Prisma as visual music
There have been many popular image filters before and they can be lots of fun (like script kiddies in programming, I first got into Photoshop1 & image editing as a filter kiddie). Prisma has deservedly become massively popular because (thanks to recent AI research on deep neural networks) its filters have crossed a new treshold of quality.
Artificial intelligence has become artificial perception. Or like Wolfram might put it: artistic perception IS, of course, a computation.
Imagine the day, not far, when we have the hardware & algorithms to run these filters in realtime through something like Google Glasses2, a la Waking Life (another Linklater film btw). Like music, these fiters will be temporal overlays on Reality, plumbing the depths of aesthetics and whispering to us the same deep truth: reality is much bigger than any one perception.
Far from this narrow artistic singularity spelling the end of artists or artistic expression, this burst in automation opens up all sorts of possibilities: many more people than before can experiment with much more images & styles, with pre- & post-processing. Your artistic focus moves right away to finding finer ways of controlling these algorithmic brushes, or to issues like framing, composition, meaning…
1 Speaking of monolithic, clunky old Adobe Photoshop, lithe Pixelmator is beautiful, Mac-native software built by a brilliant pair of Lithuanian brothers. Unless you’re a professional photographer, it’s an easy recommendation.