11 thoughts on “Jean-Michel Jarre Meets AI-Generated Dystopian Artwork

    1. I agree Zoolook was very innovative but I think it simply wasn’t as popular as it deserved, which is why JMJ started to draw in the masses with more “likable” tunes. If you follow his work carefully, you will notice a lot of innovation after Zoolook, but not as prominent and dominant among the constant Oygene flashbacks and club beats.

    2. Zoolook was very much a Fairlight album. Sure, he used other synths in his arsenal but to my ears the Fairlight is front and center throughout – he got a lot of mileage out of it.

  1. Holy, holy, what an extraordinary vision! I think of all the animals, large and small, who have suffered under our reign. Profound.

  2. This is just plain wrong! Ethnicolour is _not_ about a dystopian future! It was very much an expression of its time in exploring ethnicity from a global perspective – a fundamentally more positive underpinning to the piece. There could not be a more inappropriate use (abuse) of this landmark piece.

    1. Well, I might respond to your comment here on two points in particular:

      First, while I believe you may be correct regarding Ethnicolour’s original background, you seem to be adding your own spin in saying that that’s a “fundamentally more positive underpinning”. And while the acknowledgement of global ethnicity can be positive, there are lots of modern historical examples (Apartheid, the Balkan conflicts, modern Han suppression of the Uygurs, just about every tribal conflict on the globe, etc., etc.) that show it can also be just as negative. Personally, I don’t view the Jarre work as either positive or negative, FWIW. It’s merely a survey.

      Second, it’s the curator of this site that added the “Dystopian” characterization to the artwork’s description — not the Computer Artist, nor the original painter of the works it’s derived from. I love Beksinski’s work, and would not myself call it dystopian. “Disturbing”, a “dark view into a personal subconscious”, “utterly alien”, and perhaps even “completely incomprehensible”: yes, all of those. But dystopian (as in, representative of a future society that has fallen to its nadir) is not necessarily how I would first characterize most of his art that I’ve seen.

      My point is that the “Dystopian” descriptor in the heading was only placed here by the guy who writes the blurbs on this blog. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should associate the intent of the original piece with that word. If you take the work itself merely as something unfamiliar/otherworldly (even if it is disturbing), then I think the choice of the music — which was itself quite unfamiliar/otherworldly when released — fits much better.

      Or, rather, that’s my $.02. YMMV…

      1. Kevin & ‘Catfood’

        Thanks for the feedback – it’s always refreshing to see deep comments on posts!

        You both raise good points. The reason I characterized Marshall’s video piece as I did is because Beksinski’s work is often put in the category of ‘dystopian surrealism’. Since the video was generated by an AI trained on Beksinski’s work, the headline reflects these facts.

        Regarding pairing Zoolook with AI-generated dystopian visuals – one of the core meanings of the term ‘synthesis’ is the idea of combining disparate and even opposing elements together to make something new.

        While the focus of Synthtopia is audio synthesis, we do try to incorporate broader meanings of ‘synthesis’ into our coverage, when it’s relevant to readers. Marshall’s video is interesting because it’s not just incorporating audio synthesis, but the broader idea of combining disparate and event contradictory elements in interesting ways.

  3. Beautifully rendered and an interesting use of the classic song, but I’ve had enough dystopia for a while, how about you?

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