Artificial Intelligence: The Latent Revolution in Filmmaking


  • Chris Hales


experimental film, experimental animation, abstraction, neural networks, GANs, artificial intelligence, latent spacewalk


New practices in experimental film are emerging as a result of artificial intelligence (AI) developments in machine learning and generative adversarial networks (GANs). The author describes this as a Latent Revolution in filmmaking, complementing Lev Manovich’s so-called Velvet Revolution in motion graphics that occurred in the mid-1990s. A review of current artistic and filmmaking practice using AI leads to the identification of the role of AI and GANs as creative partners, contributing their own ideas and imagery to complement those of the filmmaker. Experimental films produced recently using AI-based techniques are analysed; some of these could be said to be an extension of traditionally recognised practices, whereas others demonstrate new processes and result in novel genres of film that have little or no historical precedent. The primacy of latent space is highlighted as being a major characteristic of GANs that can lead to new kinds of creative imagery and in particular the ‘latent spacewalk film’.

Author Biography

Chris Hales

Chris has exhibited a variety of interactive film installations dating back to ARTEC’95 in Japan via Future Cinema at ZKM in 2003 to the Glucksman Gallery in Cork in 2019. Part of his enquiry is the use of novel or unusual interface technology including A.I. techniques (such as facial emotion recognition) and brain-computer interfaces. He has investigated group interaction with the ‘Cause & Effect’ interactive filmshow (2003–2012), designed for audiences in cinemas. He has published numerous academic articles and carried out empirical research in Prague to discover the forgotten secrets of the world’s first interactive film (1967), entitled Kinoautomat. Chris obtained his PhD with the dissertation “Rethinking the Interactive Movie” in 2006 and has held lecturing appointments at the University of the West of England (Bristol), the Slade School of Fine Art, Central Saint Martins and SMARTlab (University College Dublin), and he has run hundreds of workshops related to experimental filmmaking and interactivity as a freelance visiting lecturer. In 2020, he was appointed as Assistant Professor at RISEBA and is Creative Director of the practiceled PhD launched jointly in 2021 by RISEBA and Liepaja University.