by Vas Mylko
This post is about curious chances for artists — for painters. Ingeenee is building the AI technology for the most curious trips in any geo, any time, any budget. AI tech is used in the product — Curiosio. One side of Curiosio is technical; we described wannabe ingeeneers in Curious Careers. Another side of Curiosio is artistic; and we will describe it here, right now.
First glimpses about the artistic side of Curiosio took place in When it Works, How will it Look. Back then it was high-level, conceptual, raw. Today we have got a model how to make it work. We will show examples, drill down into design principles, describe peculiarities.
Consciously Different, Unconsciously Intimate
In March 2018 Elon Musk visited Jordan. Here is his tweet of Al-Khazneh in Petra. It’s not a photo of the POI, it’s not a photo of the POI with own face stamped over it. It’s etching of the POI. As a method of printmaking, it is the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today, especially for souvenirs, for memories of your experiences.
Why Elon preferred etching? I discussed this with an Intaglio Master half a year ago. The Master thought for a minute or so, and confidently told: “I know why. He wanted to be different.” Different from whom? Different from majority of tourists. Majority of tourists make zillions of photos, often without photo shooting skills, many selfies, and upload them. Musk bought an artwork, and showcased it on Twitter, as difference; though upload wasn’t necessary. This segment of tourists is described by The Economist as intellectually & culturally curious.
Then I asked the Master: “Why people like etching? How the bond forms?” The Master didn’t think longer than several seconds, telling affirmatively: “It’s easy — we all have bond with this art since childhood. It’s familiar to everyone, it’s Piranesi.”
Who is Piranesi? Giovanni Battista Piranesi also known as simply Piranesi was an Italian artist, in 18th century, famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric “prisons” (Le Carceri d’Invenzione). Below are two typical artworks of Italian POIs by Piranesi.
Many artists drew and printed POIs, city panoramas, landscapes since then in Piranesi style. Though this art is not in our daily lives, it is already unconsciously intimate for many of us. We bought and analyzed all travel guides from each decade since early 1800s. There is Piranesi everywhere, it’s kind of style, good style. Style for intellectually & culturally curious.
Curiosities & Curiosio
There are thousands of curiosities in the world. But only select rare curiosities are outstanding. Hence the name — una curiosità. Here are few sample POIs that we consider as outstanding:
- Astronaut on the façade of New Cathedral of Salamanca, constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in late Gothic and Baroque styles, aka Cathedral of Salamanca’s Astronaut.
- Grand Central Terminal in NYC, NY. It has many curiosities: Grand Central Terminal Whispering Gallery, Grand Central Ceiling Dark Patch, Track 61, Campbell Apartment; and also biggest Tiffany clock, astronomically incorrect ceiling painting, hole in the ceiling, tennis court, hidden walkways in windows, always one minute late departures.
- Mano del Desierto aka Hand of the Desert in Chilean desert.
You could find many peculiarities of Grand Central Terminal in The Secrets of Grand Central Terminal in New York City | The New York Times, and in Every Detail of Grand Central Terminal Explained | Architectural Digest. Below are few curiosities of the Grand Central Terminal visualized.
We are going to show most curious POIs as artwork. Huge impact onto this concept came from Brodsky & Utkin. Constrained by the limitations of soviet-era architecture, Brodsky & Utkin imagined fantastical structures on paper. Those multiple facets of the same POI could be visualized in one artwork. It’s artist’s responsibility and mission to see & feel how to do that, how to set priorities, which facet to prefer, how to arrange them.
Grand Central Terminal could be imagined in this style. Main facet must include a human being, in the context. We want to imagine feelings, emotions, relations between the human and the POI. Other examples of multi-faceted imaginations:
Several Brodsky & Utkin prints are also currently on view at Tate Modern. There is rare book — Brodsky and Utkin: The Complete Works — we got it and analyzed it. This worked, works and will work. It’s Piranesi, unconsciously intimate. We will show most curious multi-faceted POIs as curious artwork.
Call for Artists
There is no need for etching until drawing looks & works like Piranesi etching in surrealistic style of Brodsky & Utkin. Attention to details is paramount. Not so many POIs will get drawn; only best of the best of the best of them, only most curious and multi-faceted.
Artists, what you will get from us? If you are not famous yet, you will get famous with us. When you draw & upload una curiosità into our system, you will get endorsement, promotion globally. When your artwork is selected to represent a POI, many curious tourists & travelers who will use Curiosio will see your work, with your big signature/signage in visible place. People may want to know more about you and your works, so we could connect them with you. We will communicate lists of most curious POIs, to select from. You draw only when you want and what you want. You retain your rights to your work.
Artists, what we will get from you? If you are famous, we will get famous with you. When you upload una curiosità into our system, we get exclusive royalty-free license to your work in perpetuity throughout the Universe for use in Curiosio. Minor modifications should be possible, to adapt to different screen sizes, fine-tune colors, contrast etc. If your artwork is used, it’s always used as is, with your big signature/signage, and linked to your copyright. We select your work among others when we want. For us it’s crowdsourcing. It’s possible to have multiple artworks for the same POI.
What for other POIs?
We will show photos, but simple fog could spoil expectations for you in situ. It’s good when experienced matched expected. It’s great when experienced exceeded expected. But it’s poor when experience was below expectations. In Curiosio, for the best POIs, there will be no broken experiences by design.
Each trip has distinctive overlapping phases: Before, During, After. This post was mostly related to Before and After. Before: for inspiration and imagination of the expected experience. After: for better memories, for stimuli of feelings.
At the end of Before phase stylish inspiration may be insufficient. Our CTO Alex Sukholeyster says: “This all is cool for inspiration, but for real decision making, show me high fidelity realistic view of this place, now and when it was at its great days. Show me what is special about this place.”
What is special must be captured by the artists. High fidelity and realistic view is possible via integrations. Each our POI is linked to Wikipedia already. We can transfer you to Google Street View for any POI by geo coordinates, e.g. to Colosseum. For select POIs, many cities and destinations we could navigate you to videos by Expedia, Viator, The Economist and similar.
In the future, for Before & During phases, we will link digital experiences — curious augmented reality. AR is much more complicated to crowdsource than intaglio, especially testing side of it… Maybe Niantic could do or orchestrate AR experiences for most curious POIs, and we will integrate and complement them with the most intelligent trip search Curiosio.
Curiosio is being designed as a lifestyle tool for the intellectually and culturally curious. It’s geek travel.