friend of mine made a fun suggestion: to use AI to illustrate a bible. A carefully selected set of scenes from the bible. It’s a pretty good idea, with lots of potential for mayhem and madness.
The first bit of mayhem and madness, of course, was that Midjourney’s “inappropriate content” filter flagged the subtle nuances of the story of Lot’s daughters. It’s a lot of insinuation, mostly, but I guess it’s probably “inappropriate content” and should be generally disallowed. The bible, in general, is a load of inappropriate content, but we live in a time when congresspeople show dick pics on the floor of the house. It’s funny to imagine that software dick pics (no real dicks in this photo) are somehow offensive. Ain’t that America?
My big realization was that I could just punch in chunks of bible text and ask it to render. But then I discovered a sad thing: the art-space surrounding “Jesus” is already filled with tons of jesussy crap art, from all the dumb jesus cartoons and fliers. AI have been massively trained to reproduce jesussy propaganda, and if you crack that valve just a little bit, you get a flood of stuff like this:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. The Beatitudes He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
Ughhhhhh…. It’s AI regurgitating existing propaganda automatically.
We probably should have a discussion around now of the representation of Cesare Borgia as the face of jesus while his father (Rodrigu) was pope Alexander VI. But I don’t know if that’s actually historical reality. If it were the case, it would be a good study in how religious propaganda and marketing intersect, or something. He was certainly a cutie until his nose was mostly eaten away with syphillis.
I found it hard to handle the gloopy revival jesus of the comic books, and I tried to modify the sermon on the mount a bit, which yielded me:
It’s probably illegal in Florida since goth Jesus is wearing makeup. But can we all agree it’s a significant upgrade?
Meanwhile, back to the stories of the “real jesus” as carried in the bible?
The money changers seem to be enjoying themselves, but not as much as goth jesus. Before anyone else decides to mention it: jesus appears to have inflicted a plague of polydactyly on the money changers. They have more fingers than they have money.
Jesus’ water-walk rendered remarkably well. I was tempted to ask for it “… in the style of Caravaggio” but this would get too image-heavy.
Oddly, I notice that Jesus is not the only guy who’s going water-EVA. The boat is over there, and there are multiple other guys jogging around on the foamy brine.
I tried punching in some other parts of the Jesus story-book (AKA “bible”) such as the story of Job:
Job was rich, which means that he had a lot of sheep. These legends emerge from a time when there was aggregated wealth, but it was mostly in the hands of Persian satraps. To make the story of Job interesting, he should be cast as a Persian prince, with real wealth. Then he’d have cursed god at the drop of a hat. A shepherd? Hell, yes, it’s easy to be stoic when you’re a shepherd. I know; I spent my summers in France herding sheep and I grew no closer to god – on the contrary.
Look at the size of that opium pipe Mary Mags is swinging! Holy mackerel that’ll make you see god for sure.
I’m gonna omit all the madonna/whore references for now.
I just thought Jesus was a bit too stiff. So I loosened him up a bit:
You’ll notice the miracle: he can ollie on a board that has only 2 wheels.