Critical AI in the Art Museum: Practices and Politics

Oct-Nov 2023
Hito Steyerl, HellYeahWeFuckDie, Münster Skulptur Projects, 2017.

The Computational Culture Lab at the Australian National University (ANU) has organised a fantastic program of online talks and discussions about Critical AI in the Art Museum: Practices and Politics. The keynote talks by Hito Steyerl and James Bridle will be screened online at UmArts for researchers in Umeå to collectively watch and discuss. You can join individually or come along to the UmArts Research Studio. All the talks are recorded and available online at the links below.

In this moment of environmental, political and pandemic accelerated crisis, art has become increasingly entangled with the cultural logic of analytics platforms, Silicon Valley imaginaries and planetary scale computing. And yet, in the art museum, ‘the digital’ has largely been understood as a tool, rather than a cultural form with specific socio-technical affordances and politics. Under these conditions, various AI imaginaries💭 have begun to prosper across the art museum’s operations. For the exhibitions team, AI is to be celebrated as a tool of a new artistic avant-garde 🖼; for senior managers, AI is to be championed as a talisman of the institution’s contemporary relevance 👏; for communications teams, AI promises predictive insights into audience behaviours, maximising ‘engagement’🤳; for development teams, AI offers a gateway to lucrative relationships with the tech sector🤝; for museum eductators, AI is a troubling object that demands new pedagogies and literacies 🤔. How might artists and cultural workers resist AI’s veneer of novelty and avoid being instrumentalised as an onboarding tool for Big Tech ?

👉 Opening Keynote: Hito Steyerl 🏴 Subprime Visibility. Tuesday 31st October 🚩 🚩 Recording & Resources 🚩 🚩

👉 Panel Discussion: Crisis in the Archive: on the future commons after AI with Nicolas Malevé, Eva Weinmayr & more. Tuesday 7th November. 🚩 🚩 Recording & Resources 🚩 🚩

👉 Panel Discussion: On the Limits of Curatorial Knowledge and the Digital with Victoria Walsh (Royal College of Art), Bassam El Baroni (Aalto University), Kay Watson (Serpentine Galleries) and Seb Chan (Australian Centre for Moving Image). Tuesday 14th November.

👉 Panel Discussion: Data, Models, Bodies, Publics 🦉 with Machine Listening, Caroline Sinders and Vladan Joler on Tuesday 21st November for 90 minutes. Register. 🍄 Note slightly later time! 🍄 [08:30 London / 09:30 Berlin / 14:00 Mumbai / 16:30 Singapore /19:30 Canberra]

👉 Closing Keynote: James Bridle 👽 Thursday 30th November for 90 minutes. Register. [08:00 London / 09:00 Berlin / 13:30 Mumbai / 16:00 Singapore /19:00 Canberra]

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Critical AI in the Art Museum is brought to you by the Computational Culture Lab, in the School of Art and Design at The Australian National University with financial support from the College of Arts and Social Sciences. Organised by Katrina Sluis and Erica Molesworth👋, contact us at admin [at] criticalai [dot] art  

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