificial Intelligence Brings Salvador Dalí Back to Life: “Greetings, I Am Back”

What­ev­er Hip­pocrates meant when he said “art is long, life is short,” we usu­al­ly take the say­ing to illus­trate one indis­putable med­ical truth and one more philo­soph­i­cal: every­one dies, but art lives for hun­dreds, thou­sands, of years—and may in some sense be a kind of immor­tal­i­ty for the artist. This was prob­a­bly what Sal­vador Dalí meant when he said, “Si muero, no muero por todo”—“If I die, I won’t com­plete­ly die.” But maybe he knew he’d return one day in anoth­er form as well.

What if artists could go on liv­ing for­ev­er along­side their work? Or be called up any time we want to have a con­ver­sa­tion. Long a sta­ple of sci­ence fic­tion, holo­gram tech­nol­o­gy can now bring back famous pop stars, to vary­ing degrees of uncan­ni­ness. It has not, until now, sum­moned a deceased famous artist. But as long as there’s an exten­sive audio-visu­al record with which to recon­struct the cel­e­brat­ed dead, it can be done, and now it has. You can see the results your­self in the video trail­ers here.

Among mod­ern artists, only Andy Warhol left a more com­plete record of his pub­lic per­sona. The holo­gram Dalí—according to a press release from Dalí Muse­um in St. Peters­burg, Flori­da, who will debut him in per­son, so to speak, this com­ing April—comes alive through the work of an algo­rithm that maps infor­ma­tion culled from “hun­dreds of inter­views, quotes, and exist­ing archival footage” onto the body of an actor of sim­i­lar size and build. Dalí’s con­ver­sa­tion is not spon­ta­neous but con­struct­ed from his own writ­ings and reen­act­ed. It’s not the stuff of Star Trek yet, but maybe a sig­nif­i­cant step in that direc­tion.

“Greet­ings,” purrs Dalí in the trail­er at the top, from the Dalí Muse­um in St. Peters­burg, Flori­da. “I am Sal­vador Domin­go Felipe Jac­in­to Dalí i Domènech. And I am back.” Vis­i­tors to the Dalí Muse­um will see the ersatz Dalí in “Dalí Lives” and “expe­ri­ence his big­ger-than-life per­son­al­i­ty in an up close and per­son­al way.” Will they tru­ly “get the unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about Sal­vador Dalí’s life and work from the per­son who knew him best: Dalí him­self”? Will they feel like it’s worth the price of the tick­et, at least?

It cer­tain­ly seems con­vinc­ing. If you had told me these clips came from actu­al inter­view footage, I might have believed you. Except for the part about him return­ing from the dead after 30 years. If, how­ev­er, it were pos­si­ble to real­ly bring Dalí’s con­scious­ness back online, I doubt he’d be par­tic­u­lar­ly sur­prised. Though he con­fess­es his fear of death in the short video above, he also tells us, “I do not believe in my death.” Or as he once said else­where, “I believe in gen­er­al death but not the death of Dalí absolute­ly not. I believe in my death becom­ing almost impos­si­ble.” Or as he might also have put it, “art is long, and so am I.”

via Boing Boing

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Walk Inside a Sur­re­al­ist Sal­vador Dalí Paint­ing with This 360º Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Video

Sal­vador Dalí Fig­urines Let You Bring the Artist’s Sur­re­al Paint­ings Into Your Home

Alfred Hitch­cock Recalls Work­ing with Sal­vador Dali on Spell­bound: “No, You Can’t Pour Live Ants All Over Ingrid Bergman!”

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

by | Permalink | Comments (4) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (4)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Uncuentero says:

    All te arti­cle is based in a bad trans­la­tion. Si muero, no muero por todo, does­n’t mean that, means if i die, i don’t go to die for all rea­sons, exam­ple the peace, the love, any idea.

  • Merzmensch says:

    David Bowie as AR, Sal­vador Dalí with AI — we are liv­ing in the excit­ing times. Even if the tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tions could bring human­i­ty into data Apoc­a­lypse, the art will ben­e­fit of the new tech­nolo­gies.

    Vita bre­vis, ars lon­ga, indeed.

  • Bill W. says:

    Saw Roy Orbi­son in AI once. It was cool, but some­thing was unset­tling about the expe­ri­ence…

  • Linh T. says:

    Senor Sal­vador Dali is alive through me.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.