Roope RainistoRainisto Variations

HERE Opening event
Saturday 25th November 2023

4 - 5pm: Jan Robert Leegte with Pita Arreola (Digital Art Curator, V&A)-
5 - 6pm: Haroon Mirza with Kostas Kostas Stasinopoulos (Curator, Serpentine)
6 - 10pm: DJ set by AHMD (Artists Eddie Peake, Prem Sahib and George Henry Longly)


Preview Days
Ground floor: 23 - 24 Nov 2023

Free & Open to Public
Ground & First Floor: 25 - 26 Nov 2023

9 Cork St
London W1S 3LL

Fellowship is proud to present Rainisto Variations, a new series of videos by Finnish artist Roope Rainisto at Verse.

Through these works, Roope explores the conceptual core of AI art; the prompt. To do this, Roope reinterprets the original prompts used by Elman Mansimov in his groundbreaking 2015 project alignDRAW, widely credited as the first text-to-image model.

The results make evident the rudimentary nature of these technologies and how it is through trial and error and conceptual understanding, that an artwork can be created with the use of AI image generators. In these works, Roope emphasizes that to know the prompt, does not make the art, art. It is the artist who inevitably makes the images have meaning.

Rainisto Variations is presented as part of HERE, an event dedicated to digital art taking place at 9 Cork Street, Frieze Gallery in London. This event represents an extension of Verse's ongoing partnership with galleries and artists who have shown dedication to fostering the growth of digital art within the contemporary art scene.

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Roope Rainisto’s trio of AI video artworks offers a deep dive into the heart of generative creativity. Besides showcasing algorithmic ability, these works explore the dialogue between textual cues and visual outcomes, a concept initially introduced by alignDRAW.

His three video works revisit a primal form of digital expression. Each work is created using its respective title as the basis for generative methods, with no additional modifications to the prompts, echoing the vigorous simplicity of Mansimov’s originals, while challenging himself to gain control over the artworks not through the prompt but through all the other settings and controls available to the artist.

Rainisto’s work channels modern generative methods to mirror the aesthetics of the 2015 era. With the same titles acting as both the seed and the narrative, he challenges the commonly held notion that prompts are merely starting points. In doing so, he not only recreates but rethinks the straightforwardness of the early generative art era. This approach counters the scepticism around the importance of prompts, showcasing their potential as catalysts for pure creativity. The triptych is an exploration into the core of digital creation, investigating the dialogue between text and image, between prompt and creation, and between man and machine.

The videos serve as an exploration into the “digital unconscious” - a term used to describe the elusive aesthetics embedded within algorithmic processes. Each piece, while narrating a story from its title, envelops the viewer in a meditative experience. The repetition of words from the title, voiced over the visual narrative, serves as a mantra, anchoring the viewer to the essence of the unfolding visual narrative.

Amidst the abstract imagery of the videos, a narrative dictated by the algorithm’s understanding of the textual prompt unfolds. This nod to Mansimov’s raw aesthetic is a conscious homage to the unrefined style of earlier AI-generated artwork, yet with Rainisto’s signature layer of contemplation.

His practice revisits and revitalizes the pioneering spirit that alignDRAW encapsulated, unleashing the imaginative capabilities of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) within motion media. This isn’t just about creation; it’s about conversation, a quest to unravel the narrative potential entrenched within a few simple strings of text, and exploring what it means to create in the digital realm.

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Roope Rainisto

Roope Rainisto is a Finnish artist, designer, and photographer with a passion for storytelling. His work explores the boundaries between the real and the virtual. He has worked for 25 years as a creative professional, now pioneering innovative applications of AI-based generative methods for post-photographic expression. He earned a Masters of Science in Information Networks from Helsinki...
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Fellowship aims to connect the past and present to shape the future of art. Founded in 2021 by artists, collectors, and Web3 pioneers, the organisation connects the lineage of art’s rich history to break down barriers between the traditional and the new, paving the way for an inspiring and vibrant future. To date, Fellowship has showcased remarkable collections from pioneering and contemporary...
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