Amidst an explosion of techniques to make machines learn and mimic humans, we ask how music and performance can reflect on promise and danger alike. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have created the opportunity to make the machine a more relatable collaborator – allowing it to listen, see, and respond in a way that more closely mimics human expectations.
There’s growing hope that these techniques can externalise our own perception and potential. But there are justified worries about these technologies. Machine learning presents the spectre of computers running amok over human civilization. Deep ethical questions arise, ranging from the societal impact of automation and surveillance, to opaque capabilities and corporate agendas. On a more fundamental level, these developments challenge our ideas about what make us unique as humans, as we respond to a newly created form of consciousness.
Can artists help calm some of our fears by hacking or transforming AI technology into something more open and transparent?
For this year's Hacklab, we've invite participants to invent collaborative performances that embrace the chaos, strangeness, and cultural anxiety surrounding the theme of AI, echoing the titular Turmoil of this year's CTM festival.
We asked coders and technologists to apply, but also people from across artistic and research backgrounds, from musicians to poets to psychologists – anyone interested in how humans, machines, and hybrids might perform together. Those outcomes could take forms ranging from musical instruments to performance art and choreography to data-driven sound art to improvised human rule sets.
As always, we’ll have a week together to explore and invent, with inputs around the theme, culminating in a live performance in HAU2.
AI itself demands collaboration between the wetware disciplines of the brain and the primitive models of code. For the Hacklab, we hope similar cross-disciplinary collisions might help us invent a spontaneous collective intelligence – or at least to disrupt one.
Ioann Maria is a new media artist, filmmaker, and computer scientist. Ioann’s work is focused on hacktivism, electronic surveillance, computer security, human-machine interaction, and interactive physical systems. In her solo and collaborative projects she explores new methods in real-time audio-visual performance.
Ioann is co-founder of the Edinburgh Hacklab, Scotland's first hackerspace. She was formerly an Artistic Director of LPM Live Performers Meeting, the world’s largest annual meeting dedicated to live video performance and new creative technologies, and a Research Technologist in Digital Humanities at the Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex, which is dedicated to developing and expanding research into how digital technologies are shaping our culture and society.
Peter Kirn is an audiovisual artist, technologist, and journalist. He is the editor of CDM (createdigitalmusic.com), and co-creator of the open source MeeBlip hardware synthesizer. His work ranges from teaching creative coding with open tools to making experimental live techno, and as a writer has been a hub of discussion of trends in live and interactive visuals, and the design of new music technologies.
Presented with CDM, Native Instruments, and the SHAPE platform, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany.
Opening Fri 26.01. Kunstquartier Bethanien | 19:00
Runs: Mon 29.01 – Sun 04.02.2018
Times: daily 12 – 18:00
Final Presentation: Sun 04.02.2018 at HAU2 | 17:00