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Seeing a tiger didn’t change who I am

Research Open House 2024

AI generated image of two Carolina parakeets with the wings spread.

Elisabeth Smolarz, Visiting Assistant Professor, Photography

School of Art

“Seeing a tiger didn’t change who I am” is a video and photography project in which I address the current age of mass extinction. In response to the critical situation that the most endangered species are confronting, I collaborate with various AI platforms such as Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DreamStudio to “resurrect” species that went extinct in the last century and were not previously documented through photography, examples being the Dodo, the Golden Toad, the Paradise Parrot, and more. This creative endeavor aims to foster a sense of unity and empathy with the current species that are on the brink of extinction.

The project is currently in its AI phase, and will culminate in an immersive installation that combines photography, video, and sound. Furthermore, it will serve as an educational tool, fostering discussions about the environment, technology, and the intersection of art and science in the classroom. It will provide an opportunity to engage students and the public in meaningful conversations about the importance of biodiversity conservation. It will also showcase the potential of photography and technology to serve as a catalyst for environmental advocacy.

An AI generated image of a Dodo bird. There is grass and water behind it. It is looking at two baby dodos in front of it.
A digitally glitchy image of a monarch butterfly.
An AI generated image of a bubal hartebeest grazing in tall grass.
A photograph of a gallery with digital screens mounted on the wall. They are showing digitally glitchy images of AI generated images of animals.
An AI generated image of a Guam Flying Fox