AIML announces groundbreaking AI artistic research intitiatives
Laurie Anderson is first artist-in-residence
Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML)
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The Australian Institute for Machine Learning and Sia Furler Institute at the University of Adelaide announce new initiatives at the intersection of art and artificial intelligence.
Launching this month under the banner Art Intelligence, the project pairs world-class AI and machine learning engineers with leading contemporary artists, supporting their collaboration in mediums from VR and robotics to music and architecture.
“This project will help shape the future of AI and of art,” says Anton van den Hengel, the Director of AIML. “There is a lot of art about AI, but very little that is AI. We’re aiming to change that.”
Artist residency and MURMUR
The centerpiece of these initiatives is an artist-in-residence program, with American avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson as its first resident. Anderson is a performance artist, composer, musician, and film director whose work has spanned the media spectrum. Of this new opportunity, she muses:
“One of my favorite quotes about technology is from my meditation teacher: ‘If you think technology will solve your problems, you don’t understand technology—and you don’t understand your problems.’ When people say the purpose of art is to make the world a better place I always think: better for who? Art is not medicine or science. It’s not about creative problem solving. If I had to use one word to describe art it would be freedom. I’m curious about whether this freedom can be translated or facilitated by AI in a meaningful way.”
Queries such as these and the creative experiments they incite will be shared with the public via MURMUR—an online and offline exhibition space nested within Art Intelligence to capture emergent thinking and creative forms born of the artist-engineer collaboration process.
Working group on Not-Knowing
The project is informed by an international working group of curators, scholars, and activists who will reflect together about philosophical and ethical facets of AI, and are charged with nominating future artist-residents.
Its members to date include: Dakin Hart (Senior Curator, Noguchi Museum, New York); Amanda de la Garza (Director, MUAC, Mexico City); Stephanie Rosenthal (Director, Gropius Bau, Berlin); Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote (curators and cultural theorists, Mumbai); Uzma Rizvi (Associate Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies, Pratt Institute, New York); Rory Pilgrim (artist-activist, Rotterdam); Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir (Director, Museum of Design and Applied Arts, Iceland); and Enrique Rivera (Director, Media Arts Biennial, Santiago).
The working group is convened by the Netherlands-based platform Slow Research Lab, whose director Carolyn F. Strauss has invited members to explore “Not-Knowing” as a tool for embracing the potentialities of AI. She explains, “Not-Knowing offers an expanded space: one that can hold diverse bodies and stories, tempos and temporalities, and as such can be a portal to new forms of caring and community. Looking at AI through this lens helps chart open and truly pluralistic trajectories of artistic expression for the future.”
Leadership and institutional partners
These initiatives are governed by a board consisting of members of AIML and the Sia Furler Institute along with local and international thought leaders and creative pioneers.
Tom Hajdu, Director of the Sia Furler Institute describes the impetus: “The duty of the artist is to respond to and reflect upon the human experience. The edges of that experience are being challenged by the machines we are rapidly welcoming into our lives. At this pivotal moment in human history, deep and sustained dialogue between artists and technologists feels essential.”
The Australian Institute for Machine Learning is a globally-renowned machine learning research group based in South Australia. It is located at Lot Fourteen, a 7-hectare innovation hub that supports cross-pollination of ideas and research across science, arts and culture.
The Sia Furler Institute was founded in 2017 by the Elder Conservatorium of Music at University of Adelaide. Operating across diverse disciplines, the institute aims to equip graduates with entrepreneurial, creative and leadership skills to help shape the future of South Australia.
Additional confirmed partners include the Computer Music Center at Columbia University.