Mario Klingemann: A Pioneer in AI Art and His Provocative Robotic Dog Critic.

This article explores the work of Mario Klingemann, a leading figure in AI art.  Klingemann’s artistic approach is centered on investigating human perception and artificial intelligence through observation-based strategies.  The article highlights Klingemann’s playful and provocative robotic dog creation, A.I.C.C.A., designed to deliver „sarcastic and disrespectful“ art critiques.  A.I.C.C.A. is contrasted with Klingemann’s other, more serious works.  The article argues that A.I.C.C.A. serves to challenge the traditional role of art criticism and inspire viewers to question their own biases.  It concludes by suggesting that A.I.C.C.A. anticipates the need for updated art criticism methods in the age of AI, with large language models potentially playing a role.

Mario Klingemann is a leading figure in the emerging field of AI art, and is considered one of its pioneers. His works and projects have been internationally acclaimed and have received numerous awards. His work centers on questions of human perception and artificial intelligence, while not shying away from playful provocations. His artistic strategies often rely on the principle of observation. As he states in an interview with Emily L. Spratt, one of his main motivations is to „find out how things work, both material and immaterial, and that includes anything from the workings of an old clock to art itself – even religion or culture “ [5].

A particularly surprising addition to Klingemann’s oeuvre was the introduction of the playfully provocative robotic dog project named A.I.C.C.A. (Artificially Intelligent Critical Canine) at the Colección SOLO gallery in Madrid, designed to provide „sarcastic and disrespectful“ art critiques [2,3,4]. Projects like Memories of Passersby I (2018) or Appropriate Response (2020) had a certain seriousness about them. The dog, reminiscent of a retro-futuristic terrier moving on a wheeled platform and delivering its art commentary via a printed receipt that emerges, more than symbolically, from its backside, is something quite different. The inspiration for this project was the idea of using artificial intelligence to challenge and subvert the traditional role of art criticism. The attempt to create a nominal GPT art criticism is both humorous and thought-provoking. Nominal or Bayesian most-likely critical-evaluative stances are generated from a large corpus of published texts. Simply put, the recognition system the dog works with analyzes the visual work it symbolically looks at, and then a process of selecting the most likely critical-evaluative text takes place, and the critique is then, as already outlined, entered into the annals. If his intention with A.I.C.C.A. was to initiate critical thinking in viewers in relation to art, to question their own prejudices, then in the part of the audience that follows his systemic ironization of the institutionalized evaluative optics of art production, this endeavor was successful. Klingemann may have indeed been inspired by Douglas Adams‘ robot „Electric Monk“ [1]. Electric Monk is a fictional character from the novel who represents a labor-saving device, such as a dishwasher or VCR. Among other things, it is used to implant beliefs into human minds.

Mario Kligemann and Dog Critic


Klingemann, in relation to A.I.C.C.A., emphasizes the importance of recognition by critics, and stresses that even negative criticism is more appropriate than being completely ignored. Perhaps this statement is also a joke, as this project reminds me of Daumier’s La promenade du critique influent (1865). „The Walk of the Influential Critic“ depicts a pompous connoisseur in an elegant suit strolling through the halls of the Salon as the main art exhibition in Paris of that period. The critic is surrounded by works of art, but does not really notice them. Instead, he is busy talking to friends and drawing attention to himself. For me, however, A.I.C.C.A. represents an exclamation mark and a question mark in the face of the probably inevitable need to update art criticism methods in the age of artificial intelligence. The presence of non-human actors in the AIART World, who bring the most likely critical-evaluative stances, is already largely identifiable today in the form of user-accessible large language models.

Dog Critic


Dog Critic


La promenade du Critique influent (1965) by Honoré Daumier


Author: Tomáš Marušiak, 2024


1.            SPRATT, Emily L. Creation, curation, and classification: Mario Klingemann and Emily L. Spratt in conversation. XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students. 3 April 2018. Vol. 24, no. 3, p. 34–43. DOI 10.1145/3186677. <p>Computer-generated art has long challenged traditional notions of the role of the artist and the curator in the creative process. In the age of machine learning these philosophical conceptions require even further consideration.</p>

2.            KLINGEMANN, Mario. A.I.C.C.A. Online. 2023. Available from:

3.            DE LA CRUZ, Sofia. Meet A.I.C.C.A., the World&#039;s First AI Dog That Poops Art Critiques. Online. Available from:

4.            ESTILER, Keith. Mario Klingemann Creates A.I.C.C.A Robotic Pooch That Poops Out Receipts of Art Critiques. Online. Available from:

5.            ADAMS, Douglas. Dirk gentlys holistic detective agency. . Pocket Books, 1989. ISBN 9780671692674.