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AI is not Art!


I had firmly resolved to ignore this bullshit completely. When there is such a hype about something new, the phenomenon usually disappears after a short time, like Tamagotchi or Pokemon Go. AI-generated “art”? That’s absolutely ridiculous. A computer cannot create art. A computer has no soul, no feelings. For the users, this is also likely to become very boring very quickly. And only very few people are likely to be so unpretentious that they seriously expect recognition for their “artistic” work.

To create the “artwork” in the cover picture, I instructed the machine to generate a fibre optic light painting portrait of a woman. After about 1 minute the picture was saved on my hard disk. Very creepy, in my opinion. On closer inspection you can see that it is not a real lightpainting. But I don’t want to think about what results the machine will deliver in one or two years. And I probably could have improved the result. However, I had no desire to do so at all. The only reason I tested it at all is that I wanted to know what I was getting excited about.

The “creation” of this “work of art” also took only one minute. Actually, I could shrug my shoulders calmly, but it is to be feared that more and more busybodies are using this method to generate light paintings without mentioning that their creative share is zero. I like to say that I have no competition and don’t compare myself with other artists, but I think there is a danger that our particular art form will be damaged. More and more people could classify our art as computer generated and thus devalue it massively. All the images in this post are completely worthless because there was no human creative input in their production.


Yesterday I received an email from a German photo community, the reason for writing this post. It announced a competition for AI-generated “photos”. A prize money of 3000€ was offered. The question immediately popped into my head: who should get this prize money? But not the person who submitted the “photo”. He is in no way the author of the “photo”. There is no copyright for such pictures. How could there be? There is no human part in the creation process. And the computer that created the “photo” cannot exercise copyright. That has nothing remotely to do with photography. It has nothing whatsoever to do with art. So what’s the point of this crap?

Fotoforum KI “Photo” Award

And unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. I didn’t look any further for it. But here is another example of a “photo” that won a competition. You can delete “Magazin für Fotokultur” and replace it with “Magazin für belanglose Computerbasteleien”.



No! It’s not only the result that counts. So far I’ve only heard this kind of thing from the Olympus disciples who wanted to explain to me that Live Composite was also real light painting and that they were doing the same thing as me. Live Composite is not a single exposure. A quick look at the Olympus instruction manual will help. But compared to the AI “artist”, this is still very harmless.

It would be like taking the winner’s trophy away from a marathon runner because I reached the finish line much faster with my car. And then I might explain to him that he’s completely crazy because he walked the 42 km. No one would come up with such an absurd idea. But why then in the field of light painting, photography, art? When creating a work of art, it’s not about the quick result that then brings in as many likes as possible from the bought followers on Instagram. Creating art is always about the process, the emotions, the soul and the thoughts of the artist. And in my case, above all, it’s about the fun of working together with like-minded people. The result quickly becomes secondary.

In principle, I have no problem with someone having a painting done by a robot to which he has shouted three words beforehand. I do have a serious problem, however, when they claim that their “art” is equivalent to real light paintings or real photographs. And the whole thing becomes really funny when they conceal the fact that the picture was created by a computer.


I find these results very frightening. It’s as if Frankenstein had been handed a camera. Many viewers of such images will not realise that they are not photographs created by humans. I don’t even want to think about the consequences of all this. Without much effort, any situation can be visualised out of thin air in an extremely short time and disseminated through the media. The complete moon landing would be created in five minutes by a single person in front of a computer.

Every talentless poser can now be celebrated as a great artist. A few euros buy a few thousand followers on Instagram and upload two or three of these “works of art” every day, and all is right with the world. Compared to that, the photographers who take photos of other people’s light paintings and then pass them off as their own pictures are almost harmless.

There. Enough excitement. I’m going to wait until this bullshit is over again, and until then I’d rather do real light paintings.

Always good, and above all REAL light.


Addendum 28.03.2023


One aspect has been neglected in my consideration so far. The basis on which the various AI programmes generate the results are large databases of images, photographs and graphics These were created by real people. Thus, these real people exercise the copyright for their works. By using them in the AI machines, the copyright of these photographers and artists is infringed. Any use and modification of their works requires the explicit consent of the copyright holder. In addition, the authors would have to be paid a usage fee in an appropriate amount. The operators of the AI programmes use the images without the consent of the authors. There is no remuneration. This procedure clearly constitutes an infringement of rights. The operators of the various AI platforms generate high profits by violating copyright. It is to be hoped that this practice will soon be stopped by legal means.

Sven Gerard

Sven Gerard, Jahrgang 1969, geboren und aufgewachsen in Berlin. Er fotografiert seit frühester Jugend mit großer Leidenschaft. Neben dem fotografischen Erkunden zahlreicher beeindruckender verlassener Orte, widmet er sich seit mittlerweile 10 Jahren intensiv dem Lightpainting. Sein umfangreiches Wissen teilt er auf seinem Blog „“, weiteren Publikationen und in seinen Workshops. Darüber hinaus organisiert er Veranstaltungen zum Thema Lightpainting, wie „Light Up Berlin“. Gerard lebt gemeinsam mit seiner Lebensgefährtin in Berlin und hat einen erwachsenen Sohn. Sven Gerard was born in 1969 and grew up in Berlin. He has been a passionate photographer since his early youth. In addition to photographically exploring numerous impressive abandoned places, he has been intensively involved in light painting for 10 years now. He shares his extensive knowledge on his blog ‘’, other publications and in his workshops. He also organises events on the subject of light painting, such as ‘Light Up Berlin’. Gerard lives in Berlin with his partner and has a grown-up son.

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