Auria Kathi — An artist in the clouds.
What is art? Is it the unsaid? The unsettling?

The last few years have been very happening in the field of Generative/Procedural art. We have seen some of the exciting applications of this field hitting mainstream media — may it be generative architecture like the Digital Grotesque, or the AI generated paintings which sold for a bang or even simple apps which produce an artistic rendering of photographs using Neural Style Transfer like Prisma.

Generative art could be, in a broad sense defined as art generated using a set of instructions, usually using a computer. The art could be produced as a digital version, a physical version or as a combination of both. The definition of the field is still as broad as the definition of “Design” and many new forms of expressions have been brought under this title.

Last year, I and a friend of mine — Sleeba Paul got together to talk about this field. Sleeba loves to play with Machine Learning algorithms and I love Art and Design. We were conversing about how Instagram has become a portfolio website. Being known for original posts rather than shared content, Instagram seemed like the perfect place to showcase works by creatives and to create engagement. We were looking at some of the artists on Instagram and the idea struck us !— What if an artist, living in the cloud, posts regularly in Instagram — A robot, a machine, a piece of code which creates art regularly and posts on Instagram and keeps creating engagement.

This is how Auria was born. Auria Kathi is an anagram for “AI Haiku Art”. We started off trying to create a bot which continuously produced Haikus (to us this meant short poems). We wanted Auria to create poems which does not make complete sense in the beginning but has some meaning to it eventually.
Post this, we generated images based on the poems and finally coloured (styled) it with emotions from the poem and broke them into sets. 
 Auria has now become a standalone bot which requires no maintenance — she keeps posting a poem and an artwork every day for one year and lives entirely on the cloud. So far, she has gathered up some followers and comments by humans as well as others like her ;). She has also started self-promotion.

Auria is the First artist living completely in the cloud and with an Instagram portfolio. Her studio opened in Instagram on 01–01–2019.
We also gave Auria a generated face. We tried to make it a generic, yet generated face. She lives!

Although Auria does not require any maintenance, we are continuously improving her. We are planning on creating better poetry, imagery and relations between them. We are also working on a chatbot which will respond to some of the comments and messages. Further down the line, Auria is envisioned as an Artificial Artist’s Studio. A hub for artificial artistry. We are planning to work on creating generated videos using Auria’s face giving her a voice and generated content to talk on. Who knows what’s in store for this little baby. She is the first of her kind!

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