How Allah, AI & I Made A Comic Book This Summer

So this summer, I made a comic book with Allah and the AI. Let me explain.

Allah is the Arabic word for god, but because of the way the Islamic faith is structured; it’s most often used in reference to the one true God of the Abrahamic religions, rather than referring to any other deity of any other belief system like the word god does in English. Allah, aside from being the creator of all life and the known universe; is also the author of Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. This is significant. Muslims believe that the words in the Qur’an are the words of Allah itself. 

When you read the book, you can see how that works out. Allah talks in the first person plural for most of the time, describing in detail what their wishes are and what they expect from their followers. Allah also takes direct credit for all the Abrahamic belief system, whether it be Judaism or the pre-Islamic Hanifism. The book is very clear: All the prophets from Moses to Joseph worshipped the same god, tried to spread the same set of instructions but the message got corrupted by the greed and frailty of men. So the Qur’an is the final book. Mohammed is the final Abrahamic prophet. Allah has spoken its final word.

So. I made a comic book with Allah and the AI. Once again, let me explain.

Midjourney is an artificial intelligence program that creates images from textual descriptions, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s a robot who turns words into images. It’s not too dissimilar to other text-to-image AI programs like Stable Diffusion or DALL-E in its functionality: You give the robot a prompt, robot parses that prompt and generates an image based on the dataset it’s using. Where Midjourney feels different is how it seems to be able to convey the sense of emotion. The prompts you give to Midjourney turn into seemingly more touching images, in seemingly purposeful color-generation and seemingly deliberate compositional choices. Where other text-to-image AI programs seek to turn the words into images in a more representational manner; Midjourney is also comfortable dealing in the abstract. You don’t just have to ask the robot to make you a picture of Napoleon Bonaparte riding a shark through lava, you can also just ask the robot to make you a picture of that dread you feel after an uncertain breakup. Ask the robot to paint an idiom. Feed the robot some lines from your favorite poem.

Or give it the words of Allah.

So. This summer. Me, Allah and the AI. We made a comic book.

I was sitting on my balcony in Leipzig when I suddenly decided to read the Qur’an. I was reading about the representation of other prophets in the Qur’an, you see; and I found out that there was a whole surah, or chapter named after Mary, mother of Jesus; talking about not only Mary and Jesus but also about Moses and Joseph and Jacob and Isaac and Ishmael and Adam and Zecheriah and Noah; so in essence, all the Abrahamic protagonists. With an excitement not unlike the one I feel when I’m about to watch a superhero movie where characters from other movies get together, I started to read. 

Then as I read I wondered, what would the robot make of this? 

Here’s what I did: I compared and contrasted passable English translations of the Qur’an. I collected the ayet, or the verses of the surah Mary dealing with the birth of Jesus. I then fed those verses to the robot. Midjourney gives you four options with each prompt and can further work on an option should you choose to. So I curated the images accordingly. Then finally, I found a comic-book looking free font on Dafont, and put the corresponding ayah on the image the robot made of it and placed the images as if they were panels of a comic book.

So. Words by Allah. Art by the AI. Edited by a human being. Allah, AI and I made a comic book together.

Here’s the final result. Hope you enjoy it. 

Author: Yiğitcan Erdoğan

instagram: @beggarandchooser

Doğu Topaçlıoğlu // Appropriation

Doğu Topaçlıoğlu’s exhibition ‘’Appropriation’’ will be held in Ka between 15-22 February. The exhibition consists of sonic arrangements and aims to present an alternative perception of plasticity. The artist works on the sound’s ability to make objective and situational changes in ontological state of the object; while creating relations between psycho-acoustic possibilities, sculpture and drawing.

Doğu was born in 1989 to an avid reader mother and a painter father. Until 7 years old, he spent considerable time together with his grandmother. During this time, he used to collect dirt from the street to bring home and hid under the carpet. He collected rain drops in his mouth. He moved the paintings on his grandmother’s walls and scratched the wall behind them. Later he would describe this naive journey as a natural occurrence of automated behavior, a type of behavior one would develop when trying to perceive life as it is. It appears that the elements of the house he was born in, the dirt under the carpet, together with the scent of paint and thinner steered him towards his journey, although did not pick the direction. Graduating from Ankara Anatolian High School Of Fine Arts and entering Hacettepe University Department Of Sculpture were only two stops on this long journey; separated by time, united in direction. Doğu is chasing after a feeling, a thrill; which he doesn’t and doesn’t want to put an end to it. This is why he doesn’t seem to separate his life from his art. The way he is searching for himself, and the way he can’t seem to catch the speed of his own mind; reminds me of a saying I heard in an African narrative:

“We are going fast, and our souls are staying behind.” 

Doğu likes to share the excitement of the process of not knowing what his next piece or material will be. To understand his works, one should consider the concepts of timelessness and sense of anachronism. Just like how he tried to understand what does inside, outside and their borders mean at an early age; he is now observing the objects, events, sounds, notion and intersections with the same excitement and curiosity. He is finding his own mutual reflexes under these environments and conditions; resulting in his own language. As if Doğu had designed a machine and any input that goes in, goes out translated in his language. As if one might put a musical note into that machine and Doğu would listen it enough so that the note would start to come out, harboring all other notes. His interaction with music often transitions into the environment. Doğu doesn’t see much of a border in between. When he is composing; he often drifts from the original idea and discovers countless new patterns, only to be turned back to the original idea. He sees this journey as a must to go back to the point of origin. 

This biography came out as a transformative idea to accompany his evolving journey. Instead of listing the events of his life linearly, I offered to capture a few pieces from the time that brought him here. I wanted to leave the reader a space to play with, so they can be a part of this writing. This writing is avoiding the concrete, it is unsure, and it is still on a journey searching for itself. It will be written once more together in separate times with every reader and will never be complete. 

Written by Berkay Kahvecioğlu

From Line to Dimension // Tolga Ateş

Hello Tolga, first of all, do you have a name for the work you do? Did you put names to them? 

These are the products of my perspective, which can be called the expression of my mood when I sit to work on my computer at that moment. 

You usually work with abstract ideas, what inspires you? 

In general, what I think about doing, producing, is about what is happening in life, or changes that are happening in the environment, rather than my own life. I mean, I filter, what life throws at me, through my filter. Nature, history, other works, architecture, technology, in short, the visual data I encounter in life inspire me. I have been interested in visuals since childhood, in fact, this situation started with photography, evolved into cinema over time, after studying cinema and television, I realized that it did not allow me to express myself the way I wanted, and finally I met 3D, and I found sort of a freedom that I seeked. Light, angle, color I was excited to be able to adjust every conceivable variable as I wanted and I started to deepen in this area. 

The biggest point is doing the work from the computer. Are there various programs to do this work? Or are you using a specific program?

These are technologies that are developing every day. There is no end to learning a program, in fact, several programs can be used for many different aspects of the work. Many people also use more than one program. If you are looking for an alternative style, it is useful to use more than one program.

Do you use more than one program in the same project?

Yes. I think that Maya, Blender and Houidini are useful programs, these are the first ones that come to mind. I mainly use Maya, After Effects and Premier are also involved, or if I’m doing an audio reactive work, I use Resolume. I usually use more than one program. I started this journey with Maya, with courses from the Internet, and of course I also learned on my own. But as I said, there is no end, the deeper you go, the deeper it gets. My learning process is not over either. In fact, production is developing as you produce. I think the main point is to discover what to produce with the inputs we get after learning to use a program. I am also at this interrogation point, in fact, I want to explore my own style and deepen in it. It’s a playground for me. I have been doing this work for two years and many artists I have been inspired by have been instrumental in starting the process. Most of the work I do is also related to music, the fact that music is a texture in my work also allows me to decipher a different depth in the work I produce. When music is combined with visual elements, very striking results come out. That I’m after. I really like to appeal to different senses. These feelings and the combination of these elements stand out in the work we have done together with Her Absence Fill the World. In other words, the music I listen to, the images engraved in my mind, the whole of what I see and feel while doing the work constitute the essence of the work. 

You mentioned Her Absence Fill the World, the work you did was very appreciated. How was that, how did it make you feel? 

When they said that they wanted to make a music video for their song, I got excited, it was a pleasure to work together with Kubi and Sascha. I liked the song very much at first, ideas started to come to my mind immediately. They also had a lot of ideas, but they gave me a nice space to put forward what I had in my head, and it was also really nice. So I was able to convey my feelings, of course, there were also items that they specifically wanted, for example, the green door. What they wanted and my feelings came together, and this beautiful work came out. On top of that, we carried out the entire process from our computers, they from Berlin, and I, from Ankara. We have taken the process from the beginning many times, my computer has changed, improved, as a result, we have started to get more beautiful and realistic textures. The whole process was like an adventure. It was also pleasant to watch the process develop and change in itself. There were very nice reactions, it was my first music video experience, the whole process and the aftermath were very enjoyable. This work has given me a lot of inspiration, it has also been an inspiration for me to look into more works like this. 

What are you working on these days?

These days, I am working on a project where I aim to produce audio reactive  visuals by combining them with the audio files I have produced. On the other hand, I have started to produce short loops in motion graphics. I will soon start sharing my works in this field under a different name. Apart from all these, I still continue to learn, at the same time, I would like to thank DolmuşXpress and everyone who contributed. We had a lot of fun, I hope all readers will share the same pleasure with us.

Tolga Ateş

Interview: Yigitcan Erdoğan, Ilgın Nehir Akfırat

Translation from Turkish Original: Ilgın Nehir Akfırat

A Surreal Journey from Taipei to Berlin with Denny Yang: Layer by Layer

As a migrant artist, can you explain how migrating from Taipei to Berlin affected your art? What kind of struggles construct your artistic identity in Berlin?

My artwork has evolved along with my personal growth, Taipei has given me enough comfort to ground me, and the diversity of Berlin has inspired me to take a more intense stylistic journey.

What were the emotions and feelings that initially encouraged you to practice your art? Why did you choose drawing as the medium? How do you feel while drawing? How do you reflect this in your art?

I was not very good at socializing when I was a child. I always drew quietly somewhere alone. By drawing, I created stories in the imaginary world and presented them on paper. It made my young mind calm, joyful, and not alone.

As for why I chose drawing as the medium, I think it feels very steady and stable… I always describe my creative process as weaving, stacking lines layer by layer, which gives me a lot of sense of security.

One thing I find very interesting is that I often meditate during the drawing process, as if my physical body is working, but my consciousness is traveling in different dimensions. I visualize the messages I received, then sketch them down, so each piece of work is a small journey for me.

How do you describe the aesthetic relationship between Berlin, drawing, and yourself?

Berlin has given me a broader vision, taking my wild and unconstrained creations further, to messier places. At the same time, I am constantly discovering a new, different self.

Which artists did play essential roles in the formation of your artist identity? Which art movements did have a significant impact on your art?

I’m honestly very bad at remembering names… and I haven’t had any courses on fine art concepts or even art history.

If I had to say… I think surrealism influenced me the most, I love Dali’s pencil sketches and I’m also a big fan of Japanese manga artist Q Hayashida.

Can you tell us what inspires and drives you to do your art?

I feel that language is what limits each other’s ability to communicate, believe me, my Sun and Mercury are both in Libra, so communication is very important to me…but language creates many distinctions and all kinds of misunderstandings. I think that images are a gentle way of communication. Works can be appreciated, understood, shared, and discussed, and even stimulate imagination. This is the main force that drives me to continue drawing.

Denny Yang


Interview: Tevfik Hürkan Urhan

KIWINA Production // at the intersection of Sound and Visual

Three years ago, a few friends in Ankara could not fit into the house they were living in back then and then they started to search for a new space. Being aware of the beauty of collective production, these friends, who have already done amazing works, called themselves “Kiwina”.

Kiwina is a mixed workshop, its door is open to anyone who wants to produce. The range of materials and production tools is wide, but still run by people who are more into digital workshops than traditional workshops. Stages are set up for online concerts, shows and programs are being recorded and projection mapping works are carried out. They are being consulted for technical support by productive artists who wish to share their works. Most recently, at “Art Ankara”, they were demonstrating their digital and computer-aided works and the potential of these works to Ankara art community, as you would remember, we had a little getaway to Art Ankara in the last issue.

What else is going on in their workshop? They made us such a beautiful video for us to get to know them better. Be sure to watch, because our relationship with them will continue for a veeery long time.

Forgotton by the Day by Barış Pekçağlıyan

Forgotten by the Day is a series formed by questioning the idea of identity in the mind between the mental states of dreams, and waking life. Mostly formed by portraits inspired by dream characters, it is a visual journey that explores these characters through personal experiences, by observing dreams of the self and the others, manipulating space and time by using tangible devices, altering the human body and its surroundings in waking life.

“A dream is a microscope through which we look at the hidden occurrences in our soul.”

Erich Fromm

Digital Art Revolution: Balkan Karışman on NFTs

How would you describe your work to someone who is not familiar?

By using real images and manipulating them, I produce a kind of work called “generative video art”. This approach, also called “Generative”, enables random selections from infinite results. In this way, I can reach the final state of the work by screening, which makes the process more exciting for me. In this sense, we can call my works “digital new media visuals based on trial and error”.

Can you share with us the main motives that are effective in the editing and construction process of your works?

I think this method I use serves my content well. My art can be considered postmodern in terms of technique and medium. My design aesthetic is influenced by de-constructivist architecture, glitch art, and op-art. Regarding the content and main motives of my art, I make spatial manipulations that can trigger discussions on the idea of ​​infinity, and then I want to question our perception of time. Although we perceive otherwise, time has no beginning or end. Time is looped and endless, just like in my video art. My works go round and round in cyclical order, regardless of the presence of the audience. This consciously chosen approach helps me convey my art by just constantly reinterpreting the continuous ordinaries rather than being declarative. In this sense, the works of art can be pieces that exist on their own.

What is NFT and how does it work?

Non-Fungible Token (NFT), in its shortest definition, is a unique digital asset. In a sense, we can think of NFT’s as validating images, music, data, web pages, 3D objects, and similar data on the blockchain with smart contracts. In this sense, we can see a similarity between NFTs and collectors’ items. I liken them to the pokemon cards I used to love. There is data describing the features of the card on it, it has a visual. The card has no fixed monetary value and can change hands from person to person.

What role do you think NFT will play in the next generation of “collecting”?

NFT platforms create a more liberal market for collectors, making it easier for both the collector to reach the artist and the artist to the collector. It removes the local boundaries of artists and allows them to meet with other artists from many different parts of the world in common selections. In this way, I think it ensures that the collections are in diversity.

What are the reasons behind you preferring this platform as an artist?

The reason why I prefer digital art platforms and NFT as an artist is equal opportunity, I think this reason is common for most young artists like me. While the meeting of artists with their collectors in the conventional art market requires intermediary institutions; NFT digital art platforms can eliminate these bureaucratic stages and bring the artist together with the audience in the fastest way possible. This provides the opportunity for talented artists who are just starting out and who have not yet made their name to be heard, to show their work in a global way.

What kind of problems did you encounter with both your art and the NFT platform? What methods have you developed to overcome these problems?

The first surprise, especially for new beginner artists, will be transaction fees. When I researched why these transaction fees were given beyond the financial aspect of the work, I found that these fees were paid to crypto miners and that these miners were spending a lot of electricity by using powerful computers. This problem both made my conscience hurt and made me question the ecological effects of the existence of the system. Fortunately, not every network is harmful to the environment, and it doesn’t come with transaction fees. I’m trying to work with more such platforms.

What did you find on the way to this point? What do you hope to find for the future?

Until I got to this point in my NFT process, I still have a long way to go tho, though I’ve found that the art I make attracts, arouses curiosity, and is appreciated by people from different parts of the world with very different tastes and collections. I also witnessed the creation of an art community through digital art platforms. The digitalized artistic activity also enables global collaborations. NFTs are preparing our place in the virtual reality and game worlds, where we will be much more intertwined in the future. I believe that NFTs, the most talked about event in the art scene, will appear in many more areas that we cannot predict for now, and I look forward to where these areas will take us.

What have you learned from your mistakes so far? What advice do you have for those just starting out?

When I first entered the platforms, I had a hard time positioning myself as I was unsure of the asset and economic value of my work. It took some time to get used to this system, which does not work as in the art scene in Turkey. Retrospectively, I realize that I hurried up to sell my first works due to the excitement created by this new trend. But at the moment, I believe these processes should not be rushed and artists should be patient. I recommend to beginners that they should think about why and how they want to exist in this field, and not let the record sales shared on social media affect them emotionally.

Language of Stones

Naomi Takaki

One day, while hiking in the Alps I began to notice the stones beneath my feet. 

The contrast between the shimmery black granite and the white limestone, their irregular shapes, the simplicity of its’ beauty and the complexity of their origin fascinated me. Each stone a small part of the enormous mountain range spread out into the distance. I found these remnants of such natural grandeur awe-inspiring and I was filled with new reverence and inspiration.


They are the memories, the thoughts, tiny recollections of the mountains’ history; the plates violently colliding beneath, the reckoning of an ice age, the powerful gracefulness of its formation, fully alive.

Yet it is just a stone…

But a stone that gives me a vision to express its’ spirit, its’ fragmented memories and the impressions I received when I was hiking on that mountain.

Naomi Takaki

Portrait of a Paintress from Paris to Berlin: Feryel Atek

Feryel Atek

Can you describe the main components of the aesthetics you have been constructing through your painting? What kinds of artistic, cultural, and social inputs have fed your style so far?

I  like to create an organic body of colors and shapes animated through dynamical, impulsive movements and more graphical, fine gestures. This body of textures, forms, and lines always end up evolving on its own, so that I become the tool of an energy that drives me. I think rhythm and vibration are a big component of my aesthetic, but also symbolic representation plays more a role in my work. From a young age, I wanted to create an aesthetic of my own, I had the conviction that it would bring me paradoxically closer to a certain form of universality. I really enjoy giving a form to an emotion, creating an archetype that is called by my unconscious. I like using the human figure as a recurrent pattern, muster because I think it has an endless source of expressivity. 

When I recall the origin of my style, I think first of my familial background, both of my parents are figurative painters. I spent my childhood visiting ateliers and squats in the late 90s, in Paris they were passionate about all forms of figurative representation from the Christ on the cross, to Enki Bilal’s comics, Japanese mangas, Asian and African masks and marionettes. I was really touched by this and already as a child started to build my own style, mostly graphical.

 I also have Amazigh roots, also called Berber by Europeans, an ancient indigenous folk present on all the North African territory that had an influence on my visual vocabulary.

Philosophy, anthropology, and more recently art therapy also have a strong influence on my style, the human condition and the plurality of her interpretation fascinates me as much as all kinds of spiritual and mythological representations that have been existing. 

How would you describe the aesthetic relationship between Berlin, painting, and yourself?

I came to Berlin over 7 years ago. The energy and the aesthetic of the city were so different and refreshing from my hometown Paris, where the architectural heritage of the last centuries wasn’t destroyed by the war like in Berlin. Berlin with its newborn urban landscapes gave me a lot of inner freedom and stimulation to create. The open spaces, the charm of the industrial raw architecture meeting the plentifulness of green areas and the light of the East.

 Berlin also gave me the physical space to paint on a larger scale. And of course, the Berlin scene with her variety of eccentric personalities chasing freedom of being and expression inspired me to fully embrace my individuality. Berlin is also the city where I gave birth and transformed as a woman, becoming a mother empowered my work and desire to go deeper in my painting practice.

Which painters do you think played important roles in the formation of your artist identity? Which art movements have had a significant impact on your art?

It all started with the old masters, I met in museums of all over Europe in my childhood observing Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Artemisia Gentileschi but also Schiele, Kokoschka, Goya, Hokusai, Bacon, Kahlo, Ousmane Sow, Bilal, the Surrealist all of those that invocated the human soul and condition with an innovative form transcending time and space. Also, art from other cultures and places had a big influence on my artistic construction.

Fuck the Shame Away!

Fuck The Shame Away

Menstrual blood on paper

The name speaks for itself and should be taken literally. This is an invitation!
Is there anything in the picture making you flush? Anything in the picture related to shame for you? No? Great! It took me a while to get there – if I’m already there at all!

Personally, I see shame about hair, masturbation, and menstruation. It was the shame towards my menstrual blood that led me to make this painting.

I see the root to it in a thought I had long ago: “I have people licking me while I’m menstruating, but I don’t really have a clue what my menstrual blood actually tastes like, except for a few after-cunnilingus impressions when I got a kiss afterwards. And I remember a feeling of distastefulness coming up. And there it was: SHAME.

Fuck this! These people seem to accept my bodily fluid more than I do? I don’t want that! And then came the question: But how can I change that?

First Idea: By trying it, of course. So next time I got my period, I took out my menstrual cup, looked at it, dipped a finger in, and tasted it. Bloody, and ok actually. First step done.
Later on, I accidentally found a webinar about menstrual blood that turned out to be full of ideas on how to get a better connection with it. One idea that caught me was: painting!

So I bought some droppers at the pharmacy to store the blood of each day separately, and some time later I did the first painting.

Fast forward to the prephase of “Fuck The Shame Away”: I made a couple paintings until I needed to produce more paint, and then an interesting feeling came up: I couldn’t wait to menstruate! And, surprisingly, I felt productive just by lying around and menstruating. I love this!

And while painting, there was a completely bloody mess on the floor that didn’t even bother me much. That is a development I was looking for!

The few things I used to create this painting are: paper, my blood (each day of one menstruation stored in a different container), water, and a brush. The variety in colors is due to the different shades from day to day, and to the amount of water it is mixed with. After painting, the colors changed a bit over time. 

And for those who are wondering, it doesn’t smell – if I get really close and inhale deeply, I can catch a soilish smell.

Maria Landmesser