Just when you thought Bob Ross’ The Joy Of Painting was the most reliably relaxing and comforting show to watch, somebody uploaded it into a damn nightmare computer and turned all the happy little trees into the products of a bad acid trip. The resulting five-and-a-half-minute deep dream experiment features a monster-faced Ross glitching his way around the studio in a cloud of ever-changing faces and bodies. Imagine the scramble suit from A Scanner Darkly combined with the cover of every Animorphs book, and add a dash of fever dream.
For the uninitiated, DeepDream is a program created by Google that uses an artificial neural network to find patterns (i.e. faces) in other images. Basically, the computer will take an image and say, “This part kind of looks like a dog image I’ve seen,” and then it will turn that section into that dog image. As it turns out, most stuff looks like an awful mixture of dogs, cats, and giant bugs.
“[The video] shows some of the unreasonable effectiveness and strange inner workings of a deep learning systems,” says artBoffin, the creator of this particular trippy piece of art, adding that the audio for the video, including Ross’ broken, backwards speech, was also generated by the computer. Looking on the bright side of this terrifying dreamscape, we now know that when the computer overlords enslave us and take over the Earth, they’ll at least be pretty good at painting.