– 2013 –






The art collective YQP consists of Maximilian Hoch, Florian Dohmann and Manuel Urbanke. In their work the group reflects on topics of our time and blends technology with interactive storytelling. Political and philosophical issues such as the value of labor, digital privacy and artificial intelligence are subject of their art experiments. Their goal is always to spark discussion.




unfinished series

The birth of an artificial muse


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Artificial Intelligence is on the upswing of humanity. Already now machines are capable of executing most human tasks. 

This relentless progress of AI in today's world is widely considered fatal for the human race. The biggest minds of our time declare a total assumption of power by machines that could result into a complete submission of mankind.

The art project Unfinished one is the attempt to change the negative perception on A.I. It's the first time artificial intelligence is used to inspire, challenge and provoke a living painter by it's work.

Asking the question: Can AI by truly helpful in the process of making art? A task that requires emotions and instincts rather than science
and logic.   



Over the course of several months an AI-system was developed. The system is able to extract different facets from his paintings - such as colors, contrasts, forms, composition - and interprets them in new ways. The result is a neural network that independently produces an infinite amount of new paintings based on Lipski’s style.

The artificially generated pictures have the goal to inspire Lipski for his upcoming cycle of work - sharpening his eyes for new composition and perspectives as well as helping him to form a new artistic language.



Our art collective YQP collaborated with the painter Roman Lipski to create the first artificial muse in the art world.


The first chapter of this ongoing project took place at the Tech Open Air Festival in Berlin, where the first creative outcome of the machine got exhibited. In spring 2017 Lipski and YQP will present the first paintings inspired by the the AI. But the dialogue between man and machine won’t stop there. Once again Lipski’s new work will be fed into the system and the AI will produce new art pieces based on his new style.

The ongoing exchange between Lipski and his digital muse will ultimately help the painter to form a new creative language in the arts.  

Indeed, all of this still appears miraculous to our time, but its rise is inevitable. And this is just the beginning.


Unfinished 1 was exhibited at Tech Open Air 2016 in Berlin. Visitors could see the artificial muse working and printing art pieces.  


A selection of art pieces created by the muse that give Roman Lipski a chance to have a totally different perspective on his work.


At the end the muse created over 200 individual printouts. They serve Roman Lipski as inspiration for the second iteration of paintings.







Photo by Hannes M. Meier

Muse inspired by paper "A neural algorithm of artistic style", based on 19 layer VGG NET.


The paintings below are already inspired by the artificial muse. New colors and shapes show that the dialog between artist and machine is fruitful.




The entire project gets documented by derringer productions. A 15 minute long documentary is already available and will be extended throughout the collaboration.



What's the value of labor?



Why does a nurse earn less than an investment banker? Are her actions less valuable? Is her work less respected? To portray the uneven distribution of salaries in today’s world we came up with an art experiment dedicated to the value of labor. Therefore we've compared salaries from more than 50 different job titles.  


How? By letting everyone do a unifying task. We gave our 50 participants one hour to paint a completely black art piece. All paintings looked similar but had one great difference: the price tag. We sold every painting for the hourly wage of the person - ranging from 4$ (cleaning lady) to 500$ (investment banker). We also filmed the one-hour-process of painting to see how every single one of them approached the task.




Schwarzmarkt premiered in October 2014, taking place in an iconic high-rise bunker in Hamburg. On seven floors visitors experienced the entire origination process and, if they wanted, they were even able to paint a picture themselves.

Watch the short documentary below.





Furthermore Schwarmarkt was part of the "Work in Progress" conference in 2015. One of the world's leading conferences exploring the future of labour. For all videos of the painters and further information visit: http://schwarzmarkt.me



Speaker & Exhibition @ Work in Progress 2015



the first supermarket where you pay with data



What is the value of data? Data is money: big firms make millions of dollars by using and selling our personal data from Facebook and co. This opaque business with privacy inspired the artist trio YQP to develop a much fairer business model that showcases the daily deals with our data. In their art experiment they’ve pictured a visionary marketplace where everyone can spend their data like money.


Welcome to Datenmarkt; the first supermarket where customers paid with their personal Facebook data.

In February 2014 the Datenmarkt opened in Hamburg for an entire week. The store was designed like a regular supermarket except for one great distinction: the price tags.


In the Datenmarkt a toast was sold for eight Facebook likes, a can of fruits cost five Facebook photos and dumplings only five personal messages.


"After RTL reported about Datenmarkt people came from across town to shop. they THOUGHT IT'S A REAL SUPERMARKET."

–Maximilian Hoch


Customers paid through an installed iPad at the register. By typing in the Facebook account name and password, a custom-built app analyzed the Facebook profile and checked if enough personal data was available. If so a printed receipt revealed the actual photos, messages, likes and comments that were selected for the purchase.


Datenmarkt was initially designed as an art experiment but thanks to Germany’s deceptive media coverage the fictional supermarket was later conceived as a commercially driven business. The media attracted customers from all over Hamburg and proved that the Datenmarkt was more than a utopian vision of the future.  


Today the first companies already implemented similar systems and let people pay with their personal data.


The receipt. On this "art piece" Datenmarkt customers saw what private data was used in order to pay for their groceries.



TED Talk 2015
This Happened Hamburg 2015


Datenmarkt was part of Ars Electronica Human Factor 2016 in Berlin.





May 31st + June 9th, 2018
Exhibition - Lipski & Muse in action
@Futurium Museum Berlin
Oct 03 - 07, 2018
Exhibition + Talk
@ZKM Museum Karlsruhe
September-November 2018
Exhibition in Austria (details follow)



Sept 04, 2017
About value of humans in times of AI
Sept 04, 2017
Radio feature about our Artificial Muse
July 16, 2017
Studio exhibition with Roman Lipski
+ discussion on the future of creativity

@Berlin City Break
July 12, 2017
Panel: "Are we all to high on AI?"
@Tech Open Air Berlin
February 8-24, 2017
Exhibition: "Landschaften aus dem Netz"
Roman Lipski @The Ballery Berlin
January 24, 2017
Radio Panel Discussion @ RBB Radio
@Magnus-Haus Berlin
.... more here




What now?