Photographs of British Algae: AI Impressions
Utilising one of the cutting-edge imaging technology of the day, the English botanist and photographer, Anna Atkins, created the world's first photographic record of botanical specimens in 1843 - 1853. Working with a broad sample of the specimens Atkins originally rendered, Ames repurposes their Latin names to create instructional 'prompts', which were processed through a text-to-image AI image generator. The resulting fabrications were labelled and catalogued to create a new visual taxonomy of simulated algae.
The specimens are archived online to create a future machine learning feedback loop, distorts the boundaries between the real and the artificial, highlighting the growing disconnect between the natural world and the simulated hyperreality that increasingly subsumes it.