After exploring “Water” in a major 2019-20 exhibition, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) opens “Air,” a showcase with more than 30 artists including Dora Budor, Nancy Holt, and Katie Paterson that explore the cultural, ecological, and political dimensions of Earth’s atmosphere. “Air” is anchored by Tomás Saraceno’s Drift: A cosmic web of thermodynamic rhythms (2022, image), a new commission that suspends 13 partially mirrored spheres in GOMA’s central atrium space.
American software artist Everest Pipkin releases The Barnacle Goose Experiment, an “abiogenesis body horror idle clicker” where you play as researcher Dr. Evergreen G. Branca locked in a biodome and tasked with generating a working world with objects, music, and living things out of her own body. The browser game is inspired by the medieval barnacle goose myth that had people, then unaware of bird migration patterns, believe that geese emerge fully-formed from barnacles.
Daniel Franke’s CGI short Ich sitze in der Wolke (2022) premieres at the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival in Kassel, Germany. In his film, the German artist and researcher takes viewers deep into the digital cloud, a GAN-generated post-nature dreamscape where semiconductors, bitcoins, electricity, rare earth minerals, and crystals manifest to force questions about “environmental sin and digital evolution.”
German artist and designer Philipp Schmitt publishes Blueprints for Intelligence, a “visual history of artificial neural networks from 1943 to 2020.” Compiling 56 diagrams sourced from machine learning research papers, the web project invites visitors to trace key tendencies in AI evolution. “It draws connections between the visual representations of neural networks and the researchers’ conception of cognition,” Schmitt writes in his introduction.
Probing for human qualities that escape capture in AI training datasets, Lauren Lee McCarthy and Kyle McDonald’s new collaboration Unlearning Language (2022) opens at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM), Japan. Both an experiential performance—“a one-act play for four,” as described by McDonald—and an interactive installation, the American artists (with support from Rhizomatiks) conjure a “futuristic AI that tries to help us become more human.”
Swiss artist and designer Jürg Lehni celebrates the 20th anniversary of his seminal robotic drawing machine, Hektor (2002), in a commemorative Twitter thread. “Imperfect and full of character,” the hanging computer-controlled spray-paint plotter drew at transmediale, Design Museum London, and the MoMA, and remains a DIY marvel for its time: “edged circuit boards, assembly-programmed microcontrollers—we did everything by hand,” Lehni notes about making in the pre-fab era.
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