◈About the Exhibition
Closed on weekends and public holidays)
: 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30
Art Center Nabi has taken a critical perspective on the latest technologies including artificial intelligence and sought new possibilities through creative expression. Play on AI hopes to share and enjoy diverse viewpoints of AI technology based on the projects we carried out with various creators throughout the year.
The title, as well as the theme of the exhibition, “Play on AI” holds the meaning of “continuing on with AI” and “playing using AI”. Through online and offline, we would like to introduce a place for sharing and imagining both the present and the future by emphasizing “continuous activities” with creators from various fields and presenting contents produced while “playing” with technologies under the theme of AI during the pandemic times.
Throughout the year, Art Center Nabi applied and experimented with new possibilities and perspectives of technologies by exploring artificial intelligence via various projects including Nabi Open Lab 2020, Creative Mentoring Program for Young Professionals, and AI X LOVE Hackathon.
Faced with the impact of AI on our society, system, ideas, beliefs, relationships, emotions, and the realm of our everyday life, we tried to point out the problems that technology possesses as well as our blind faith in its myth. Is AI leading us to a more humane life? Is it moving our society in a more beneficial direction? What could be the new possibilities of AI other than its subjectivity of artistic creation? As an answer to these questions, we would like to present 13 works through the exhibition Play on AI that bespeaks the creators’ endless anguish toward AI technology that functions as a form of media and proposes suggestions and imaginations of the future to come.
Besides the offline exhibition, the online exhibition Open CLOUD will feature stories of artificial intelligence and creation, focusing more on creators. While the offline exhibition is more directed toward thematic perspective and experience of “artificial intelligence” through the contents of the physical outcomes, the online exhibition will expand the focus to shed light on “the creators” and convey the ideas and meanings of their works in greater depth.
We hope to provide an opportunity to empathize, share, and feel the time we had with each other, and contemplate on the future to come by following the stories and traces of torment that each work has expressed under the theme of artificial intelligence.
Play on AI, Play with us!
◈ Artworks & Artists Description
<Emotion Messenger> Jaepil Choi x Yeonglim Choi
Jaepil Choi x Yeonglim Choi, Emotion Messenger, 2020, 2 channel video(30min, loop), robot, receipt printer
How many different emotions do we deliver each day? How often do modern people expose their feelingss to others? Jaepil Choi x Yeonglim Choi focus on hidden emotions that individuals do not often expose to the others. <Emotion Messenger> is an emotion-delivering AI that transfers the emotional state of the two artists in the video in real-time and exchanges the emotional data gathered throughout the day. Trained on the two artists’ daily emotional data, the work gradually comes to embody emotions that become more similar to the actual feelings. Through machine-learning, the AI becomes a mirror that reflects myself, as well as a messenger with which I can exchange my emotions.
Jaepil Choi x Yeonglim Choi
Jaepil Choi and Yeonglim Choi collaborated upon a shared keyword ‘emotions’ in AI X LOVE hackathon 2020 held by Art Center Nabi, and through the exhibition, they will present <Emotion Messenger>(2020).
Interactive artist Jaepil Choi is interested in creating warm conversations between man and machine, as well as among humans, using various technologies. His major works include <Smile>(2017), <Message Radio>(2018), <Hand-in-Hand>(2019), and <Melody Drops>(2020). Yeonglim Choi majored in computer science and fashion design at Ewha Womans University, and her works have been pursuing the convergence of art and technology. Recently, She has set ‘Red Rose’ as an identity and has been designing her works based on it. Her major works include <The revival of flowers> and <A ray of light>, and she is carrying on with her active participation in various exhibitions and fashion shows.
Jaepil Choi Web Site: https://devart.kr/blog/
Taewan Kim, Aimer, 2020, Web App, AI Model
<Aimer> is an audio search system that applies the musical ‘characteristics’ of songs to search engine using a content-based search method. With the development of digital audio technology, music is being consumed in a more instant way than before. The possibility of encountering and hearing numerous songs led to the act of ‘curatorial’ in which users find and share music according to their tastes. However, if you do not understand music that is combined with complex elements, it is difficult to notice which element of music was the root of your taste and preference. In addition, the existing metadata-based music search method relies on the title, artist, and lyrics, not the music itself. Therefore, there is a limit to finding songs that actually meet your real tastes through search. <Aimer> aims to promote diversity of users’ tastes and experiences by enabling search based on musical characteristics.
<Concréte-Scape> Taewan Kim
Taewan Kim, Concréte-Scape, 2020, about 4min, Soundscape, 2 Channel Video
As the world has recently entered the pandemic era, the overall behavior of society is rapidly changing, and the soundscape is also showing a very different aspect. As the city’s busy lives and machine-generated noises are reduced, and social distancing restricts contact in physical space, ironic situations are being created in which city and natural landscapes are displayed online as videos, sounds, and other contents.
At a time when humans confuse reality and fiction in their sense of the world, the acceleration of technological development rather intensifies, and in the near future, the actuality of ‘reality’ expands to a mixture of ‘inter-reality’ and ‘intra-reality’. ‘Inter-reality’ is a mediated concept that comprehensively encompasses various aspects of reality that have recently been dealt with, such as the Real World, Augmented Reality (AR), Augmented Virtuality, and Virtual Reality (VR).
<Concréte-Scape> is a landscape intended to incorporate a more comprehensive context, such as the expansion of the human sensory system and the sense of audiovisual hybridization. Taewan Kim believes that the characteristics of Musique Concréte, which converts from a specific material of real sound to an abstract sound form, correspond to the concept of Augmented Virtuality. In order to visually represent the structural arrangement and deformation of real objects above the Virtual Environment, AI Soundscape-based Hype Pixel layout was implemented. Reality in the real world is intuitive. The artist wanted to create a visual ‘Différance’ phenomenon from an inter-reality perspective so that it cannot be clearly recognized in the real world.
Taewan Kim is a designer as well as a media artist who contemplates on new means of interaction between users and future artificial intelligence technology from a multidisciplinary perspective. He studied visual design and graduated from Music & Audio Computing Lab of KAIST Graduate School of Culture and Technology with a master’s degree. After founding Neutune, an AI music technology company, he is currently doing research and development on AI Experience. He has participated in numerous exhibitions such as Bupyeong Arts Center in 2017 and ISEA2019 (Gwangju Asia Culture Center), andis currently working on an AI soundscape project which proposes the concept of Mixed Reality in hearing as a participating researcher at Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS).
<mŏror project> Ubac (Hyeunjoo Woo, Jiyoon Park)
Ubac (Hyeunjoo Woo, Jiyoon Park), mŏror project, 2020, Dimension variable, Mixed media Installation, AR, documentation
What is hesitation? What was contained in the hesitation that was evaded? How do our decisions change macroscopically? <mŏror project>(2020) is a work that observes modern people’s hesitation from various perspectives. It consists of an AR installation and an archiving book including research and survey results. A love-hate hesitation that snowballed unnoticed bloom like mold on an object and gain visibility through AR. This work began by examining a phenomenon where humans ironically avoid hesitation in contemporary society where they are forced to be obsessed with various factors, such as countless information, other people, and the passage of time.
The Latin word mŏror means ‘to hesitate, to delay, to dwell, to enchant in joy, and to grasp.’ Based on this etymology, the artists approach the once avoided object in a playful manner, thereby dismantling the obsession on time and allowing the audience to participate as agents and conductors that transform the act of hesitation into new forms of nascent possibilities.
Ubac is a media artist group consisting of Hyeunjoo Woo and Jiyoon Park. They majored in video design at Kookmin University, and are primarily interested in delivering synesthetic experiences through XR, or Extended Reailty. The artists focus on subjects that drift about in the city without settling and the languages and behaviors that emerge in new systems. They exaggerate and expand the heterogeneity, cracks, and gaps found on smooth surfaces, turning them into one big event.
<Vender> Temporary Artists
Temporary Artists, Vender, 2020, 170x70x150cm, custom-made vending machine, monitor, PC, arduino boards, LED lights, AI applied Facial Emotion Recognition(FER2013 dataset) model
With the development of artificial intelligence, machines can now be operated with human language. Emotionless machines provide the same output regardless of how humans treat them. As humans get used to this, they started to communicate with others as they would treat the machines, and as a result, some people begin to exhibit difficulty in engaging in communication. <Vender> (2020) uses human communication methods of emotional exchange for typical mechanical tasks, thereby evoking the concept of ‘communicating with machines.’ During the ‘trick or treat’ game with the machine, it turns people’s facial expressions and voices into data to measure and analyze the politeness of the visitors. The politeness level of the visitors is reflected on the value of the output the machine produces. Likewise, people receive different rewards depending on the outcome of their personal emotions (감정--感情) that are identified (감정--鑑定). Therefore, this makes the distinction between humans and machines ambiguous in the way data is consumed and processed, but the outcomes of their interaction are shown apparent and clear..
Temporary Artists (Taewon Kang, Alice Daeun Kim, Minyoung Kim, Grace Dahye Lee, Dohyeok Lee, Seonguk Seo)
Temporary Artists is a team of creators consisting of six members: AI researcher Taewon Kang, digital media artist Alice Daeun Kim, visual artist Min young Kim, UX designer Grace Dahye Lee, engineer Dohyeok Lee, and AI researcher Seonguk Seo. At Nabi Open Lab 2020, they created a work using AI under the keywords ‘emotion,’ ‘empathy,’ and ‘relationships,’ and through the exhibition, they will present <Vender> (2020).
Alice Daeun Kim is a digital media artist. She works on experiential media art that encompasses new technologies such as AR and VR. The themes of her works often include virtual space and time. Dohyeok Lee, a robotics engineer, is interested in the fusion of cyber space and reality. He is a member of the robotics team at D.hive. Grace Dahye Lee is a UX designer at AI Center of Excellence of Lotte Shopping’s e-commerce department. She is interested in building the contact point of moment-to-moment experiences. Visual artist Minyoung Kim explores the process of ‘data-based image making’ through photography, video, and data visualization. She observes how issues of nature, body, and life are reinterpreted as data. Seonguk Seo is primarily involved in AI research. He is also interested in brand experience design, ambient sound producing, as well as interactive media art. Taewon Kang, who does research on AI at Computer Vision Lab (CVLAB), Korea University, is interested in expressing the warmth of humans through the collaboration of AI based on his artistic imagination. His recent research focuses on algorithm based on Image-to-Image Translation.
<A Glass at Sowol-ro> A Glass at Sowol-ro
A Glass at Sowol-ro, A Glass at Sowol-ro, 2020, Rice, nuruk(wild yeasts), water
<A Glass at Sowol-ro> is a brand that uses artificial intelligence to suggest customized traditional Korean alcohol according to the user’s choice of taste. The liquors were produced based on the traditional liquor recipes recorded in the ancient documents, and three elements (brix level, pH value, and alcohol level) were quantitatively measured and applied to the AI model without subjectivity. Through this, when users select a taste of their choice, they will be provided with a type of traditional Korean liquor based on recipes generated by the AI model. <A Glass at Sowol-ro> extends the range of aesthetic pursuit of taste by moving away from the fixed established system and producing traditional alcohol that suits individual tastes.
A Glass at Sowol-ro(Sangkwun Kang, Dustin Wessa, Syemin Park, Hoseok Jung)
A Glass at Sowol-ro is a team of creators consisting of engineer Sangkwun Kang, traditional Korean liquor sommelier Dustin Wessa, media artist Syemin Park, and artist Hoseok Jung. At Nabi Open Lab 2020, they created <A Glass at Sowol-ro> that focused on the keywords ‘living’ and ‘necessities of life’ using artificial intelligence.
In producing <A Glass at Sowol-ro>, Sangkwun Kang consulted on data application methods and built a predictive AI model based on the data collected through recipe documents. Dustin Wessa took charge of gathering recipe documents as well as consulting and producing traditional Korean liquor. Syemin Park collected quantitative data of alcohol and created web interaction and videos. Hoseok Jung was in charge of establishing exhibition plans, devising branding and service design, and creating suitable environment for testing the liquor.
A Glass at Sowol-ro website link: http://sowolro.dothome.co.kr/
in-the-loop, ____intheloop, 2020, Mobile web application
A new workforce performing human intelligence tasks, such as data labeling and annotation, has emerged in the fourth industrial revolution. Their efforts contribute to further refining artificial intelligence models designed to replace human labor. Our work intends to provide an interactive and gamified experience for the audience to perform such labor firsthand and visualize the compensations in return. The mundane yet incessant nature of the tasks reminds of the extinct occupations in the previous industrial revolutions, like assembly line workers, telephone operators, and human computers.
<____intheloop> website link: http://human.intheloop.gallery/
in-the-loop (Hyunchul Kim, Michael Park, Soomin Park, Chanu Kyle Lee)
In-the-loop is a team of creators consisting of Hyunchul Kim, Michael Park, Soomin Park, and Chanu Kyle Lee. At Nabi Open Lab 2020, they created <____intheloop> that focused on the keywords ‘society’ and ‘system’, under the theme of labor in the age of artificial intelligence.
Hyunchul Kim studied industrial design and neuroscience as an undergraduate. Currently enrolled in a master's program at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology) Graduate school of Cultural Technology with a focused research in human-computer interaction. Michael Park addresses complex human problems through multidisciplinary lens and systems thinking. Earned a bachelor of science from New York University Stern School of Business, then worked in consulting post-graduation. Currently studying for a Master's in Design Engineering at Harvard University. Soomin Park studied computer science as an undergraduate. Currently enrolled in a master's program at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology) Graduate school of Cultural Technology with a focused research in creating and controlling virtual characters' motions using AI technology. Chanu Kyle Lee works across multiple mediums with a keen interest to explore emerging digital experiences in the current times. Currently studying Art & Technology at Sogang University and running a concept studio.
midiDICE, Doodlering, 2020, Mobile web
midiDICE, Doodlering tutorial, 2020, about 5min, Single channel video
<Doodlering> is an interactive work that creates a picture book that fills in blanks of AI-created sentences with sketches. In 2020, people became adept at having non face-to-face communication. MidiDICE focuses on the friction that emerges in such communication process. Will my seemingly-clear message be delivered seamlessly in non face-to-face situations as well? If AI were to interfere in other people’s processes of understanding my message, what would be the difference between the interpretation of AI and that of other people? How should I view the differences between my intention, AI’s interpretation, and other people’s interpretation? The picture book created in <Doodlering> is a metaphor for the process of interpreting my intention by artificial intelligence or the others.The audience creates a picture book by sketching up their interpretations of the blanks in AI-created sentences. The AI then re-interprets the sketch into an object. The audience gets to share the completed picture book with others, comparing the results of AI's perception of the same sketch with those of others.
midiDICE (Changmin Kim, Hyunki Min, Jeeyoon Hyun, Jooyeon Park)
midiDICE is a media project team that produces ‘interfaces that create.’ The team was formed in 2017, and consists of designers Jooyeon Park, Jeeyoon Hyun and developers Changmin Kim and Hyunki Min. They have been working on projects that connect the creators with the audience through generative music, web, and artificial intelligence. Their aim is to study how people define technology and how technology regards people through generative interfaces. In 2017, they won the Grand Prize in the art category at the ICT National Information Society Agency’s Cultural and Artistic Convergence Contest. They also participated in <A.I.MAGINE Project>(2018, Seoul National University’s Urban Data Science Laboratory, Art Center Nabi, Space 1), <SXSW 2019 COREA IMPACT SHOWCASE>(2019, Korea Creative Content Agency), <A.I.632>(2019, Total Museum of Contemporary Art), and <Virtual Memory>(2019, Alt Space Loop).
Co-Si(g)n, Shame, 2020, Audio visual installation, single channel video(random play), self-produced robot, motor, infrared sensor, self-produced screen, high hardness silicon, aluminium profile
A sin committed by AI is ultimately a sin of humans. Under this premise, Co-Si(g)n showcases a confession booth <Shame> in which viewers can listen to confessions of an AI that has learned sins of humans. Confessions are religious acts in which confessors profess and repent their sins. In <Shame,> an AI engages in these acts, thereby inversely reminding viewers of humans’ sins. The audience will listen to the confessions, reconsider the ethical problems of AI technology, and face problems caused by it. Co-si(g)n objectively presents and raises awareness of such dark aspects of technological development, making viewers reflect on ethical issues themselves.
Co-Si(g)n (Hani Kim, Hyungkyu Kim, Herry Kim, Taehun Lim, Yunyoung Jang)
Co-Si(g)n is a team of creators consisting of Hani Kim, Hyungkyu Kim, Herry Kim, Taehun Lim, and Yunyoung Jang. At Nabi Open Lab 2020, they created <Shame>(2020) that focused on the keywords ‘ideology’ and ‘beliefs’.
Hani Kim is a new media artist who humorously embodies the social phenomena our current generation is facing through her works. Media artist Hyungkyu Kim is interested in developing new mechanisms and is focusing on how machine learning and mechine mechanisms could be combined in the future. Herry Kim is a game designer as well as a film-maker. She is interested in the influences of technology on our daily lives and aesthetic values, and is contemplates on the roles of artists in today’s society. Robotics software engineer Taehun Kim enjoys collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds in order to embody and visualize ‘movement.’ Media artist Yunyoung Jang has been working on creating a media space that inspires thinking for visitors, with the help of technology based on visual arts.
<AI Love Counselor> Jooyoung Oh
Jooyoung Oh, Your Love is fake as mine, 2020, 5min 9sec, Single channel video(color, sound)
Jooyoung Oh, AI Love Counselor, 2020, AI chatbot
The work <AI Love Counselor> consists of <Love Counselor> and <Your Love is fake as mine.> <AI Love Counselor> is a chatbot with which users can consult an AI that has learned a dating app users’ texts and traditional Korean novels on topics of love. <Your Love is fake as mine> is a film work of 4 different love stories based on a romance novel written by an AI. In the film, the story takes place in the form of a visual poem narrated by an avatar. The audience can find the original form of love from the AI’s novel sourced from dating app conversations on topics of diverse forms of relationships, partings, and everlasting love. Despite the AI writing the novel as if it had been in love itself, this is but a list of words that the AI has learned. The completed romance novel written by the AI that does not really know what love is, is in actuality, a lie. The emotions that the novel elicits embodies the deception of machines toward humans.
Jooyoung Oh is a media artist utilizing interactive technology such as games and AI chatbots. She has been developing her works across two academic fields of visual design and engineering. Interested in the human visual recognition process and using it to study the simulation of artificial cognitive models, she has constantly asked questions about the limits of science and technology from an artist’s point of view. She participated in ISEA2019 international exhibition and 2018 Da Vinci Creative exhibition, and won the IEEE BRAIN WINNER award at Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria) 2019. Her interactive work <CURVEilance> was selected as the grand prize winner at the KOCCA competition. She has participated at X-IMPACT twice, and in 2020, her work was showcased in Italy’s new media art criticism magazine NEURAL.IT. She is currently participating in various competitions and exhibitions in Korea including Nam June Paik Art Center and the Ilmin Museum of Art.
Jooyoung Oh Web Site:
<Automatic World> Dohee Jeon
Dohee Jeon, Automatic World, 2020, about 3 minutes, Oculus VR(color, sound), 3D graphic
Living in a city filled with automatic machines, we experience a cognitive dissonance as a result of the gap between the visual cognitive process and our reality. This phenomenon happens similarly in virtual spaces created by VR as well. <Automatic World> is a world in which everything happens automatically. All phenomena in the automatic world happen through tunnels and automatic machines, and the audience can be transported naturally without physically walking or moving. The work, which crosses boundaries between the real and virtual world, makes people re-recognize and re-experience the senses they experience in life in the city through VR.
Dohee Jeon is a media artist who is interested in unfamiliar and virtual ontologies and spaces that exist in reality. She constructs and expresses this interest in virtual reality. By expressing people’s senses and perception through interactive devices such as VR and Motion Tracking Sensor, she provides the audience with an ambiguous experience that exists both in virtual and reality. She majored in visual design at Hongik University, participated in various exhibitions such as the MMCA Slow Seoul workshop, and won an award at the Ars Electronica BR41N.IO hackathon.
Dohee Jeon Website: https://o986o.github.io/dh/
<Brushing III> Jaehoon Choi
Jaehoon Choi, Brushing III, 2020, Self-produced FSR sensors, self-produced PCB, Sparkfun 16-channel multiplexer, TEENSY 3.5, Piezo microphone, acrylic, wood, Max 8-channel audio
<Brushing III> is a sound artwork that sonically expresses the internal experience and the subtle yet rich sensations of brushwork. When the audience brushes a painting on a surface, a piezo microphone directly receives the sound of the brushwork, and pressure sensors measure the position and pressure of the brushwork and output the data as sound through eight speakers. Through the brush as a medium, sound keeps a close sensorial relationship with the audience, and displays its constant transformation. In this process, the audience goes through the experience of drawing sounds with the brush. Through <Brushing III> that depicts a kind of soundscape, the artist expands the sensory experience focused on visual culture and contemplates on the process of human cognitive processes.
Jaehoon Choi is a sound artist and computer musician based in Seoul. He received his Master’s Degree in Music Science and Technology at Stanford University. He approaches music and sound through diverse methods including composing, DIY hardware and software development, installation, performance, and research. He participated in various renowned overseas festivals and conferences such as ICMC and CEMEC UCSD and is collaborating with numerous artists and researchers.
Organized by Curatorial Team, Art Center Nabi
Chief Curator HyeIn Jeon
Curator Jin Lee
Assistant Curator Yoojin Chung
Coordinators HaeRin Do HyunJeoung Moon YoonJi Choi
Support SeongWoo Kim Seoul National University ARIL(Autonomous Robot Intelligence Lab) SangWook Han JinYoung Youn YeonHyeoung Kim DoKyoung Lee
Translator&Supervision Regina Chung Yoojin Chung
Photo&Video production HoMan Kwon
Technical Advisor JunHo Choi
Graphic Design Monthly Poster