Exhibition: ‘Mind the Deep: Artificial Intelligence and Artistic Creation’ at MCAM

Text by CLOT Magazine

Mind the Deep: Artificial Intelligence and Artistic Creation, Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum

Mind the Deep: Artificial Intelligence and Artistic Creation, a new exhibition on artificial intelligence, opens on November 7 to February 9, 2020, at Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum. New technologies have always been reflected in art, and artificial intelligence and machine learning have been used extensively in art in the latest years, so it seemed necessary to curate exhibitions highlighting the most recent investigation of these new technologies by artists and programmers. 

The exhibition Mind the Deep: Artificial Intelligence and Artistic Creation features 28 artworks by 22 artists and artist groups, together with demonstrations from AI conferences, to investigate how artificial intelligence has entered different levels and stages of artistic creation: concept development, logical construction, specific tools, and effects.

There’s a long history of artists working with new technologies among their tools and questioning the limitations and assumptions built into them. With data-driven tools like ML, we’re experiencing the possibility of generating a future seeded with the past. So how do we get to outcomes that are have not already been lived? I believe AI/ML provides a chance for reckoning. It becomes clear that there is bias in our datasets and when this gets encoded in ML systems, we can no longer deny the bias exists—told CLOT Magazine Lauren McCarthy, one of the artists participating in the exhibition. 

The magnanimity of data mining and the high-performance computing environment has led to unprecedented advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural networks. These new technologies are unstoppable, users and consumers are conscious of data and privacy, and almost all of us live in Turing’s land, artists included. Does the artist see AI more as a tool or as a creator? I see it as both a material (the dataset or imagery I give it), a tool (the way that it creates the eventual images that it produces) and a process (the way that I work with AI is quite iterative –  I collect data, feed it through the algorithm, change the data, rerun the model – the work changing all the time throughout) – there is an interesting tension between the rules of the algorithm and creativity that it sparks. Artist Anna Ridler told CLOT Magazine over the Email.

I see software agents moving as organic as birds, Black boxes of Neural Networks generating aesthetic surprises and machines that speak about themselves. I feel that the echo of those revelations is with me wherever I go. They are not about machines – as they become a microscope into nature. It changes the way I perceive my environment, human intelligence and human interactions. It is beautiful to me and I want to continue to create artefacts and space to share those perspectives. Artist Christian “Mio” Loclair reflects on the cooperation between machines and nature.

Other artists taking part in Mind the Deep: Artificial Intelligence and Artistic Creation that are very known for CLOT Magazine audience are Albert Barqué-Duran + Mario Klingemann+ Marc Marzenit, Anna Ridler + Daria Jelonek, and Studio Wayne McGregor + Google Arts & Culture. 

Website http://mcam.io/
(Media courtesy of MCAM)
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