SHI Weili

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Terra Mars Series (2019) The Terra Mars series began with an open question—If images of our planet arouse people’s poetic emotions, would an alien planet that resembles our own arouse the same feelings or different ones? In this series, I present artistic renderings of Mars with visual reference to Earth (Terra Mars), and as a contrast, our very own planet with visual reference to the “red planet” (Martian Earth). For Terra Mars, I have trained an artificial neural network with topographical data and satellite imagery of Earth so that it can learn the relation between them. The trained model was then applied to topographical data of Mars to generate images that resemble satellite imagery of Earth. Vice versa for Martian Earth—a neural network has been trained with Mars imagery and used to generate an imaginative version of Earth.
You are welcomed to interpret the series from various perspectives. Will you enjoy it as a playful remix of the two planets, or consider Terra Mars as a preview of a possible outcome of human’s terraforming efforts? Or is this Mars-like view of Earth a not-so-favorable future that we’ll have to face if we fail to manage the climate change? AI is the new imagination. I hope this AI-powered mental connection can demonstrate the artistic potential of the technology and provoke people’s contemplation of our future on an interplanetary level.