How Computers Imagine Humans?
João Martinho Moura
How Computers Imagine Humans?, 2017. Code, iMac, projectors, speakers, dimensions variable.
In this media artwork, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used against AI to discover How Computers Imagine Humans?, using a selected computer visual noise (one computer) and an AI face detector system (another computer). Both systems are running in real-time against each other, using just built-in cameras to communicate. In recent years, face detection technologies have been widely used by artists to create digital art. Face detection provides new forms of interaction and allows digital artifacts to detect the presence of human beings, through video capture and facial detection, in realtime. In this work, an algorithm proposed by Paul Viola and Michael Jones, is explored to generate imagined faces from visual randomness. Unusual use of the facial detection algorithms intended to do the opposite of what it is supposed to achieve: instead of trying to locate and capture faces, it generates facial images ‘imagined’ by a computer through the exploration of hypothetical possibilities.
How Computers Imagine Humans? focuses on a particular point: humans have created methods and instructions so that computers can easily detect themselves, and, in this case, this knowledge is used to generate abstract pictorial face results. More than what it offers in terms of visualization of what is behind algorithms, this work, as it is presented, with two machines interacting with each other without a wired or wireless connection, demonstrates the ‘knowledge’ humans try to implement into machines to detect themselves — awareness about these technologies and their effects (positive or negative) on the society. The result is a ghost-human face, made by mathematics and probabilities, appearing very slowly as the algorithms work over time.
João Martinho Moura is a researcher and media artist born in Portugal. His interests lie in digital art, intelligent interfaces, digital music, and computational aesthetics. Has a particular interest in real-time visualization, art & science, and interactive digital artifacts. For the past decade, he’s been adopting new ways to represent the body in digital media, creating interactive audiovisual artifacts, mostly represented by monochromatic visual abstractions and minimalist lines. Moura has presented his work and research in a variety of art venues and conferences worldwide and has collaborated in art/science works for INL (International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory), ESA (European Space Agency) and the European Commission STARTS (Arts and Science) initiative. Moura is a member of the Braga Media Arts, UNESCO Creative Cities Network and has received in Lisbon, the National Multimedia Art & Culture Award, for his contributions in the field of the media arts in Portugal. His work was included in Curated Collections Processing curated collection (USA, 2008), Selected Works Ars Electronica Animation Festival (Linz, 2012), the SLSA Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (USA, 2013), the NATO Arts Program (Brussels, 2019), among others.
Value Manifesto, 2015 - 2019. Decryptor, IoT circuit board, metal, nixie tubes (R|Z568M), perspex, 580 x 135 x 180 mm. Edition of 250.
Value Manifesto declares its own commercial value to be art, as the first crypto-multiple* in the history of art. Value Manifesto is accessible to everyone via the internet and can be traded via its own marketplace without intermediaries and collusion. The price of the editions is determined by the Value Manifesto’s Blockchain based web platform on which bids are accepted for the acquisition of a single edition. Each crypto-multiple of a limited edition of 250 units is represented by an ERC-271 token on the Ethereum Blockchain. The value (defined in Swiss Francs) can be seen on the Value Manifesto bidding platform and on all 250 manufactured Value Manifesto IoT decryptor displays.
The reduction of the present artistic concept to its market value is a provocative statement in the ages of a hyper-commercialized, multi-billion dollar art market. In the case of the Value Manifesto, the prices are not created by galleries, auction houses and collector circles, but by real and unfiltered market request. In its existence in a purely digital form as a crypto-token, it introduces the philosophy of the technically reproduced multiple to the Zeitgeist of the digital age. The time has come to experience the moment of Blockchain Enlightenment in the art market and question the market authorities and their non-transparent business approach of the past. The principle of this project stands for the moment of enlightenment in the art market. As a continuous and long-term experiment, the findings of Value Manifesto shall be used to demonstrate the application of Blockchain echnologies in the art market.
*Multiple: a technically produced art edition
Timo Niemeyer is an art historian with a focus on European Avant-Gardes and art market advisor and developed the artistic concept of the Value Manifesto since 2015. Niemeyer studied Art History, Social Anthropology and Law at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His vision is a smooth and democratic embedding of cultural and especially artistic heritage in the forthcoming digital age in the context of IR4. Niemeyer developed Value Manifesto as an interdisciplinary art project connecting Avant-Garde theories, stateof-the-art hardware and Blockchain technology.
Technical Concept: Dr. Matthias Frank
Hardware: Dalibor Farny
Trimplement (Platform of Value Manifesto) :
One Year Life Strata
María Molina Peiró
One Year Life Strata, 2017. 3D print, code, computer, screens, speakers, mouse, wearable camera, dimensions variable.
During one year María Molina Peiró carried a wearable camera taking a photo every 30 seconds. The enormous collection of photos collected by the camera are shown in an online archive that instead of “remembering”, creates creative amnesia of her year´s digital memory.
One Year Life Strata proposes a visual metaphor of forgetting by transforming the digital images into what is likely the ultimate memory trace that will remain from us: the geological record. The project, in a sort of digital geology, mines the data from the strata and invites to investigate one year of María Molina Peiro´s life through an AI vision system which doesn’t concerned about the personal memories include on those photos but in the collection of patterns and numbers they contain.
María Molina Peiró is a Spanish filmmaker and audiovisual artist, with a background in fine arts. She works in an open format, mixing film, experimental animation and new media. Her films and installations often unfold layered realities that connect humans, technology and nature. She is particularly interested in memory systems (from geology to digital memory) and the relation between cinema and science. Her current research focuses on humanity’s constant struggle with its temporal and spatial limitations, and how this struggle has driven civilization and technology to change our relationship with nature, time and our understanding of life itself.
María Molina Peiró has presented her work in film festivals and exhibitions internationally, including: International Film Festival Rotterdam IFFR, Rencontres Internationales, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, International Film Festival Oberhausen, Louvre Museum, EYE Film Museum, ISEA Korea, Indie Lisboa International Film Festival, London Science Museum, MACBA, VIS Vienna Shorts, Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei), MATADERO (Madrid), Taiwan Video Art Biennale or Goshorts, amongst many others. Peiró holds a BA from University of the Arts, Sevilla and graduated Cum Laude from the Master of Film at the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam.
Cyanovisions:The Transmutation of Light Harvesting Bodies
Tiare Ribeaux, Jody Stillwater
Cyanovisions: The Transmutation of Light Harvesting Bodies, 2019. Single-Channel Video and Installation, 3D print, air pumps, cyanobacteria cultures, glass, silicone tubing, speakers, dimensions variable.
Cyanovisions: The Transmutation of Light Harvesting Bodies focuses on cyanobacteria, the first light-harvesting organisms on the planet to photosynthesize. Humans generate the pollutants that cause aggregations of toxic cyanobacteria blooms, yet we also create new life forms through synthetic biology, genetic engineering, and artificial life. What would the future look like if humans and cyanobacteria merged membranes, genes, and metabolisms? Inspired by recent experiments in CRISPR gene editing technologies, Cyanovisions posits potentials for biological hybridity and scientific spiritualities with microbial species that recognize the inextricable relationship of humans to those of other organisms. Though the trajectory for millennia has distanced the human body and consciousness from the chemical processes and organisms that it is composed of, it is eternally linked to forces, processes, and organisms. Cyanovisions offers potentialities of symbiotically living with both other species and our technologies as extensions of nature. Cyanobacteria are one of the most ancient life forms; they were responsible for first creating oxygen on our planet as the first lightharvesting organisms. Through endosymbiosis, they became the chloroplasts that plants use to process sunlight into energy today. Cyanovisions imagines a future where the light harvesting pigment phycocyanin is engineered into human bodies not only to surpass their limitations but to protect against the toxic conditions that we have induced on the planet. Portrayed in the short film are landscapes of algal blooms and the inner workings of a DIY Biology Lab. Science fact becomes science fiction as lab technicians move from routine experiments into an embodied ritual as part of a speculative experiment. As a cine-poem, this piece meditates on different states of bacteria and water, the transformation of light, and the embodiment of this transmutation. Photobioreactor systems growing cyanobacteria cultures are incorporated into the installation, along with speculative future prostheses of the human body.
Tiare Ribeaux is a Hawaiian-American new media and interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker and curator based in the Bay Area. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of B4BEL4B Gallery and co-founder of REFRESH Art, Science, and Technology. As an interdisciplinary artist, her work explores the entanglements of human technologies, biology and infrastructures with mythologies, the environment, and microbial/nonhuman species. She is interested in living systems, deep/dark/media ecologies, rhizomatic networks, speculative futures, multi-species ontologies, and collaborative entanglements. She has shown work both nationally and internationally, including Transmediale, IZOLYATSIA, Akademie Schloss Solitude + ZKM, ISEA Hong Kong, Southern Exposure, and Tokyo Fashion Week. She has worked with Leonardo//ISAST, the de Young Museum, Gray Area Art and Technology, MIT Media Lab, the California Academy of Sciences, Swissnex San Francisco, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Fort Mason Center for the Arts, and the Oakland Museum of California, among others.
Jody Stillwater is a writer, director & creative technologist from San Francisco. His films + projects are based in dream logic and tactile reality, with a modern/transforming approach to visual semiotics, grounded in realism and classical narrative. He has screened films at Marfa Film Festival, Choreoscope Int’l Dance Film Festival in Barcelona, Denver Film Festival, Bucharest Int’l Dance Film Festival, Copenhagen Fashion Film Festival, and has participated in the Tribeca Film Festival Hacks Lab, the San Francisco Dance Film Festival Co-Lab, and was the featured film artist at APAture 2018. He holds a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. As a sound recordist, films he has worked on have screened at Sundance, Edinburgh Film Festival, SXSW, Chicago International, Tribeca and SFIFF. He has made films in the Netherlands, Colombia, Austria, India, Chile, Slovenia, the UK and across the United States.
In The Gray
In the Gray, 2018. Virtual Reality and Video Installation, Computer, Oculus Rift, projector, speaker, dimensions variable, 6'00.
While humans are dreaming, the physical human body exists, but does not ‘exist’ in our perception, and human consciousness constantly moves back and forth between the boundary. During this process, we experience surreal and random senses in the virtual space called a dream, and it symbolizes an aspect of unpredictable possibilities of the humanity. During this process, we experience surreal and random senses in the virtual space called a dream, and it symbolizes an aspect of unpredictable possibilities of humanity.
In the Gray (2018) is a VR (Virtual Reality) film that probes into the relationship between error and humanity in human dreams so that artificial intelligence can perfectly mimic mankind. The title ‘Gray’ symbolizes a variable area that cannot easily be dealt with in a world where black and white are clear-cut and that there are numerous random layers that exist between clarity and obscurity. This work depicts a conversation of artificial intelligence and a dreaming human being in the beginning, and it unravels the contemplation on ‘humanness’ that is illustrated through error and incompleteness in virtual reality.
*This artwork was created by the support of ZER01NE.
Roomtone is an artist collective that uses VR for game development, sound design and media art creation. Jeon Jinkyung and Kim Dongwook, the two artists of the group, create media-based experiences through virtual reality, especially when game and music emerge in digital space. They are seeking to present the possibilities and direction of their own artistic language through the game engine which blurs the boundaries of media art and game, and also by the experimental production and storytelling mainly produced with sound. Selected as the creator for KALEIDOSCOPE (2017) and being invited at the VR LA and NYC Independent Film Festival for the work Depth of Circle, Roomtone’s artwork has been exhibited at various international and domestic festivals including Seoul International New Media Festival (NeMaf).
Arno Deutschbauer, Herwig Scherabon, Lukas Fliszar, Michael Ari
Afterlife, 2019. Audiovisual Experience in Virtual Reality, Computer, chairs, Oculus Rift, projector, screen, speakers, dimensions variable.speakers, dimensions variable.
Afterlife is an immersive virtual reality experience inspired by Buddhist contemplation techniques where we can escape the sensory overload of our physical environment for a moment. Everything in this world is designed to focus the attention to simple things like colours, light and droning sounds or to let the spectator experience the vastness of space. Afterlife is created in collaboration with Herwig Scherabon, Arno Deutschbauer, Michael Ari and Lukas Fliszar, commissioned by sound: frame. It aids in understanding the inconsistency of life and to detach oneself from one’s ideals and expectations. The experience invites the audience to be just a spectator and let go of his or her thoughts, expectations and worries.
The collective behind Afterlife consists of Herwig Scherabon, Arno Deutschbauer and 101(Lukas Fliszar, Michael Ari). The creative menage joined forces in the studio of 101 where a lot of discourse about the possibilities of virtual reality sparked the idea for the installation. The artists and designers share the feeling that space as a commodity is becoming sparse and they sense a general need for the retreat from society’s hectic modern lifestyle. Afterlife is a collective effort to fuse the worlds of art, technology and contemplation. Everyone involved comes from different backgrounds like design, 3D art, coding, and music production. Together they want to bring their knowledge into virtual reality and explore the graphics and immersive possibilities of this technology.
New Order / Siren Call?
New Order / Siren Call?, 2016~. mixed media, dimensions variable.
New Order / Siren Call? visualizes the existence of cryptocurrency as the origin of the new order. The cryptocurrency is a new electronic & programmable money based on cryptography and distributed network technology, typified by Bitcoin and Blockchain. The visualizationof-existence means to show everything that exists, including its structure, history, future, and thought. New Order / Siren Call? does not have a fixed form and consists of symbolic pieces distributedly. To Goh, cryptocurrency is regarded as one of the movements of automation. Goh states that human beings are automating intelligence, labor, and money and the cryptocurrency symbolizes the automation of Trust, calling it "TRUSTLESS".
For Uozumi, TRUSTLESS is a new property that humans acquired for the first time in history. It has a potentiality to shift the human society and species system to the next phase by entrusting trust, as natural property like love, to the algorithm. Considering the meaning of what the algorithm acquires as the natural property, Uozumi believes this new technology is already changing the economic ecosystems rapidly, consequently leading to ‘the new order’ of the contemporary society. Going further from symbolizing/calling Blockchain- the “inorganic and complicated resource management protocols”- as mere ‘Coin’, New Order / Siren Call? aims to question the ‘positive’ future fueled with the rationality and will of humanity, perceiving the very technology as ‘Siren’s voice’.
Goh Uozumi aims to intervene in historical paradigm shifts by art, and creates works/systems by algorithm based methodologies with taking other intelligence/existence than human beings into consideration. Since 2014, he worked on the establishment of "TRUSTLESS" which means to entrust trust/belief to the algorithm technically, as an artistic concept. It’s an axis of the automation movements such as intelligence, contract, labor, and trust.
New Order/Siren Call? that visualizes the existence of cryptocurrency and 空の国家-State of Empty that builds nation-state by artificial intelligence were exhibited at ICC in 2016. Trustless Trust/Mk.God that generates memories of future artifacts was awarded the DigitalChoc 2015 by Institut Francais etc. OBSERVER N that extends theory-of-life reality by decentralized autonomous network system was exhibited at YCAM in 2012, and F - void sample that goes across void and perception was awarded the Japan Media Art Festival 2009.
Learning Nature, 2018-2019. Archival Inkjet Print, 30x30cm, AP
Is it inevitable that only our largest organizations, with their vast data sets, will decide how we will use AI? What if, instead, we could start small, to work at the scale of the personal and to engage directly with AI? Could doing so allow us to develop new intuitions and understandings of what the technology is, and what it could enable?
Learning Nature is a set of photographs generated by an Artificial Intelligence(AI), taught with David Young’s photographs of upstate flowers using a GAN(Generative Adversarial Network)-an artificial intelligence/machine learning technology. Learning Nature started out in the hope of creating a new perspective towards AI and exploring new possibilities through an aesthetic experience. Young states that AI was utilized as a tool in Learning Nature in the rural context of upstate New York and the domain of nature where the painting was used to express the relationship between mankind and nature at Hudson River School. The result is a unique interpretation of AI visually drawn out, which not only captures the machine’s understanding of the subject but also raises questions on the subject of interpretation and misinterpretation of nature. With Learning Nature, it is intended to rethink about what it would mean for an AI today to understand/interpret that same nature, further pointing to the anthropomorphizing of technology, data, and the human “intelligence” in the code.