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Your Face Belongs to Us
Anicka Yi’s solo exhibition “A Shimmer Through The Quantum Foam” opens at Esther Schipper, Berlin, evolving the Korean-American artist’s notion of the “biologized machine” with new works. Visitors enter a hybrid ecosystem of fleshy landscapes created with machine learning models and suspended luminescent pods resembling Radiolaria. As the soft glow of an aqueous ooze—indicative of life’s marine origins—sprawls across the gallery floor, a custom-made scent by perfumer Barnabé Fillion fills the air.
Combining video, dance, and a flute quartet, Marianna Simmett‘s opera GORGON opens at Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) in Berlin. Director Simmett’s narrative weighs “distresses and transformations” brought on by AI (tech writ large) by teaming up its namesake wailing mythic creature with a bored doughnut store employee. Technologist Moisés Horta Valenzuela puts the live flautists in conversation with AI-generated sound, and Holly Herndon‘s voice model Holly+ also makes a cameo.
Under the Calculative Gaze
Berlin’s Office Impart opens “Sandbox Mode,” a group exhibition that draws parallels between free-form gameplay and digital art. Impart teamed up with JPG’s María Paula Fernández and curator Stina Gustafsson to bring together new and recent code-based works by Mitchell F. Chan, Stine Deja, Andreas Gysin, Sara Ludy, and others that emerged from radical experimentation. Ludy’s new AI video series Metamimics (2023), for example, conjures crazed carnival scenes from deep within the machine.
“What Models Make Worlds: Critical Imaginaries of AI” opens at New York’s Ford Foundation Gallery. Curators Mashinka Firunts Hakopian and Meldia Yesayan enlist 16 artists including Algorithmic Justice League, Morehshin Allahyari, Kite, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Mimi Ọnụọha, and Caroline Sinders to counter pervasive “algorithmic worldmaking” models with “feminist, antiracist, and decolonial AI.” Allahyari’s series Moon-faced (2022, image), for example, hallucinates genderless Qajar dynasty portraits.
American software artist Casey Reas returns to Berlin’s DAM Projects with “Conjured Terrain,” a solo exhibition of new Untitled Film Stills and Compressed Cinema digital video works set to (and driven by) the electroacoustic soundscapes of German artist and composer Jan St. Werner. Building on a body of images ‘conjured’ from feature films fed to generative adversarial networks (GANs) in 2018, Reas revisits—and celebrates—the raw visual grammar of early machine learning experiments from that era.
London-based future connoisseurs Superflux reveal The Ecological Intelligence Agency (EIA) (2023), a speculative proposal for an autonomous inter-departmental government agency that uses localised AI models to align labour, climate and data justice for eco advocacy. Commissioned by the UK Policy Lab and Defra Futures, and shown at “Changing Course” in June, EIA gives voice to fresh water systems to aid decision-making by “making river health sense-able and situating policies within wider contextual ecosystems.”
Worldcoin, a proof-of-personhood digital identity system for a future full of AI agents, launches. A Tools for Humanity (OpenAI’s Sam Altman and engineer Alex Blania) initiative, it proposes iris scanning everyone on earth to assign them an anonymized biometric identity—and a related cryptocurrency. Anticipating AI-induced cultural shifts, Altman & Blania claim Worldcoin will let users “prove you are a real and unique person online” and assist in universal basic income (UBI) disbursement.
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