Schaatskunst/Speed skating art

Discussie in 'Schaatscafé 'De Ronding'' gestart door Inimene, 13 dec 2020.

  1. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    Hey there fellow forum dwellers! There's something about speed skating I've always admired (among other things) and it's how beautiful it is. One way to embrace this beauty is to put it into art.

    I've always wanted to facilitate the discussion between the skating fans about speed skating in art. When I talk art, I mean any form: music, visual art, literature, etc. Speed skating clearly does not receive as much attention from creative persons as other winter sports do. It's time to fix it! I'd love this thread to be a place for all of you to share speed skating related art you have come across and to show off your own art, if you create any!

    If you're an artistic person of any kind that creates speed skating art, don't be afraid to show your talent! I'd love to see other people's works inspired by speed skating and hear the stories behind their creations. What inspired them? Or maybe, who? Was it watching a competition or discovering a new skater? Witnessing a world record? Getting into speed skating personally? There's so much behind art that can be inspiring! And it's proven to be effective in getting people curious and invested in finding out more about speed skating!

    As an artist, I've been contributing to raising awareness about our beloved sport via art. I enjoy drawing portraits of my favourite skaters (such as this drawing of Patrick Roest I once posted here on the forum) but also creating AUs (alternative universe) settings based on my favourite shows and turning the characters into speed skaters (some examples: here and here).

    I love writing stories, too. There's an ongoing story currently in the writing that I update regularly: it's not based on IRL skaters but exploits an AU concept where the characters of a popular anime series are the members of the Japanese national team. If that's something you think can interest you, I'll leave a link right here.

    Overall, let's share the speed skating art!
    Laatst bewerkt: 13 dec 2020
  2. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    i decided to revive this topic because i have ever since created a TON of speed skating art and since it gains little to no traction on my social media art pages compared to other stuff like anime/Thai drama fanart, I think this forum is the best place to share my stuff cuz here dwells my target audience :)
    Huisdier vindt dit leuk.
  3. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    Speed skating art by Midjourney AI

    Yesterday I was looking for some references for some new skating-inspired pieces when I remember that I'm beta of Midjourney AI. If someone's not familiar with it, Midjourney is an AI bot on Discord that produces images from textual descriptions -- basically from prompts. I prompted the bot with some descriptions from what I imagined in my head )as a reference for the artwork) and got some very interesting results!

    of course these images are not perfect as they were AI-generated but they give a very ethereal and dynamic feel. I especially love the look of an AI-generated indoor oval :) the roof is magnificent! not sure if it would ever be practical if recreated IRL (but now i know what kind of roof I would like to see being built over Härma Oval).

    the skater in red was generated randomly and kinda looks like someone from team Norway

    and yes I'll definitely use some of these as references for future artworks

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  4. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    it is this time of the year again when I listen to alot of sad Swedish music and miss my userpic hero so bad.

    I was at a local shopping mall today and there is a sports bar right at the entrance. i swear i felt my heart sink when I saw a replay of Nils' Olympic 5k race on the TVs and there I was, watching in awe and a stupid smile on my face :) it was surreal. i took it as a sign.

    when i got back home i knew I wanted to draw him. so here he is <3

    Palko, Nickel en chicagodude vinden dit leuk.
  5. chicagodude

    chicagodude Well-Known Member

    I’m really curious what your opinion is on AI generated art, as an artist yourself. As you undoubtedly know, there is currently a lot to do about this. To the uninitiated, AI typically generated art by scraping the internet for art, through which it learns to create its own art. Essentially, AIs reuse parts of already created human-generated art to create its own. Problem is that there is no attribution or anything, and there are many instances of even (part of) an original artists signature appearing in AI art
    Nogevendit vindt dit leuk.
  6. Marcel Vos

    Marcel Vos Well-Known Member

    Let me throw in a question to think about: How is this different from humans looking at other art, being inspired, and making something in the same style?
  7. EenBrabander

    EenBrabander Well-Known Member

    I've seen many of these discussions pop up on Reddit. From what I know about an AI called Stable Diffusion (a different image generating AI), the AI does not save the images it "learns" with. That wouldn't be efficient, since it would require an excessive amount of storage. Instead, the AI receives an image and a description while "learning". The image gets randomly corrupted, and the AI has to repair the image based on the description given. Then, it will compare the result to the original, and somehow the AI can change its code and learn that way. It's not copying pictures, it is merely learning how to re-draw these pictures from scratch, with a large memory. Although AI is still bad at some types of pattern finding. AI tends to add too few or too many fingers to a hand, which you wouldn't expect from a computer and definitely isn't something you get in the dataset it is trained on. (From what I've seen, this happens because hands can have so many shapes, that the AI has trouble identifying the fingers. New models which can generate 3D-models based on 2D-pictures might solve that). Stable Diffusion now has an opt-out for artists who don't want their art to be trained on, by the way. Oh, and it absolutely sucks at generating pictures of skaters. Although I theoretically could set up my own model with my own training dataset of images of skaters... If I feed a custom AI model enough images of a certain Swedish skater in his blue suit, I could generate a whole series of pictures of him travelling the world in his suit, putting him on top of the pyramids, down near the Titanic or just casually strolling around Mars in his skating suit.
  8. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    Buckle up, it's gonna be long read (I'll probably even split it in two or more posts) :) Before I begin, let me clarify a couple of points.

    1. I am an artist but I am also a lawyer with a Master's degree in IT Law/Law of Technology (it's an actual thing here in Estonia, a degree taught by Tallinn University of Technology). I work in the field and deal with all sorts of legal issues attributable to IT, data protection, as well as issues of emerging tech. This is something I'm very passionate about.
    2. When it comes to new forms of art and art media, I'm one of the least conservative people to discuss things with. I've been practicing digital art since the age of 10, and have been very active in the community of synthesized vocalists (Vocaloid, which I promise is relevant for the discussion), gaming, anime/manga, web novels/toons, etc.


    'What is art?' As an artist, I have been asked this question far too many times to recount. One thing I learned over the years as I practiced art, learned art, observed art, and got inspired countless times, is that art is subjective. To answer the question, one should first answer a number of other questions, such as:
    - Are humans the only species capable of creating art?
    - Can something created by non-humans be called art?
    - Can a machine make art?

    Short answers: no, yes, and yes.

    Long answer: Before I was an escapee to Estonia, I was a child growing up in Sochi, Russia, and a frequent to the local edition of Sea World where poor underfed dolphins living in captivity in the tiny pool were forced to do spins and tricks for the audience. One of such tricks which was a part of every show was as follows: a dolphin trainer put out a piece of framed canvas and three jars of paint onto the edge of the pool. The dolphin was given a paintbrush and, by dipping the brush into the paint first and splashing it onto the canvas next, the dolphin was 'painting'. The end result (usually looking like a bunch of colorful splashes) was then auctioned on the spot as a piece of "very special dolphin art" and I kid you not, people were bidding hundreds of euros to get it. To the buyer, the splashes of blue paint at the bottom of the canvas made them feel like the dolphin painted the blue sea where it came from. How romantic! No one was bothered by the fact that dolphins, perhaps, have no sense of artistry or art in human ways of perception and cannot possibly depict their emotions and feelings on the canvas. It was just something it was forced and trained to do. But the human brain saw it as art.

    At the age of 15 I was an exchange student in the US. In one of the classes, the teacher pinned a printed piece of abstract art to the whiteboard and asked us to discuss it. Ultimately, there were kids in the class that considered the piece a ripoff and a scam, some students liked it and some were indifferent. In any case, the majority still agreed that the piece is, in fact, a piece of art -- regardless of their impression of it. Now, that stance changed drastically when the teacher broke down the truth that the piece on the whiteboard was painted by a chimpanzee. The young impressionable brain goes POOF. "No, then it's not art! Only humans can do art!". For some though, it didn't matter: they liked the piece and essentially, it is not the authorship of an animal or a human that makes something an art for them -- it was their own emotions and perception that made a piece of painting an artwork.

    Examples go on and on. At 16 and already in Estonia, my fellow uni peer asked me why I prefer digital art over traditional. It's a long discussion but to cut it short: I like the endless possibilities of digital art, it's accessibility, affordability and truly borderless reach. The uni peer commented that digital art is not "actual art" because it is not me who draws the artwork but the software I'm using. Needless to say, the uni peer did not understand that a graphic tablet and a digital artist's software are only tools of the trade, just like an easel, a canvas and a paintbrush. The software does not draw FOR me, it gives me tools to do it -- the rest lies with my own skills.

    In 2021, my coworkers have been asking me if I thought NFTs are art. Once again, short answer is: the picture attributable to the token is indeed art -- very bad art, but art nevertheless. Now, in 2022, I'm being asked if AI art is art.

    In order to call something art we as humans need to have some sort of emotional response to a piece or object. Positive, negative, good or bad -- as long as it triggers your brein into emotional response, forces you to appreciate it or dislike it, analyse it or just have a moment of silence and contemplation -- in other words, invoke the sense of inner value -- it is art. Can AI art make you feel this way? Absolutely. Can AI art take you to places you could only dream of or imagine in your wildest fantasies? Absolutely. Can AI paint you a picture of an imaginary oval with sun-lit wooden roof that you saw in your head countless times but could not depict? Absolutely. Can you look at it, appreciate it, love it or hate it? Yes and yes. For that, it's not necessary for art to be created by a human artist.

    So yes, as an artist, I do think that AI generated artworks are art.

    But here comes a fun part :)
    chicagodude vindt dit leuk.
  9. chicagodude

    chicagodude Well-Known Member

    I think the main issue arises when AI literally copies small parts of other artists’ works to generate its own, but I admit I haven’t really done a deep dive in the matter.
  10. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member


    The reason why I love my job is because it helps me look at things from another angle -- a multitude of angles. As a lawyer, and particularly, an IT lawyer, I have been trained in the matters of intellectual property (IP) arising from the use of AI and other automated tools.

    There are different AIs. Some compose music, some write screen plays and movie plotlines and some general images that are validated as art. Now, as lawyers, the discussion above is of little relevance to us because ultimately, for a lawyer, there is only one true question -- what is the scope of ownership rights in AI works?

    I promised that the mention of Vocaloid is gonna be relevant so here it is. For those unaware, VOCALOID is an AI-based singing voice synthesizer software product that was developed in the early 2000s but becuase massively popular due to the depiction of one of the voicebank's mascots -- the blue-haired anime girl Hatsune Miku. If you have extra time at hand, I recommend watching this guide to Vocaloid for dummies -- for now, just remember that even though there are other vocal synth AIs and software out there (such as UTAU and Dreamtonic's Synthethizer V that I'm personally using) Vocaloid has become a narrative for all things vocal synth due to the massive influence of its mascots in pop culture, so I'll refer to the whole community/topic/scene/phenomenon as Vocaloid.

    As I said, Vocaloid is a software, as so is UTAU/Synth V. Software works as a backbone for different voicebanks (voices) that have different personalities expressed as mascots (Hatsune Miku being the most iconic but at this point not the most up-to-date in terms of capabilities). Voice banks are generated from vocal recordings of actual people (IRL singers) but if one makes a song using the vocal synth software, they need to credit the developing company and the name of the voicebank that was used for recording the song -- not the IRL singer -- because the nature of the Vocaloid software is to give you, the artist, the tool to write and create songs. And just to be clear how insanely realistic vocal synth can be: listen to this, one of the most recent additions to the voicebanks of Synth V and yes, it's FULLY AI-sung.

    In VOCALOID, however, the question of ownership is pretty clear. If you write your own music and songs and then use the synth voicebank for vocals, then you own the song and can monetize it, given that you give credit to the developing company whose voicebank you used. If you use the voicebank to make a song cover, you are still the author of tuning -- the files used to make the voicebank sing -- so you are a tuner, while the original rights to the song remain with the original artist, and the voicebank developers get copyright for the voicebank. Here, the use of AI is considered a tool -- it gives AI no ownership over anything as a voicebank is just a tool to create music, just like any software in digital art that works like a tool to create art. VOCALOID requires ALOT of learning and human effort, it cannot generate songs by itself and maybe this is why we don't see legal battles over the issue of Vocaloid songs ownership.

    In AI generated works that require minimum human intervention and effort, the situation is different. AI cannot legally own anything even if it created something. The developing company cannot own generated works too -- they can patent know-how, they can patent technology but they cannot claim ownership over AI artworks. Why?

    Essentially, the term AI authorship is derived from conceptual errors :)
    1. Romantisism of a so-called romantic author;
    2. Misunderstandings about implications of the "death" or "non-existence" of the romantic author, and
    3. Copyright laws as the only alternative to the concept of romantic authorship.

    These are thought derived from this essay on the use of AI in literature that I recite every time someone asks me about AI art. Let me summarize quickly:
    1. The writer, in the scope of literary theory, is both social product and social agent. It works both horizontally (relationship between the speaker and the audience) and vertically (relations between preceding texts and future texts). However, expression, artistry and language are important parts of these relations.
    2. Language means dialogue. Dialogue distinguishes the living things from artifacts. In AI, there is no dialogue. It simply replicates the existing patterns that humans have coded it to replicate.
    3. Human communication is the very point of authorship as a social practice. Therefore, authorship can only be human.

    Overall, as a lawyer, I think that, legally. AI cannot be considered an author or an artist.
    chicagodude vindt dit leuk.
  11. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    anyways sometimes i do traditional art too and before u ask me whats going on it's some anime characters that i conveniently turned into skaters of team Japan

  12. chicagodude

    chicagodude Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your in-depth answer, much appreciated!
  13. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    i woke up this morning and chose violence to depict the state of long distance speed skating world circa season 2021-2022 aka NvdP every single fucking interview/when someone mentions or doesn't even mention Patrick Roest

    i accept no criticism

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    leenstrafan en chicagodude vinden dit leuk.
  14. Inimene

    Inimene Well-Known Member

    i just discovered i haven't posted anything in here in more than a year even though I've created a ton of speed skating content. oh well. take that, depression.

    hereby i present to you my original character, my dear child, Federico Conti, who appeared in my dream on a hot August night in 2023, when I was cycling across Italy, and eventually became the main character of my WIP fiction novel revolving around speed skating and the upcoming Milano-Cortina Olympic Games.

    - Born in Giaveno, west of Turin, to Matteo and Giulia Conti. His father, Matteo, was a renouned cyclist whose life ended tragically.
    - Federico started as a cyclist, then became an inline skater, and eventually a speed skater.
    - Federico suffered emotionally after his father's death, engaging in recklessness and all-or-nothing stance in competitions, leading to strained relationships, despent into self-destruction and, eventually, a serious injury at 22, which forced him to quit speed skating. Regardless of the positive recovery prognosis, after the injury, Federico disappeared from the sports world, secretly relocating to Genova to start anew.
    - He is currently residing in Trento with another main character of the story, his coach Alessandro Moretti.

    - Federico is a fan of the famous Italian pop band Pinguini Tattici Nucleari and plays bass as a hobby.
    - Born in the mountains of Piedmont, Federico is has a deep love for the mountains and cycling.
    - Has a fondness for South Asian cuisine and spicy food.

    - Fede is abrupt, easy to irritate, and at times, reckless and short-tempered. Tends to keep emotions guarded, unwilling to let anyone discover his soft side.

    I won't be spoiling much more than that at the moment [​IMG] gotta keep the intrigue going.

    Full size >>here<< (4800x2700px)

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