AI Artist Spotlight: Alexander Reben
The ongoing incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) and generative adversarial networks (GANs) has paved the way for the integration of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into the crypto market, allowing artists to earn more money from their work. Alexander Reben is one of the celebrated artists who are taking advantage of this technology to grow their career–other popular artists using this technology include Golan Levin, Mario Klingemann, Sofia Crespo, to name a few.
Reben has created numerous AI projects, most of which explore humanity. His first piece of art to be converted to an NFT is known as the Thought Render Series, which was created in 2018. This artwork put him in the spotlight, making him an authority in matters relating to the text-to-art generator.
Born in 1985, Alexander Reben is a renowned American artist, scholar, and robotics enthusiast. He’s known to use AI to create unique pieces of art that focus on humanity; he also employs this technology in his robotics studies.
Reben graduated in 2008 from the State University of New York with a BS in Robotics and Applied Mathematics. Immediately after graduation, he moved to MIT Media Lab to pursue a Master’s degree in Media Arts and Sciences.
While studying at MIT Media Lab, Reben developed a social robot and an autonomous filmmaker Boxie meant to interview people–this project inspired the development of Baymax in Big Hero 6, and led to the development of BlabDroid Inc. in 2013, which specialises in designing social robots that interact with people all over the world. These robots also create documentaries using the information they receive when interviewing people.
In 2013, BlabDroids recorded interviews at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Tribeca Film Festival. This earned Reben and his work significant attention from the media, catapulting his work onto the global stage. The primary component of his artwork is in the theoretical study of the interactions between technology and humans, as well as work with AI to generate pieces of art.
Aside from Thunder Render Series, Reben has produced several other illustrious pieces of art like amalGAN, which was created using an AI algorithm that reads human body signals to generate artistic outputs. These outputs are then finished by human artists in the form of oil-painted images.
Another popular piece of art by Reben is AI Am I, which was created using an AI algorithm and portrays the artworks rendered by the artist in real life. Other illustrious pieces by Reben include Robots in Residence, Deeply Artificial Trees, Deep Dream, and many others.
When he first developed the Thunder Render Series, Reben intended to display and sell it as print because it was the only viable way of dispersing digital images at the time. But with the advent of NFTs, Reben and other digital artists have found a more convenient and reliable way of displaying their work and making it accessible to online collectors and fans.
As a solo artist, Reben has exhibited his work in numerous exhibitions at locations such as the Emerson Media Art Gallery, the StartUp Art Fair, the Spring Break Art Show, and the Charlie James Gallery. He has also participated in various group exhibitions, including those at the V&A Museum of Design, Galerija Vzigalica, Gewerbemuseum, Vienna Biennale, the MAK Contemporary Art Museum, the Nicodim Gallery, the Vitra Design Museum, Storyscapes at the Tribeca Film Festival, the ARS Electronica Festival, and the MIT Museum.