Artist in the Science Lab, by Lamaia Jaggi (Le Monde Diplomatique

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Egor Kraft’s {Content Aware Studies} series uses AI-generated videos and 3D printing to explore how machine learning can reconstruct damaged monuments

Trevor Good, courtesy of the artist and Alexander Levi Gallery, Berlin

wchicken Climate change protesters threw tomato soup at Van Gogh sunflower In London last October they cried, “What is worth more? Art or life.” [and] Protect our planet? A Just Stop Oil activist claimed that the protests started the conversation “so we can ask the important questions”.

Whatever the publicity from these symbolic acts of vandalism, the implicit opposition between art and environmental ethics is misleading. Artists have always been at the forefront of raising public awareness of the fragility of nature. Stemming from the fruits of a Europe-wide scheme to immerse artists in the latest science and technology (nearly half of these EU projects involve the environment) (1)Arguably, the questions posed by this rising vanguard are more nuanced, profound, and conducive to behavioral and political change than the protesters’ shock tactics.

At the Beauzar Center for Fine Arts in Brussels last month, a laboratory-like installation by Belgium-based American artist Haseeb Ahmed warned of drug contamination of water via human urine—a disgrace to the city’s historic landmark. Mannequin Piece Cherubim pissing fountain near the grand place. one of these, Amazon Fountain (referring to mythical female warriors), he demonstrates the unintended effects on aquatic life of contraceptive hormones entering the water system: An artificial vagina sprays a pill a day into a vat of orange urine in which a mutated creature floats as if plucked from a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

in a companion artwork, fountain of eternal youth, Human growth hormones taken for their supposed anti-aging properties are dripped via an IV tube into a circular basin whose mirror surface (evocative of daffodils) invites viewers to weigh the costs of their habits and desires.

Ahmed’s artistic “scenarios,” he told me, turn the search for large-scale phenomena into a scale the body can experience, manipulating our senses. social for women, but it also affects the synthesis of fish.So I create machines to help us think together about our inconsistency.

“thinking machines”

Ahmed’s intriguing and intriguing “Thinking Machines” were part of a group show by Bozar, faces of water resulting from artists’ residencies with scientists and engineers across Europe exploring phenomena from toxins to melting glaciers. He has worked closely with pharmaceutical companies, as well as with water treatment and public policy experts: “As knowledge has become highly specialized, we are trying to tie the knot between fields, to understand the world we produce.” Although this collaboration is not without friction, it can spark dialogue. He noted that one company was “dissatisfied with an accusation in the press that it was not doing enough, so they put out an ad to say what they had done.” We are a job.’

The residencies were instigated by S+T+ARTS, a program of the European Commission that has been funding collaboration between science, technology and the arts since 2016. The aim is to integrate artists into R&D teams in industry and universities to not only raise awareness of global challenges through exhibitions, but to work As a catalyst for future digital innovations. “It is important to bring in new ideas to change mindsets,” said Ralph Daum of DG Connect (Directorate General for Information and Communication Technologies of the European Commission). Daum, the founding chair of the S+T+ARTS program, is a quantum physicist who joined the committee 20 years ago and pioneered interdisciplinary programs that brought together experts, such as biologists and data scientists. “Now it’s a standard, but that didn’t exist back then.”

It is important to bring in new ideas to change mindsets… Artists benefit from technology but engineers also benefit from artists

Ralph Doom

In the Renaissance and Baroque Kunst- und Wunderkammer (the cabinet of arts and curiosities that heralded the modern museum), artifacts viewed alongside scientific instruments and natural marvels. However, eighteenth-century Enlightenment rationalism and empiricism distanced the arts from the sciences. By 1959, British scientist and writer C.B. Snow, in his famous Cambridge Lecture the two cultures, He lamented the “gulf of mutual misunderstanding” between science and the humanities. Even pure engineers and scientists couldn’t communicate. Now, Domme said, “People know more and more about less and less… It’s almost impossible to fill in the gaps.” However, he said, “Science and art are not entirely different. They are both about curiosity.”

the Mannequin Piece The fountain was a 17th-century sculptor’s solution to the challenge of providing urban drinking water—a union of aesthetics and engineering clearly embraced by the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s in Germany. For Dom, artists are very practical people; They address issues in concrete ways. Cites product originating from The project alias By Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen, to address the invasion of privacy of smart home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa: ‘There is no way to make Alexa deaf. So they fiddled with the software to make sure Alexa only listens when she wants to. This project won the annual S+T+ARTS Art Exploration Grand Prize in 2019. The previous year’s winning project for Innovative Collaboration, 3D-Printed Steel MX3D Bridge,It now spans the Amsterdam Canal. Along with S+T+ARTS funding for research projects and residences (150 to date, with 70 more this year), more than 200 award winners have been selected from 15,000 open applications.

For Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Director of Ars Electronica, at the interface of culture and technology in the Austrian city of Linz since 1979, S+T+ARTS has become ‘a driving force influencing how Europe enters the digital future.’ You have reached critical mass. Art and science are great right now.

“Artists see things we don’t”

Until the pandemic, the winners of the S+T+ARTS Awards were featured annually at Bozar. Emma Dumarthirai, exhibition curator at Bozar Lab, views the program’s residencies as a distinct model of artistic sponsorship, in which companies donate employees’ time and knowledge. Partners such as Ars Electronica contribute mediation experience to cooperation and negotiation of patent agreements in the event of profitable breakthroughs. For Dome, artists benefit from technology but engineers also benefit from artists. Now people understand that we do not interfere with art.

“Artists see things we don’t see… because you need distance,” Christophe de Jaeger, director of another Principal Partner, GLON in Brussels, told me. Before starting Bozar Lab in 2017, he founded Gluon (in 2009) to send artists to industrial R&D labs. Employees gain holistic perspectives, and talk to other experts in a non-competitive environment; Artists can be eccentric – emotionally engaged, radical, intuitive, serendipitous, and they don’t care if they make mistakes…they don’t have to prove things. “Art can only be useful if it is allowed to be completely useless,” said Stoker, who sees the program’s unique value as enabling free experimentation with “creative industries focused on going to market”.

We depend on medicines to maintain our quality of life. The pill has brought social freedom to women, but it also affects fish synthesis. So I create machines to help us reason together about our contradictions

Haseeb Ahmed

“It’s not just about painting the iPhone pink,” Dom told me. Rather than using regulatory and ethical committees to rein in technology, the goal is for artists to “fully humanize its development,” raising ethical and green concerns at every stage of innovation. In shaping the interaction between people and machines, engineers are sometimes too obsessive; They don’t have the human touch. However, do artists necessarily present moral viewpoints? “It’s a sensitive subject,” replied the physicist. “I wouldn’t claim that artists are more ethical than scientists, but they are highly critical in different ways.”

The artist’s critical eye is everywhere navigating the digital world,S+T+ARTS Group exhibition at DG Connect through February 28, which explores frontier technology and big data — from deepfake, surveillance and dating apps to artificial intelligence (AI). Videos generated by Igor Kraft’s artificial intelligence Content awareness studies (2019) shows how machine learning reconstructs missing parts of classical sculpture using datasets of thousands of scanned antiquities. The “conjectural restorations” are 3D printed and CNC-routed from marble and synthetic materials but algorithms can produce grotesque errors, such as creating a face on the back of a caryatid’s head. One of his goals, Kraft tells me, is to “destroy the romanticism of AI” — a wonderful tool but a dangerously fallible one.

A new vanguard “suggests alternatives”

It’s not just a technical commentary. They also suggest alternatives, Stocker said. Between “U.S. data capitalism” and China’s “cybertotalitarianism,” he asked, “What is left for Europe? We could try to do it differently.” Green to create the first climate-neutral continent.”The internet, artificial intelligence, blockchain, all of these technologies could have positive or negative impacts on the larger challenges of climate justice, equality and migration,” said de Jaeger.

before the Enlightenment Wunderkammern I expected the strength of its collectors, but they were also wonder tanks. They may have something in common with the avant-garde of the 21st century that aims through groundbreaking technology to revive awe and respect for nature. Olga Kiseleva Cities Live Like Trees: The Green Index Formula He runs an app that connects citizens to green areas in their city, based on “deep listening between humans and trees.” John Palmicino, co-founder of the regional agency, uses open access data (“sensors accumulate trillions of terabytes every day”) to help create a new understanding of the ocean as a “sensor” of human activity.

“All life in the universe exists in a thin layer of the atmosphere that has its own dynamism,” said Ahmed, whose one-man show. 18 winds It uses artificial intelligence and wind machines to trace the cultural and historical connotations of Sirocco and other winds. “How do we engage with natural environments without imposing ourselves?” he asked me. These are vital questions: “By separating nature from what it means to us, perhaps we can begin to think again.”

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