June 10, 2023
By Keaton Shyler
A year ago, on the first day when Creative Director Chad Nelson got access to OpenAI’s DALL-E, he started with a simple prompt: A cute yellow furry monster walks into a misty Forest. And the result was startling, a Pixar-like loveable furry monster. From that point on, Nelson was hooked, staying up late into the night creating a cast of wooly woodland creatures.
Nelson was astounded with the pre-visualization capabilities that DALL-E offered his industry, but that night, he saw something more. His imagination took off and he began to imagine a larger story, and he devised the short film Critterz. David Attenborough meets Monty Python in this meet-cute between an inept documentarian and the real inhabitants of this forest. It calls to mind larger issues. I immediately registered this as a reminder of David Abrams’ sage philosophy explored in The Spell of the Sensuous: we live in a “more than human world.” But, how bizarre for AI to serve as the vehicle for this understanding.
Or, is it? Humans frequently explore the natural world with constructed elements. Would, perhaps, a healthy approach to AI be to see it as yet another tool in the creative human toolbox to explore meaning, paradox, and relationships. Fundamental to art is both the ability to see, and to see differently. In other words, art fosters a perspective shift in participants who create the work and participants who engage with the work.
Critterz is the first AI-generated short film, written and directed by Chad Nelson, all visuals designed by Chad Nelson using OpenAI’s DALL-E, produced by Native Foreign’s Nik Kleverov. Critterz will screen at the ArtClass Presents: AI LIVE from Cannes event on June 20th, 2023 followed by a director’s talk. For more information head to: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cs_5CRhP_f8/?hl=en