Marcel Duchamp Would Love AI Art

Content Warning: I link to videos that show clips of Tucker Carlson, and the thumbnails show his crappy fucken face.

Remember when that guy put a urinal on a gallery wall and signed it “R Mutt”?  Remember Marcel Duchamp, and all the other people who really called into question just what “art” actually is, back in the 20th century?  If you’re only going to learn about one artist from the 1900s, it should be Duchamp.  While he was alive, so many other artists were on his jock, it was wild.  Salvador Dalí wished he could be as cool as Marcel.  Anyway, just thinking about how AI art has all the cowards babbling through rage tears, and how that would be absolutely irresistible temptation to the pranksters of art.  You’re making yourselves into clownbait, AI haters.  Watch out.

Marcel Duchamp depicted in AI art

“Marcel Duchamp showing off his AI-generated art on his laptop, he is proud and satisfied with his work.” -by anonymous, using Midjourney

Some only sorta related thoughts on AI art:  The people fighting it right now are so very much like the original Luddites, it’s kinda sad.  Fighting for labor is a good instinct, if what you’re fighting for is worth preserving.  But there are jobs that are rendered obsolete by technology, and just should be.  Here are a couple of very short videos from leftesque yewchoober “Big Joel,” on the “Little Joel” channel meant to replace his abandoned ElonWorld account.  They are not specifically about AI art and he might even have a different opinion if that was the subject of discussion, but the arguments definitely apply.  Don’t worry about the title; he is disagreeing with some weird fools claiming the nazi demagogue had said something decent for a change…

The only reason Fucker Carlsbad is advocating for trucker jorbs is pure image.  Truckers equal red-blooded all-amurrican manbrodudes in all their testosteroney glory.  Any other job threatened by AI or other technologies, you can bet he’d be “fuck all y’all.”  It’s good to be circumspect about driverless tech until it’s doing better than Muskrat’s death machines, but if it does become better than human drivers?  Fuck those jobs.

Fuck any and all jobs.  There’s a quote doing the rounds, according to unsourced redditry from James Baldwin: “Darling I told you several times before. I have no dream job, I do not dream of labor.”  Do not dream of labor!  The left position is to advocate for workers, but when that becomes advocacy for work itself, I think somebody done fucked up.

Right now, every creative industry is a fucked-apart hellscape of casting room couch rape and sweatshop conditions and emotional torment, specifically because artistic kids are told “you should be an artist when you grow up,” “boy wish I could be an artist like you instead of doin’ the lousy job I got,” shit like that.  There’s this illusion that art jobs are an escape from drudgery.

It’s a fucking trap!  Don’t believe it!  Get out before they suck you in!  Let AI take all those jobs at Disney you dreamed about when you were a kid, and then turn around and use that technology yourself to make your own art productivity go a hundred times farther.  Make the art you want to make, in your own time, while doing a day job you can tolerate in an unrelated field.  The advent of AI art is your sign.

It’s time to give up on the crapitalist mirage of a cushy art job elevating you from the toil of the struggling masses.  No unionization will save you from the galling lengths to which Disney and their ilk will innovate your exploitation.  No amount of art workers of the world uniting will overcome this labor supply glut – the narcotic myth luring endless replacements for you out of the woodwork, Pied Piper -style.

Be a true radical of art.  Stop making art for money.  That might feel a bit painful at first, but -especially if you’re actually working in a creative industry right now- you will feel a massive sense of relief when you recover from it.  Even if you’re aware of your exploitation, it’s easy to miss aspects of how damaging it is when you’re on the inside.  Deliver pizzas.  Get twenty roommates so you can get by on less money.  Then make the art that is in your soul, instead of what some business major is telling you to make.

The more u kno…


  1. says

    I say all this because I genuinely don’t think leftist artists are being nearly radical enough when they cry over the scraps they might lose at the capitalist megacorp table, but at the end of the day? I’m betting a lot of artists will still be able to make money, even if the world drowns in AI art, because people want something real – an idea or a feeling to the art, regardless of the tools that made it.

    As an artist, do you have a vision? Or are you just a cheap human trick? Respect yourself.

  2. says

    I’ll go so far as to argue that AI like Midjourney, dramatically increase my artistic vision, by allowing me to include weird illustrations with my writing. I often felt like I’d love to include a quick throw-away sketch, except my art skills are very very poor. Hey, we can’t be good at all the things! And, while I know some really good artists, I can’t exactly call them up and ask them to art-on-demand like I can an AI. And, more importantly, if I asked one of them to illustrate my crap, I have to level my crap up to being worthy of their art, etc. So, give me that throwaway art, and maybe I can extract a few ironic snorts from my readership.

  3. says

    Yes! Art can be lofty or throwaway, the lowness of its brow does not make it illegitimate or unworthy of existence. But AI can also be used by artists who are more earnest or dedicated to ease their workload or improve their end output, when properly deployed. The artists who fear or revile it are missing out.

  4. says

    And more to your point, I absolutely believe it’s elitist bastardry for artists with classic skills to be dismissive of those like yourself whose creativity begins to bloom with an accessibility tool like AI art. Be an artist, Marcus. Hell yeah.

  5. says

    I thought about all this because the AI art debate has brought back all the most foolish shit takes about the nature of art that people like Duchamp really put to the test a hundred years ago – and he *still* has motherfuckers big mad about that R. Mutt piece. The most successful troll in human history?

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