Frog Foot Scroll


Digital collage on archival Hahnemühle Bamboo
10 x 50 in / 25.4 x 127 cm

What really goes on in murky streams? An image request of “Japanese scroll painting 1930’s agitprop of a frog eating a man’s foot” would only yield a side-by-side depiction of frog and foot, but not devouring. Zurkow thinks that request must violate the terms of DALL·E 2.

This 48” image, influenced by Japanese ink brush scroll paintings, was made using DALL·E 2 to generate a database of unique source material—much like a stack of Life Magazines painstakingly cut and assembled into complex collages. Text requests include calls for 1930’s Japanese scroll paintings and agitprop of “a frog tasting a man’s foot with its tongue” / “humans being chased by wild animals and frogs” / “an army of geese flying and marching” / “an army of swallows and humans in jetpacks flying and marching together” / “swallows and airplanes” / “a grainy sky with a military submarines and orcas” / “water from an underwater perspective with very tiny people running” /”a church scene with a frog deity”. Using DALL·E 2’s outpainting technique, Zurkow builds visual coherence in her database, an uncanny, approximated aesthetic to create material that can be composited together.