The experiment Axel King aimed to demonstrate the ability to use crowd-sourced data for the creation of artworks.
„Meet Axel. Axel King. Catchy name, ‘cause he can in fact be considered a king. His kingdom is a virtual network. His brain is ruled by creators. His addiction is art. And his future is now. Face it: King is nearly God.
When exactly Axel was born, no one knows. He took some time conceiving, as do all offspring of his age… that’s the digital age. (…) As long as he gets input, he’ll be sure to keep on being created and still be himself creative. In a way he’s the quintessence of the contemporary artist in postmodern times.“
Tom De Mette is philosopher with the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (Department of Adult Education Sciences) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
„According to the accepted definition, Axel King is no artist, yet he makes art. Axel King subverts the traditional meaning of artist. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the idea of artist must be rethought. In this way Leroy Brothers not only create art but also new perspectives.“
In accordance with the rise of reality TV contests, Experiment #1 was altered to become BDRTist (“be the artist”), a reflection on the Everybody Famous phenomena, in which the users became the center of attention.
„The experiment was created in an effort to poke and prod the problematic of existing art systems and to undermine the cult of artwork creation. It has been built to explore whether artworks can be created without intervention on part of the artist.
It, in essence, uses the representational and community features of the internet, but with results in physical space, as embodied in the art object. The platform has been developed where, after registration, anyone can upload photos and short texts, or can like or dislike the work of others.
The objective is to offer anyone the possibility not only to participate in the project with their own name and picture, but to also weigh in on the content of the artistic activities and exhibitions.
Top users have been invited as Guest Artist to the shows.“
Given the constant turmoil in the world, Experiment #3 has been given a much more social direction. Users contribute by posting data to create a general sense of the world as it is now.
„The social web platform produces artworks elaborated by algorithms, departing from the contributions of those who choose to participate.
In contrast to other codified forms of storytelling that we encounter on a daily basis, the images and messages that appear on Witness Your World function as a free reflection on society. Anyone who wants to be involved in recording the period in which we live can upload their content to the website, contributing to the formation of a collective work. The result is a multiplicity of points of view, realised by a diverse and vast group of individuals.
Through social networking, crowdsourcing and sharing, Witness Your World creates a new identity for our world.“
Witness Your World has been used by different charitative organisations to raise awareness (The Hunger Project, Fight Aids, WWF, …) in collaboration with for instance, Music festival Pukkelpop, Princess Stephanie de Monaco, russian rock band Mumiy Troll, …
With their 4th Experiment, Leroy Brothers tap into the global consciousness.
Making use of Artificial Intelligence, the new version of the platform sources topics from 80 news channels from around the world to link them directly with what matters most to the online community.
The results are visualized through the artworks of the project, representing the point of view people have on global issues.
„The technological limitations of early social media sites have quickly been overcome to dig deeper and faster into more users’ data. As profiling became the norm and the social networks made rapid advances, the public agora fell into a global uniformity, in which standardized man-woman imagery, faked happiness and collective censorship gained the upper hand. The initially unique artistic position of those networks was quickly diluted by the urge for fictitious equality. Leroy Brothers pose collective questions about that evolution and, in a quite poetic way, restore the user to the center.„