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An[0]ther {AI} in Art Summit 2019

Decolonizing Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Art Making

April 24th - April 27th

With the generous support of The Knight Foundation and Columbia University, and in partnership with the New Museum and NEW INC, over two full days, we will address gaps and challenges at the intersection of artistic and critical inquiry, and artificial intelligence.

The program will mine diverse perspectives in the ongoing discourse between citizen-users and the technology-making industry.

Opening Event: Wednesday, April 24th, 6:30pm-9:00pm, New Museum

Select panelists and presenters:

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

  • Anne del Castillo, Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

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

  • Kamal Sinclair, Director, Future of Culture Initiative and New Frontier Labs, Sundance Institute

  • George Zarkadakis, AI engineer, novelist, entrepreneur, and author of In Our Own Image: the history and future of Artificial Intelligence

Thursday, April 25th, New Museum Sky Room

8:30–9:15am: Breakfast

9:15-9:30: Opening remarks

  • Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO, Knight Foundation

  • Lisa Phillips, Director, The New Museum

9:30–10:00am: Presentation—Debunking Myths Around AI

  • George Zarkadakis, AI engineer, novelist, entrepreneur, and author of In Our Own Image: the history and future of Artificial Intelligence

  • Cathy O’Neil, mathematician, author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

10:00–11:15am: World Cafe

The World Cafe is a collaborative conversation in three rounds. Its purpose is to unpack issues around AI that touch on all the other areas we’ll be exploring - things like conflicting definitions and problems around bias/lack of representation. Each round is 20 minutes long, and will take place in rotating fashion, with participants moving tables three times total. At the end of the activity, we’ll share and synthesize our results.

11:15–11:25am: Break

11:25–12:15pm: Presentation and discussion—Shifting paradigms in the art world

  • Amir Baradaran (Department of Computer Science, Columbia University)

Discussion Questions

  • What’s missing from this framework?

  • From your point of view, does this framework accurately address the landscape?

  • Are there additional implications that we have not accounted for?

12:15–1:00pm: Lightning talks and discussion—Emerging concepts in aesthetics: Decolonizing the artistic imagination

Design Questions

  • What is the current state of aesthetics around artificial intelligence? Do they exist?

  • Have dominant media forms colonized our imaginations?

    • Are they determining how we approach new media forms?

  • How does artificially intelligent art differ from existing media forms in terms of:

    • Implications of generative/mutable aesthetics

    • Value of the work over time

    • The raison d’être of the work itself

  • How might the emergence of AI as a dominant social and technological force impact other media forms?

1:00–1:45pm: Lunch

1:45–3:30pm: Lightning talks and discussion—The implications of intelligent authorship: AI as artist and AI as tool

Design Questions

  • What is the current state of “making” with artificial intelligence and related technologies?

    • What does it mean to “make” with AI?

  • How far is AI interceding in authorship presently, and how far might it intercede in authorship in the future?

    • What are the implications for artists and technologists around the ability for AI to create on its own?  

    • How do you envisage futures where we use AI as a tool of making?

3:30–3:45pm: Break

3:45–5:00pm: Lightning talks and discussion—Modalities of Display and Audience Engagement  

Design Questions

  • What is the present state of display and audience engagement as it relates to artificially intelligent artwork?

  • What does it mean to engage audiences as our bodies and senses are increasingly mediated by machines?

  • How might audiences experience new forms of art?

    • What might they [audiences] need to do?

    • How might we teach them to do those things?

5:00–6:30pm: Share, discussion, and closing check out

7:00–9:00pm: Evening Event: Private viewing of pop up installation Forging the Gods: exploring alternative myth-making in artificial intelligence, curated by Julia Kaganskiy

TRANSFER pop-up #ONCANAL 423 Broadway

Summit Participants, Partners, and Guests

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres served


Friday, April 26th, New Museum Sky Room

8:30–9:30am: Breakfast and opening remarks

  • Mary C. Boyce, Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor, Columbia University (TBC)

9:30–11:00am: Lightning Talks and discussion—Innovative approaches and pedagogies: How might we educate the next generation?

Design Questions

  • What is the current state of education for technologists and non-technologists around emerging technologies?

    • What is the current state of education in relation to rising needs around AI?

  • What kinds of skills might artists and technologists need to have, as AI continues to augment and transform the process of authorship and creation?

  • How might we design innovative approaches and pedagogies that consider new forms of making and consumption?

11:00–11:10am: Break

11:10–12:00pm: Lightning talks—Approaches to development: Funding and commissioning futures

12:00–1:00pm: Lunch

1:00–1:30pm: Discussion—Approaches to development: Funding and commissioning futures  

Design Questions

  • What is the present state of financing the development of art that integrates AI/AR?

  • What do we want the future of funding and commissioning to look like?

  • How might we ensure that, as art increasingly requires high level technological integration, the industry develops a financial structure that is non-exclusionary?

1:30–3:00pm: Speculative workshop—Proposing radical futures

In this small group exercise, participants will work together to envision speculative scenarios that address one or more of the many topics we will have addressed throughout the course of the summit. We will offer guiding design questions as provocations. Participants are encouraged to extend their explorations as far as they wish.

3:00–3:15pm: Break

3:15–3:45pm: Workshop—Generating wish lists

3:45–5:30: Share and synthesize

5:30–6:30pm Discussion, and closing remarks

7:00–9:00pm: Evening Event to be announced

For the full list of participants, please visit our participants page.