An Interactive AI Art 

Created By


Weidi Zhang

Introduce RAY

Man Ray, a significant contributor to Dada and Surrealism movements, invented the term “Rayograph” to describe his camera-less darkroom created photo images. He revealed the dreamlike characteristics of daily objects by placing them in photosensitized paper and exposing them to light. His Rayographs are situated in-between visual representation and abstraction, pointing to a new cameraless photographic method. Man Ray wrote in 1921 that he wanted to “make my photography automatic —to use my camera as I would a typewriter.”

A Rayograph (photogram) is an image created by exposing light-sensitive photographic paper to light, where objects are placed on it to block areas of the paper. Variations of this technique are also implemented for scientific purposes such as X-Rays, which are made by using external radiation to produce images of our body, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. Today, We live under surveillance, our life moments and bodies have been captured, evaluated, and judged by the intelligent system behind the cameras. Image-making practices are beyond merely taking pictures that record light, such as operative images and generative images that emphasize instructional practices and autonomous systems. Countless images are no longer visual representations of the world made for humans to perceive but programmable data-based visualizations which result through automatic operations. The notion of the cameraless image-making process shifted from Rayograph to the rule-based activities and synchronic data-to-data relationships.

Ray aims to address the changing ontology of images under the gazes of machines by creating an intelligent system that incorporates automation with originality to generate a visualization of a human-machine reality. Ray make metaphors to the power of gaze by linking human under surveillance camera with objects for photogram. The system implements Image-to-Image Translation with Conditional Adversarial Networks and a computer vision system to translate human portraits into new images of Rayograph with semantic meanings through learning over 3000 pairs of Rayograms and human portraits. The generated moving images are further developed algorithmically through visualizing in the aesthetics of light painting. Ray engages audiences by transforming captured audiences’ portraits into an ever-evolving visual representation that conveys meanings, which leads to new graphics of abstraction and empathy.


Best In Show Award Siggraph Art Gallery 2022.


SYMADES  Media Arts and Technology Program, UCSB, US, 2022

Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau  | ISEA 2022, Barcelona, Spain, 2022

SIGGRAPH 2022 ART GALLERY | Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada, 2022

[Upcoming October] IEEE VIS Art Program, Oklahoma, US, 2022

[ 3 Editions  1 AP ]
A/P is collected by NEW ART FOUNDATION [ Spain]




Intelligent System Design

Information Visualization

Interactive Media

Special Thanks 

Professor George Legrady

Experimental Visualization Lab