MUTEK AI Art Lab: The mini-documentary
Credit: Albena Baeva - Life After series, GAN generated images, 2020
Could artificial intelligence replace artists in our society? Given the huge leaps in AI technology in recent years, this no longer seems like an absurd question. From March 1 to 10, 2020, MUTEK brought together a dozen artists, researchers, and thinkers to explore these ideas at the MUTEK AI Art Lab, part of its inaugural partnership with Zú.
Designed by Russian curator Natalia Fuchs (ARTYPICAL, Gamma Festival), the MUTEK AI Art Lab set out to explore AI from a conceptual perspective, to deconstruct popular assumptions about AI, and to investigate our relationship with this cognitive science and its ever-increasing place in our daily lives. Participants at the Art Lab benefitted from ten days of conferences, practical workshops, and masterclasses by renowned professionals, curators, and experts in digital and scientific arts. Natalia Fuchs was joined by Maurice Jones (MUTEK.JP), Peter Kirn (CDM), Max Frenzel (Qosmo) and the specialized engineer Habib Hajimolahoseini from Stradigi AI.
MUTEK’s mini-documentary, released today, presents the key questions approached at the Lab—including the creative role of AI, its evolution as a technology, and how artists are using it as a tool, aide, or material for critical reflection. The video also highlights Montréal’s position as a hub of AI research and its relevance as a gathering place for artists.
Selected from among 70 applicants from across the globe, 14 artists of six nationalities were involved in this project:
Alexandre Burton CA/QC / Edith Viau CA/QC / Gabriel Vigliensoni CL/QC / Hugo Boujut-Burgun CA/QC / Isabella Salas MX/QC / Line Katcho CA/QC / Lucas LaRochelle CA/QC
Albena Baeva BG / Damian T. Dziwis PO/DE / Joseph Kamaru KE / Moises H. Valenzuela MX/DE / Stanislav Glazov & Natalie Golubenko RU/DE
The combined theme of “art and AI” sparked a keen interest in the community. Over 150 people attended a day-long public event on Saturday, March 7 at the MILA – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. The audiovisual projects in development by participating artists and researchers generated rich conversations and promising connections.
The MUTEK AI Art Lab was the third in a growing international series of events, following those in Saint Petersburg (Gamma_Lab AI, Russia) in May 2019 and in Tokyo (MUTEK.JP, Japan) in November 2019. Several Montréal artists also took part in the 4th chapter (online) as part of Gamma_Lab (RU) in May 2020, also curated by Natalia Fuchs.
Video by Vjosana Shkurti
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This project was made possible thanks to financial aid from the Initiatives collaboratives art-industrie-savoir en créativité numérique program from the Ville de Montréal (Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal), in collaboration with the Government of Québec.