UmArts is leading research in Art, Architecture, Design and Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Umeå University in partnership with the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) and Umeå University’s Centre for Transdisciplinary AI (TAIGA). In 2023, curator Sarah Cook joined UmArts as the WASP-HS Guest Professor in Art and AI in partnership with Bildmuseet, Umeå School of Architecture (UMA), and Umeå Institute of Design (UID).

The Art and AI working is a group is chaired by Guest Professor Sarah Cook, and includes UmArts postdocs, mentors and artists in residence who are working with AI to share their research and develop new collaborative projects. The group considers how arts research can contribute to the social and ethical discourses of AI and machine learning, working in partnership with museums and galleries, artists and curators. The programme critically interrogates the aesthetics and politics of AI, collaborating with, and challenging the algorithmic logic underpinning hardware and software development. We are interested in how creative encounters can allow publics to experience and engage with the ethical considerations and societal shifts that widespread use of AI will bring and feeding that back into AI development.

The Octopus Club

The Octopus Club is open to all. It is a book club to close-read texts, artworks and films which investigate distributed intelligence and networked knowledge. Please email Emelie El-Habta UmArts Research Co-ordinator you would like to join.

The next text is ‘The Maniac’  by Benjamín Labatut about the life of John von Neumann nominated by Dimitri. This is contrasted with ‘Klara and the Bomb’ by artist Crystal Bennes, about Klara von Neumann who was married to John, nominated by Ele. This comparison will provide an interesting insight into the history of computing and AI from biographical and feminist artistic perspectives. We will have a short discussion about the books with tea and biscuits after the working group meeting and find a date for a full discussion in March/April. (Some of us are also reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Klara and the Sun’ for the full trio of titles!) next meeting to be confirmed for March.