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An[0]ther {AI} in Art Summit: Decolonizing the Future of Artificial Intelligence {AI} and Art Making

With the generous support of The Knight Foundation and Columbia Engineering (The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University), and in partnership with New Museum and NEW INC, An[0]ther {AI} in Art is an intimate gathering of artists, scholars, curators, technologists, community leaders, institutional influencers and decision makers to address gaps, challenges, and opportunities at the intersection of critical inquiry, art making and artificial intelligence. The three-day program will mine diverse perspectives in the ongoing discourse between citizen-users and the technology-making industry.

NEW YORK, April 19, 2019 - Artificial Intelligence promises drastic changes in every corner of our world, and the art world is no different. An[0]ther {AI} in Art Summit is an initiative that seeks to build a shared understanding of the present, and propose a radical view of the future – one that incorporates the voices of those historically excluded from participating in cultural dialogue, let alone shaping it.

“As the role of art, tech, and media evolve, we must ensure that we don't lose sight of including the voices and ideals of diverse communities. The challenges we face will require bridging gaps between the tech and creative world to ensure the future we build together is both inclusive and equitable,” said Anne del Castillo, Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).

"AI is everywhere and has only just begun to be felt in the world of making art. The merging of art and tech will play a pivotal role in every aspect of our lives. We must challenge individuals, communities, and institutions alike to break down barriers in order to build a more shared, interactive, and diverse future that sees value in everyone's story," said Alberto Ibargüen, President of the Knight Foundation.  

There’s a massive gap between high-level conversations about the potential to merge art and technology, and what’s actually happening on the ground. “If AI is to drive the development of new media for artistic creation, it will require a set of visual and conceptual vocabularies along with technical toolsets for artists to design and implement within this new field,” said founder Amir Baradaran. “We also must ensure that the future of AI and art-marking are filled with diverse and collaborative voices who are focused on building a radical future for and with all of us.”

“Creativity flourishes at the intersections of different disciplines, and this is especially true for art and engineering, which are among the most inventive pursuits,” said Mary Boyce, Dean of Columbia Engineering. “By bringing together so many people from the art, engineering, and technology worlds, we hope that this summit will spur collaborations that will propel AI, as well as AR and VR, into the next generation of artistic endeavor.”

An[0]ther {AI} in Art Summit will unite visionary practitioners, scholars, institutional stakeholders, and community and tech industry leaders; unpack philosophical and social issues deriving from the use of AI in art making as well as the role of artists and the art world ecosystem in shaping the promise of technological development; produce a set of framing questions around the use of AI within the art world and beyond that present a radical vision of the future; document and publish our approach, process, and findings for the public.

Summit Participants include

Alberto Ibargüen (President and CEO, Knight Foundation)

Anne del Castillo (Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment)

Cathy O’Neil (Mathematician and Author)

George Zarkadakis (Author, AI engineer, and entrepreneur)

Victoria Vesna (Director, Art and Science Center, UCLA)

Dr. Zia Khan (Vice President, Innovation, The Rockefeller Foundation)

Kamal Sinclair, (Director, Future of Culture Initiative & New Frontier Lab, Sundance Institute)

Karen Wong (Deputy Director, New Museum)

William Uricchio (Principal Investigator, Open Documentary Lab, MIT)

Toshie Takahashi (Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, Professor, Waseda University, Tokyo)

Eva Kozanecka (Google AI + Art)

Loretta Todd (Metis Cree Canadian film director, producer, activist, storyteller, and writer)

Justin Hendrix (CEO, NYC Media Lab)

Jose Diaz (Chief Curator, Warhol Museum)

Steve Feiner (Director of CGUI Lab, Department of Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Columbia University)

Newman (Principal, metaLAB, Harvard University)

Stephanie Dinkins (Artist and Professor, Data & Society)

Gideon Mann (Head of Data Science, Bloomberg)

Tomas Garcia (VP, Technology and Digital Media, LACMA)

Caspar Sonnen (New Media Coordinator, IDFA)

Complete participant list available here


Opening Kickoff Event: Wednesday, April 24th (Open to the Public)

The Opening Kickoff on Wednesday, April 24th at the New Museum’s Theater will share insight around artificial intelligence in its current and speculative relationship to art, narrative, and the human imagination.

Welcoming Remarks

Shih-Fu Chang, Senior Executive Vice Dean, Richard Dicker Professor, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science OR Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty, School of the Arts; Professor of the Arts, School of the Arts at Columbia University (TBC)

Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME)

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers are introduced by Isolde Brielmaier, Curator and Assistant Professor, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU


Amir Baradaran, Founder, An[0]ther {AI} in Art, Columbia University

Topic: Decolonizing the Artistic Imagination


Kamal Sinclair, Director, Future of Culture Initiative & New Frontier, Sundance Institute

Topic: Radical Opportunities and Immersive Experiences


Zia Khan, Vice-President, Innovation, the Rockefeller Foundation

Topic: The role of Institutions in AI and Art

George Zarkadakis, AI engineer, novelist, entrepreneur, and author of In Our Own Image: The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence

Topic: The stories we tell, the machines we build

Panel Q&A:  George Zarkadakis, Kamal Sinclair, Amir Baradaran, Zia Khan

Moderator: Isolde Brielmaier


Summit Days: Thursday, April 25th and Friday, April 26th (Summit Participants Only-All Summit Days are at Full Capacity)

Throughout the summit, presenters and workshop sessions will cover the broad intersection of AI and the entire art sector. Topics will range in breadth from mapping out the ecosystem and the myriad ways AI will intercede in every corner of the sector, to deep discussions on the need to take a decolonizing approach to the development of algorithms and to media forms writ large. Building at the intersection of theory and practice, we will explore “Tools and Methods of Authorship” while also “Speculating on the future aesthetics of form and narrative.” Programming will range from presentations to workshops culminating in our collective point of view on an ideal trajectory for the development of AI that addresses ethical concerns by weaving together critical inquiry and social impact (Full schedule here).


About Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.


About Columbia University School of Engineering

Columbia Engineering, based in New York City, is one of the top engineering schools in the U.S. and one of the oldest in the nation. Also known as The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School expands knowledge and advances technology through the pioneering research of its more than 220 faculty, while educating undergraduate and graduate students in a collaborative environment to become leaders informed by a firm foundation in engineering. The School’s faculty are at the center of the University’s cross-disciplinary research, contributing to the Data Science Institute, Earth Institute, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Columbia Nano Initiative. Guided by its strategic vision, “Columbia Engineering for Humanity,” the School aims to translate ideas into innovations that foster a sustainable, healthy, secure, connected, and creative humanity

About NEW INC at the New Museum

As the first museum-led cultural incubator, NEW INC was conceived of as a not-for-profit platform for furthering the Museum’s ongoing commitment to new art and new ideas. Now in Year 5, NEW INC’s membership model continues to support a diverse range of creative practitioners with a values-driven program and safe space for gathering and developing new creative projects and businesses.


About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. For more information, visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.

About Betaworks

Betaworks is a start-up platform founded in New York. We build, run accelerators, make investments and we recently opened a new Club for Builders in New York.


About NYC Media Lab

Founded in 2010, NYC Media Lab is dedicated to driving innovation and ultimately job growth in media and technology by facilitating collaboration between the City’s universities and its companies. Comprised of a consortium including New York City Economic Development Corporation, School of Visual Arts, New York University, Columbia University, The New School,

CUNY, IESE, and Pratt Institute, NYC Media Lab's goals are to include generate research and development, knowledge transfer, and talent across all of the city’s campuses.

About RLab

The RLab, 16,500 square feet of co-working labs, classrooms, studios, and more, is the nation’s first city-funded center for research, entrepreneurship and education in virtual and augmented-reality, spatial computing and other emerging media technologies. NYCEDC and the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment selected NYU Tandon School of Engineering as the administering institution and a consortium of participating universities, including Columbia University, CUNY, and The New School to manage and operate the space, along with a workforce development center at CUNY Lehman College in the Bronx.


Amir Baradaran - Amir Baradaran is a New York-based Iranian-Canadian ARtificial artist. As Creative Research Associate and Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Baradaran is developing iBegoo, a software that serves as a new platform to democratize the process of writing interactive stories. The software uses Artificial Intelligence to automate designing animations and creating spherical narratives in Augmented Reality. He is also a member of Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab. Baradaran examines AR and AI technologies’ implications of interactivity, non-linear narrative formation, data-mining, failed utopias, racialized and gendered bodies, infiltration, and the ephemeral. He is the recipient of The Knight Foundation Arts Challenge, and the Canada Council for the Arts 150th Anniversary Award. He is the founder of AnOther {AI} in Art, a global platform to decolonize the future of artificial intelligence and art making (produced in partnership with the New Museum and NEW INC). He is currently working on two large-scale immersive public ARt installations in Miami & Montreal.


John Norris, press@anotherai.art