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ChatGPT on Artistic Research

A conversation with Angelika Boeck & Till Bödeker | Section: Interviews

Abstract: In this interview, Angelika Boeck and Till Bödeker speak with ChatGPT – a text-based dialog system based on machine learning – about art, science, and artistic research. The aim of the conversation is to explore whether ChatGPT provides coherent responses to specific art-and-science questions, and whether this could lead to new perspectives.


The interview with ChatGPT was conducted shortly after its release in December 2022. The authors did not edit ChatGPT’s responses for content or style, but some responses were shortened and the order of responses was changed as the interviews were initially conducted separately. Furthermore, responses that contained misinformation or data hallucinations, such as the answer to the question about the most important texts on artistic research, were removed. These errors occur because ChatGPT has not been trained with sufficient data on a specific topic and often generates incorrect information when asked for specific sources.

Please provide a brief introduction to ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is a large-scale language model developed by OpenAI. Its primary function is to generate human-like texts and answer questions by learning from vast amounts of textual data. ChatGPT employs a transformative generative pre-training (GPT) technique, in which the model predicts the next letter, word, or sentence in a text by analysing large datasets. As a result, ChatGPT is capable of producing natural language and answering questions in a manner similar to that of a human.

Please define art.
Art is a broad and complex concept that is difficult to define. Generally, art is considered a form of human creativity and expression that is manifested in visual, auditory, literary, or performative works. Art encompasses a variety of media and genres, including painting, sculpture, photography, literature, music, theater, film, dance, and many others.

What is a main goal of the online journal w/k — Between Science & Art?
I’m sorry, but I am not able to search the internet and have no information about the journal you mentioned. Can you provide additional information or details about the journal?

We could do that. But first, what do you suspect could be a goal of w/k?
Without knowing more about the journal you mentioned, it is difficult for me to provide a concrete answer. However, it is common for journals in the fields of art and science to aim to bridge the gap between these two areas and to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue. Such journals may also aim to showcase the overlaps between art and science, highlight how they can inform and enrich each other, and explore how art and science can be used to address important social and cultural issues.

That is correct. Our goal is to develop a better understanding of the various connections between the two fields by analysing specific science-related art practices, without assuming a theory that precedes this investigation. Why do we pursue this approach?
Without knowing more about your journal, it is difficult to provide a detailed answer. Generally, however, such an approach is useful for better understanding the connections between these two areas and for avoiding assumptions or preconceptions about the relationship between art and science. This approach allows for a more objective and in-depth examination of how art and science overlap and inform each other.

What is Artistic Research?
The term Artistic Research refers to research conducted in the field of art that is intended to further the understanding of artistic practices and processes. This can include research conducted by artists as well as research conducted by scholars and researchers who study art from a more theoretical perspective.

What are the central ideas of Artistic Research?
1. Artistic practice as a source of knowledge and insight: Artistic research considers artistic practice as a source of knowledge and insight and utilizes methodological approaches from the arts, humanities, and social sciences to explore and analyse it.

2. The role of art in society: Artistic research views art as an important source of creativity and expression and investigates the social and cultural impact of art practices.

3. The involvement of spectators and communities: Artistic research regards spectators and communities as active participants in art practices and investigates the interactions and relationships between artists, spectators, and communities.

4. The analysis and interpretation of artworks: Artistic research involves the analysis and interpretation of artworks and their artistic, cultural, and social meanings.

5. Collaboration with other artists and scholars: Artistic research emphasizes collaboration with other artists and scholars to develop new insights and perspectives.

6. The idea that art practices are a form of human creativity and expression, manifested in visual, aural, literary, or performative works.

7. The idea that art practices are a way to address and discuss social and political issues.

What new insights does artistic research create?
Artistic research can contribute to creating new insights into artistic techniques and methods, the analysis and interpretation of artworks, collaboration with other artists and scholars, interaction with audiences and communities, and the application of theories and frameworks from the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Artistic research can also help to develop new perspectives and insights into the social and cultural impacts of art practices and explore new ways of participating in the arts. It can help to strengthen art in education and society and develop new forms of art education and art mediation.

Is there a kind of artistic knowledge that is equivalent to scientific knowledge?
It is important to note that artistic knowledge and scientific knowledge are two different forms of knowledge that are not necessarily equivalent. Scientific knowledge is based on the scientific method, which involves conducting empirical investigations and experiments to gain objective and verifiable insights into the natural world. In contrast, artistic knowledge is based on artistic practices and processes and is often of a more subjective and interpretive nature. Therefore, it is not always possible to directly compare artistic and scientific knowledge in a meaningful way. However, it is important to acknowledge the value of both forms of knowledge and how they can inform and complement each other.

What are the differences between the approach of w/k and artistic research? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
It’s difficult to answer this without knowing more about the specific methods and goals of both approaches. In general, both approaches seem to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the connections between art and science. One possible difference could be that w/k may pursue a more theoretical approach, while artistic research places a stronger emphasis on the analysis of artistic practices and processes.

One advantage of the w/k approach could be that it provides a broader theoretical foundation for investigating the connections between art and science. On the other hand, the focus on the analysis of artistic practices and processes in artistic research could help to gain concrete insights into how these two areas interact. One disadvantage of the artistic research approach could be that it may have less theoretical breadth and possibly less influence in scientific circles.

What could be a suitable feature image for this interview?
As a language AI, I don’t have access to visual media. However, the feature image should reflect the theme of the interview and be appealing to the audience. One possible suggestion could be an image that shows an artist working on an artwork that connects to science, such as an installation or sculpture that represents scientific concepts or principles. Another option could be an image that illustrates the process of artistic research, such as a group of artists experimenting and exchanging ideas together.

Thank you very much for this interview.
You’re welcome! It was a pleasure to answer your questions.

Details of the cover photo: Stable Diffusion & Till Bödeker: DNA double helix & logo of OpenAI (2023).

How to cite this article

Angelika Boeck & Till Bödeker (2023): ChatGPT on Artistic Research. w/k–Between Science & Art Journalhttps://doi.org/10.55597/e8806  

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