COLD MOON IN DEEP WATER, an AANT farm and the use of AI

COLD MOON IN DEEP WATER, an AANT farm and the use of AI

The pioneering spirit of AANT finds a new challenge in the most debated and controversial theme of the moment: AI and its thousand variations, and the ethical and legal implications. The advent of artificial intelligence seems to bring with it a radical rewriting of professions and values, a paradigm shift compared to what is perceived, even economic, which until yesterday, we believed we knew perfectly. Still, today, we must look at it critically to ask ourselves new questions.

At AANT, we create Farms, or temporary agencies in which students and teachers are involved, to face projects related to actual clients, with real deadlines and measurable compensation, allowing our undergraduates to have direct contact with the world of work, its timing, and its thousand and real complications.

Therefore, the creation of the Farm “Contaminazioni”, led by Professor Davide Cardea, art director and creative of great experience with a specific skill in the world of music, has seen our students of graphic design and video making confront an extraordinarily ambitious and challenging goal: the creation of a video clip entirely produced with the help of AI.

And we are not randomly talking about help; from the beginning of the project, the approach has been to place AI in the sphere of tools available, trying to make as more professional use of it as possible, going beyond the easily obtainable results and understanding which were the potentialities and limits by using it. Aware that we are at the beginning of a new era and that undoubtedly many rules in this area have yet to be written, AANT’s contribution is precisely to raise awareness of the power of the medium and the implications that the use of AI entails, also in an ethical and moral sense. However, primarily, it was the trailblazing nature of the Academy that guided the investigation, the pleasure-oriented eye for discovery to dictate the type of approach, posing questions born in the process at the base of a path that is first of all cultural and oriented to define in which direction the creative figures of the future will evolve.

A future in which being creative will no longer consist of only having a good manual mastery of the technological means, but first and foremost, the ability to imagine down to the smallest detail the image or the product that we want to generate, and know how to tell, describe, to “force” the AI to give us exactly what we want, without flaws or approximations, without the means being able to decide independently by providing exact indications in every aspect of style, hues, movements, and expressions.

We are still determining today what the future of AI will be. Still, like all new things, it has been welcomed at AANT and put under the lens of observation to understand it before judging it, to remain fascinated by it, and to explore its limits. And ask ourselves questions.

The Farm “Contaminazioni” was created for the launch of the new vinyl “Cold Moon” by the musical group Underdog at the Academy of Arts and New Technologies in Rome. During the course of the work, the Farm, consisting of about ten students selected from the Graphic Design, Videomaking and Design departments under the coordination of Professor Davide Cardea, employed different professional skills: starting from directing indications and the material already produced, the students developed familiarity and competence with Stable Diffusion and, as assistants, they divided themselves into the roles of the prompt artist (a figure who describes with appropriately chosen words all the images and sequences to be drawn by the AI with the txt2img and img2img functions of Stable Diffusion), camera movement artist, (a figure who programmes the camera movements), and animator of the opening and closing credits. For the realisation of this video, we decided not to resort to the video editing of the scenes but to create a single AI sequence plan for the entire video.

The final video is inspired by the work of Filip Hodas, Guy Denning, Rezsö Bálint, MichalKarcz, M.Night Shyamalan, Keir McFarlane, and David Lynch.

The AI model used is “Deliberate” by XpucT.

Davide Cardea holds the chair of Art Direction 1 of the three-year Graphic Design programme at AANT, where he teaches students to think laterally and put creative ideas at the centre of advertising communication through theoretical lectures and concrete realisation of advertising campaigns. Those who enrol in this three-year course decide to work in the world of integrated communication, and many of these students end up in prestigious advertising agencies both in Italy and abroad.

The video was worked on by (in alphabetical order): Melany Burattini, Mattia Calogero, Matteo Capozza, Alice Celli, Nicolò Cocco, Emanuele D’Aloise, Valerio De Luca, GiandonatoFabbricino, Lucia Gildoni, Marzia Saulini, Pilar Tei, Leonardo Todino, Daniel Viscione.

It is difficult to predict what future professionals in the field of AI will be like; it recently came to life, but it is growing very fast. So for me, Underdog, the Academy and the students, this was a first experiment and an occasion to open a debate on the limit and the correct use of this new technology.


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