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Art and Design / September 14, 2022

Man creates AI feverdream of Dundalk Shopping Centre

Image: @PaulMcDirt on Twitter
Art and Design / September 14, 2022

Man creates AI feverdream of Dundalk Shopping Centre

Words: Ellen Kenny

With a few clicks on some AI software, this guy turned the old Dundalk shopping centre into a Blade Runner dreamscape.

We may never walk through the hallowed halls of Dundalk Shopping Centre again, but we can relive its greatness through the power of technology. Web designer Paul McClean has recreated the Irish landmark through Artificial Intelligence, and the results are amazing, and slightly disturbing.

Paul told District that he used Midjourney AI to create these haunting images. Like many others, this AI uses text prompts to generate images. With Midjourney, Paul explains, you can enter prompts based on fine art, photographic technique, time periods, floor types, lighting and emotions.

Through his memories of the shopping centre, Paul fine-tuned his inputs and descriptions until he finally recreated Dundalk Shopping Centre in all its glory.

I mean, the people look a bit off. But maybe that’s just how the Dundalk Shopping Centre experience leaves you.

One Twitter user also offered up some actual images of Dundalk Shopping Centre. The generated images honestly makes the shopping centre look a lot more appealing than the reality.

AI-generated art is rapidly on the rise. One American artist even won an art prize using Midjourney, much to the annoyance of other artists. Software like Midjourney and DALL-E have allowed amateur designers to create complex, abstract and photorealistic works simply by typing a few words into a text box.

Midjourney is often used by architects to create beautiful and detailed mock-ups of buildings for clients, although these images will not likely inspire any grand reopening. Dundalk Shopping Centre closed its door in 2013, and it’s unlikely they’ll ever open again. But at least we can relive its glory days through this new art.

If you want to help Dundalk, click here to donate to Dundalk Women’s Aid.

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