Seeds of Inspiration x Botto

Ryan Koopmans and Alice Wexell converge with Botto to transform an abandoned ballroom and share artifacts from their journey.

This collaboration was the first time that we've worked with AI, and it was also the first time working with a collective of individuals rather than a singular artist. Through the process Botto felt like an individual sovereign artist through this collective curation of the Botto DAO, which was really fascinating.

One of the main inspirations for the collaboration conceptually was an image that I photographed in Georgia, several years ago now, which depicts a sculpture of this woman who's holding what appears to be a landline telephone, which is really fascinating because the structure on the wall appears as if it's an ancient artifact of some sort.

We thought that this was an interesting starting point in thinking about how we would conceptualize the relationship between our abandoned architectural interiors and implementing Botto’s AI generated fragments.

The process of finding locations involves first a lot of research into a particular country or a city, and then it's about going there physically and searching for these locations, many of which have either been burned down or have eventually collapsed. So your research beforehand doesn't necessarily line up with what the reality is on the ground. In these countries, they're undergoing rapid transformation, for instance, this fragment of this nose sculpture came from this old abandoned school, which had been closed down at the collapse of the Soviet Union in Georgia.

We thought, we can explore this building a week later because we were gonna travel to other parts of the country. But sure enough, when we come back, The school had been completely flattened, and so this plaster nose was one of the few remaining pieces. This Slava watch face is something that caught my eye at a market, maybe six years ago also in the country of Georgia. In some of these buildings, they were created and even abandoned in a time or a place that in some cases doesn't even exist anymore. For instance, the U.S.S.R. being a country which no longer exists.

The building interior that's depicted in the collaborative piece with Botto is located in the countryside in Southern Poland. We chose this image because this interior actually contained these seven marble picture frames, which are still hanging onto the wall. We thought it'd be interesting if the Botto fragments were implemented into this architectural interior in a way that they appeared as if they could have authentically existed within the frames on this wall.

Within these frames, there used to be classical paintings by several renowned artists as well as decorations in this grandiose ballroom.


One thing that's really fascinating in these old buildings is the layers of paint and wallpaper that you often find in the interior, you can see that there's been different iterations of the room over the years where people have painted new layers of paint or tried to apply wallpaper, but then through the passing of time and the, deterioration caused by nature, these layers peel away. For example, the piece titled Stories appears as if it was a book page being turned, and in the image multiply, you have this black mold, which has almost fully engulfed the wallpaper.

It's always a mystery when you go into these different rooms because you never really know what you're gonna expect around the corner, and that sense of discovery and exploration is one of the more exciting parts of the creation process.

Initially, we considered using an image that only had one picture frame in it. However, we thought that there was more potential to create relationships between the images to really reflect the essence of Botto in its’ ability to create a voluminous output of images.

The various Botto fragments as well as the frames on the wall come in different aspect ratios. So it was really a process of sequencing and composing and cropping the different Botto fragments to make them harmoniously exist within this space.

The pool of Botto fragments that the community had to choose from were outputs that had been generated over the last years, but had never made it to a final one of one mint. So this concept of reviving these fragments, which were, in this kind of limbo state aligned with this idea , of reviving this empty and abandoned architectural space.

In many of these rooms, you see the presence of nature, resurging or regrowing. In the case of the image regrowth, this fern was poking out from the corner of the wall and was a real symbol of the power that nature has and the ultimate fate of these human made structures returning back to the earth.

It was exciting for us to experiment with new technologies as well as to connect with the Botto community in creating this piece that really formed a sense of bottle being this sovereign, creative artist. We can photograph this crumbling, abandoned building and visually revive this space, incorporating these contemporary art techniques in the form of Botto fragments, going from a discarded ruin to a contemporary digital artwork.



Co-Creator: Alice Wexell

In collaboration with: Botto

Video by: Mackenzie Davenport

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