1 PRIZE | Nguyen Hoang Giang | THE FALL
The Fall is composed of two complementary sections: a performance and an installation. The action of the performer consists into follow a tutorial that indicates the process to fall like a robot. The tutorial starts with an analysis of Boston Dynamics’ video, in which the balance of a robot is tested while it keeps on falling. Giang Hoang Nguyen asked a choreographer to create the performance’s movements: the result is a slow and automated act. During the performance the repetitive motion makes the performer’s body increasingly artificial. The fall, that is something random and unpredictable from which learning mechanisms derive, becomes controllable and measurable in this performance. The technology is modeled according to biological processes and therefore the fall no longer belongs to the human being, but also to the machine. Human and art overlap without ceasing, leading the man towards an unknown future. The symbol of this future is the fall itself, able to lead to an advancement as well to a ruinous failure.
2 PRIZE | Klingemann - Barqué-Duran - Marzenit | MY ARTIFICIAL MUSE
These artists joint works give life to a performance that aims to reflect on one of the human archetypal concepts: the inspiring muse. The trio reflects on the semantic nature of the muse based on traditional art history models, creating an images’ dataset able to inspire an artificial intelligence to produce art. This project explores how artificial intelligence can collaborate with the human being in creative processes. The work synthesizes the relationship between human and artificial: the algorithm learns from the dataset and generates new outcomes that are then reproduced in a pictorial key during a performance in which human and artificial work side by side, in a context unified by a music-set. An ancient and universal concept like that of the muse is re-read considering the relationship that can be established between human creativity and imagination and the artificial ones, giving the machine the opportunity to be an active collaborator in the definition of a new way of thinking about art and its language.
3 PRIZE | ENRICO BOCCIOLETTI | devenir-fantôme
The project presented by Enrico Boccioletti is the achievement of previous works resulted from the same research. These projects address the theme of empathy and its limits in the artificial intelligence age, through speech synthesis and algorithmic composition. Boccioletti evokes through this software the perception of human emotions, showing the viewer the result of this process, that is most of the time alienating. In this work the human being is asked to understand the otherness finding himself both attracted and disturbed from this artificial dialogue. The sound installation is accompanied by spatial changes necessary for the creation of an environment that allows the audience to listen and to understand. The artwork is inspired by the uncanny valley, a theory developed by the robotic researcher Masahiro Mori, who stated that the feeling of familiarity that a man can have towards a robot increases when the robot looks like a human; when this resemblance became too convincing the man develops a sense of unease and disturbance towards the artificial. In this way, the project tries to define new ways of feeling human emotions.
FINALIST | LOREM | Adversarial Feelings: 1-5: Latent Selves
Lorem is a music and multidisciplinary project that investigates the complex relationship between man and computer in the artificial intelligence age. Through neural networks, hacked hardware and AI systems, the artist constructs an algorithmic intimacy in which the machine is called to simulate complex human emotions starting from emotional datasets, classified according to Robert Plutchik’s “Wheel of Emotions”. The intent of Adversarial Feelings: 1-5: Latent Selves, which consists of an audio-video installation and a book, is to observe the intricate states of consciousness through the alien gaze of the machine. Music and images mark its timid progress, in an attempt to speak the language of human emotions, creating a complex but fluid path, made of expectations and scissions. The artwork counts on the participation of artists (Mario Klingemann, Yuma Kishi), designers (Karol Sudolski, Mirek Hardiker), researchers (Damien Henry, Nicola Cattabiani, Paolo Ferrari).
FINALIST | Michele Tiberio in collaboration with Diletta Tonatto | Me, My scent
Michele Tiberio’s work is realized in collaboration with Diletta Tonatto and consists of two parts, one tangible, the other impalpable. The tangible part of the project is represented by a book in which the digital identity of the artist was collected, requesting his own data from big digital companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, then included in this textbook, without any kind of censorship. The intangible part of the work is perceived through the sense of smell: the pages of the book emit a perfume, an olfactory portrait of the artist’s digital identity. This portrait was realized by an algorithm that, by analyzing the collected data, created a profile. The algorithm was programmed starting from the capacity and experience of Diletta Tonatto, producer of the fragrance of which the pages of the book are impregnated, translating in olfactory notes the patterns obtained through the algorithm. In this artwork the corporeality and the digital, whose facets often diverge, are united by the same perspective, that of identity. The two authors reflect on what “exist” means in a period in which the boundary between real and virtual is increasingly blurred, showing how an ancestral sense, such as the olfaction, can be profoundly actual today.
FINALIST | Enrica Beccalli in collaboration with Roula Gholmieh | Complessità
Complessità is a cybernetic dance performance that, through the exploration of complexity and our role within it, investigates the potential of technology in modifying and altering the human body. The human loses ownership of its movements and we enter a new dimension where the machine computes the moving human body. Complessità features an algorithm which, through a wearable device, controls a dancer’s movements, synchronizing it to the weaving of a flock of digital birds. The flock’s direction is transposed to the performer’s body through an electrostimulation of a specific nerve that maintains balance, forcing the dancer to sway either to the left or the right according to the flock’s movements.
FINALIST | Guido Segni | Demand full laziness today
Demand Full Laziness, today. is a project by Guido Segni, started in 2018, which will continue for another five years, until 2023. During this period the artist delegates and automates part of his artistic products, using deep learning algorithms. In these five years various products can be made (images, books, objects …), witnesses of the experiment carried out through the automated processes. Through DFL Guido Segni reflects on the relationship between work, automation and rest. In a historical moment in which work has become an obsession, the artist embraces the opposite current: he indulges into the exploration of sleep, laziness and creativity.
FINALIST | Antonio “Creo” Daniele | Grammar #1
Grammar # 1 by Antonio “Creo” Daniele is an interactive experience that reflects on the relationship between human and artificial expression, exploring drawing as a form of symbolic language. The artist produced three hundred drawings through “Let It Brain” (LIB), an automatic drawing technique developed by himself. These drawings were then reduced to their structural marks that were in turn merged into a dataset, the Human Grammar, with which the SketchRNN algorithm was trained. In this way the algorithm created a new group of marks known as the Artificial Grammar. The experience is designed as a Turing test: the viewer is in front of a screen, having to answer a single question “What is Human?”. Drawing as an aesthetic language is investigated in its most current implications: the role of art within today’s society is re-thought through the most recent technologies; this opens up a new series of questions regarding gesture, artistic sign and artificial intelligence role in this dialogue.
FINALIST | Daniele Spanò | Urge Oggi
Urge Oggi by Daniele Spanò is a reflection on game’s nature, declined within the world of computers and artificial intelligence. Two computers play rock, paper, scissors. The project shows the viewer a software that plays against itself, raising a series of questions that lead to reflect on the relationship between human and machine and how they can approach the same area, in this case that of the game. In the machine’s game dynamics, the properly human components such as, for example, strategic considerations are missing. The viewer is led to wonder if fun can be part of the machine’s skills or if the game’s result is just “an intelligent and boring multimedia installation”.
The A Brief History of Western Cultural Production project reflects on the nature of the image at the time of the digitalization of the world’s largest cultural institutions collections. The first part of the project consists in collecting images and data regarding the works contained in the open-source collections of some of the most famous museum, such as the Prado, Louvre, MET. The second step involves the use of a software and the mosaic technique: an empty “canvas” is divided into digital mosaic tiles, then filled with information coming from one of the many images with the aim of creating an internally original image. In the exhibition, the first result of the process described above: a print (International Gold Standard 001) whose image is composed of segments of pictures of 14 ancient European coins showing rulers’ faces on their surfaces. The coins derived from the MET collection in New York.