18 Feb 2015

For this week, I started looking for artworks related to artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial life (AL). Besides being a Golan’s suggestion last week, these topics are strongly connected to my research. After some time, I found the catalogue of the exhibition “Arte y Vida Artificial 1999-2012” (Artificial art and life 1999-2012) with some interesting artists such as Chris Sugrue, Scott Draves and Gustavo Romano.

In “Arte y Vida Artificial”, Chris Sugrue exhibited Delicate Boundaries, that is composed basically of agents in form of bugs that interacts with the observers crossing the plane of the video and walking on their skin (with projectors). Well, that is amusing, but this is not the project I am going to present.

I decided to investigate the website of Sugrue and I found a much another project that I consider much more interesting:  Waves to Waves to Waves (Chris Sugrue, 2008-2009). Sugrue uses also uses agents, but instead of bugs they have the form cells. These cells does not react directly to human proximity or touch, but to electromagnetic waves, so cellphones, videos or television broadcast. It is interesting because instead of revealing just the behaviour of moving agents, it tries to reveal a very dynamic, artificial and invisible landscape that is pervasive to contemporary society. Besides, these cells create very appealing visual patterns combining internal interaction with electromagnetic interference.

Automatic art and writing are other captivating topics in the intersection between art and AI – with fascinating precedents such as the infinite monkey theorem or the surrealist experiments (that largely influenced contemporary art). The project called IP Poetry (Gustavo Romano) problematizes the automatic writing in contemporary world, including the uncontrolled textual database of the internet as the source for poetry. This is a poem generator that does real time searches in the internet with specific keywords or start sentences. IP Poetry uses algorithms to generate random poetry based on that current data base that are recited with pre-recorded phonemes and images. Therefore, even maintaining a specific structure to search and to generate the poem, it is always changing and following the current content of the internet.

Besides the affiliation with AL ad AI, both project has some relation with current topics of the class, such as visualization and and text generation.