InfraMunk is Breathing—First Breath

With InfraMunk is Breathing, Munky wanted to create a series of deeply personal and psychedelic viewing experiences through the cellular mutations of a tree he photographed in Marin, California. In the work, the biological metamorphosis evolves gracefully and tricks your mind into believing there’s nothing happening until there’s discovery; where you don’t fully understand there’s breathing until it’s wrapped its arms around you… and that’s where the connection lies.

He wanted to explore the mutations of the natural form through a type of digital microcellular breathing, achieved in collaboration with high-level machine learning grounded in the genre of biology, anatomy and psychedelia. There’s poetry in the process of photographing a subject in an invisible light source, unearthing a trio of signature color states as chapters, and then unleashing another process of highly iterative cellular mutations through an infinite discovery of anatomical formations that could only be uncovered through an exhaustive process of embeddings and prompts with an AI. These embeddings were grounded in native ceremony, and trained from gmunk’s own photography, light-installations and lens-based digital art. They then trained multiple handpicked Ernst Haeckel sets, and invoked those embeddings into the prompts, using the Stable Diffusion 2.0 model with the Automatic 1111 GUI to mutate the tree’s cells. To the trained machine, these cells existed as pixels being subdivided, ushering in the imaginal realm with visceral respiratory metamorphosis states and deliberate pacing to create the digital breathing.

There’s always a connection to the tree because you’re constantly reminded of its form – it’s grounded by a depth model to retain its shape and the silhouette of the tree always exists throughout the process; there’s never a detachment from it. This way the experience is grounded by the subject’s photographic capture and draws you into its transfiguration process; creating a meditative and personal journey.