See Translation: The Poetry of AI

The idea for this series came to me one morning while scrolling social media. I adore Japanese pottery and textiles and follow many Japanese artists and makers. Not being a Japanese speaker I often have to use the See Translation option on captions to read the posts. That morning I found the interpretations made by the translation AI particularly funny and endearing. Then instantly the entire series came to me.

I realized these translations were not failures of AI, but were machine interpretations of human thoughts trying to convey a feeling or thought about their artworks or creations. The AI is unable to capture the subtle nuance of the writer's language nor is it capable of expressing that nuance in the reader's language. It can only apply the known rules and vocabulary of each language. The result of these rules being applied to abstract writings about art and feelings

creates wonderful little poetic expressions. In this series I've chosen a selection of the more curious translations for my abstract works, bringing an even greater level of poetic ambiguity to the phrases and the art. Each title suggesting a hidden story lives just behind the words in the textures and colors of the paint.

Visit the 2021 Portfolio page to see the complete collection of See Translation: The Poetry of AI paintings.


For Every Painting a Poem

This series started in 2019 and is ongoing. It is a merger of my creative writing and my art. For the longest time I had trouble naming my paintings. It was a tedious chore; always feeling a bit pretentious and like the names were meaningless labels plucked out of the air. Then one day as I was randomly jotting down the short poems bouncing around in my head it occurred to me that I should merge my creative writing with my painting and give every painting a poem instead of a name. That decision changed everything. Mostly it can force me to slow down and consider the work beyond the composition and color. It exercises my creativity by giving me a reason to write. The painting inspires the poem, but sometimes the opposite happens. I write a poem and it inspires a painting. The painting and the poem become two halves of a whole in the creative process.

The poems for each painting in this series can be found on the painting image in the Portfolio, as well as in the description on the Shop page for any available works.