Despite how it may look, the above image is not a strange closeup of a Salvador Dali painting. No, it’s a bizarre creation created by a user of Russian web app Ostagram.
Based off an art style appropriately referred to as Inceptionism, this photo is the result of two images being combined together using neural networks, a computer system designed to mimic the activity of a human’s brain, and the underlying foundation of many deep learning algorithms.
Ostagram is based off DeepDream, a software pioneered by Google under the codename Inception (a nod to Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending movie) and the obvious inspiration for the art style’s name. What this means is that Ostagram finds patterns within images and attempts to bring these patterns together into a resulting image–a process referred to as algorithmic pareidolia.
What’s ‘algorithmic pareidolia’? According to DeepDream’s Wikipedia page, it’s ‘a dreamlike hallucinogenic appearance in the deliberately over-processed images.’ In other words, it’s an acid trip brought to life.
Below are a collection of the trippy images created using Ostagram:
The Ostagram.ru website appears to be forwarding to a Facebook page at the moment. It’s been hammered with traffic as of late, so there’s the possibility they’re trying to put out their servers’ fires at the moment.