Aspen art gallery: Artist explores whether human ideas matter in an A.I. world – The Aspen Times

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Artist Sebastian Errazuriz’s exhibition ‘100% Human’ is on display at the Simon Miccio Gallery through April 19.
Dale Mitchell/Summit Photo and Film

Statues will fall. Technology is coming for us. Humans generate new ideation while artificial intelligence replicates the pre-existing might be, according to designer and artist Sebastian Errazuriz, a much more magnanimous variation of our culture’s functional form of universality.

As his new exhibition reaffirms, “100% Human Ideas,” which opened Feb. 14 at the Simon Miccio Gallery and runs through April 19, we needn’t fear human ideas going anywhere.

There is plenty one would call human and interior present in the works on display. Despite the commercial proliferation of AI-generated renditions of industry methods and products, human ideas are irreplaceable.

“The show is called ‘100% Human Ideas’ because everything is derivative of others; it is very difficult to find an original idea,” Errazuriz said. “AI is probably the biggest issue of our times.”

Known for his works across public art, antiquities, cabinetry design, art objects, and having made dynamic impacts on the sculptural world, the artist is neither threatened by nor in awe of technology. There is a delicateness to his works that represents his recognition of the symbiotic nature of the relationship that humans have with machines.

Simon Miccio in front of a Sebastian Errazuriz piece.
Dale Mitchell, Summit Photo and Film/Courtesy photo

Indeed, he uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality in his design process. Peel back the layers, and you find the humanism of an educator.

“I try to re-imagine everything with the sole purpose of getting new generations to not be stuck by the structures, images, paradigms they receive but to see that everything can be questioned,” he said. “And it is their responsibility to continue questioning everything.”

Born in Chile, Errazuriz and his parents migrated to London at 5 years old, where they lived until he was 14, while his father, who designed the art curriculum for Chile’s entire educational system, completed his Ph.D.

This transnational rearing in the arts endowed him with a positionality extending beyond his talent.

“The only way for me to contribute to a more universal way of storytelling is to make it precise. I try to distill things into an emoji, the simplest version of each one, to the icon of what it represents. It makes sense to try to create works that are recognized universally,” he said.

Likewise, he has always pushed against the boundaries of creativity.

“I hate that when I was a kid the library books were divided into aisle of architecture, aisle of design, aisle of art,” he said. “I think that knowledge is much more fluid than that. A designer can benefit from understanding the language of the arts, and artists can benefit from understanding the language of design.”

A viewer enjoys Sebastian Errazuriz’ work at Aspen’s Simon Miccio Gallery.
Dale Mitchell, Summit Photo and Film/Courtesy photo

Parlaying weekends spent with his father interpreting works in renowned collections, he participated in art competitions upon his return to Chile before opting to study design, seeing in the discipline a vast quantity of techniques and technologies that could benefit his execution.

It was unheard of and looked down upon to wear multiple hats. However, once in design school, he began mixing art into his studies because he “missed the existential and emotional of the arts.”

By age 26, in addition to running his studio, he had his own TV and radio shows, newspaper column, and notable appointments teaching at universities and advising the former president of Chile. He moved to the United States to earn his MFA from New York University before building his studio more than a decade ago.

His practice calls on viewers to re-examine their pre-determined assumptions. The works feel like a different realm of art, and this show represents the first time that he has exhibited many of them, including a bench of Confederate iconography and a new version of the “Spring Shit Show” chandelier.

“Everything should provoke a little bit of surprise and thought,” he said. “It was beautiful to watch the community proud to support Simon Miccio and something we need more of.”

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