FrAIday Talks

UmArts FrAIday Talks

Irini Papadimitriou, 2023. Photo: Richard Tymon

UmArts organises public talks about Art and AI as part of the TAIGA FrAIday lunchtime talks at Umeå University. The UmArts online program introduces artists, curators, designers and architects who are contributing to the social and ethical discourses of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

The FrAIday talks take place every Friday 12.15-13.00 CET. You can read about the whole series and register for the zoom link here.

See below for speaker profiles and abstracts:


Fri 26 May 23 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm

Irini Papadimitriou 

Irini Papadimitriou, Magic, Myth and AI: Today we see a deluge of applications of AI around us — from song, video or shopping recommendations to Siri’s assistance, navigation and facial recognition. At the same time, we are saturating the world with Generative AI technologies producing huge amounts of content varying from images, audio, text or synthetic data. How are present and future narratives about the world being shaped by AI, who holds the power and control over these systems and whose lives are affected? This talk will explore these questions, art’s role engaging with AI and ethical issues that arise from the production of these technologies.

Irini Papadimitriou is a curator and currently Creative Director at FutureEverything. She was previously Digital Programmes Manager at the V&A – where she initiated programmes such as the annual Digital Design Weekend festival and Digital Futures, and Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans. Her display, Artificially Intelligent, was exhibited at the V&A in 2018 and in 2021 she curated You and AI: Through the Algorithmic Lens for Onassis Foundation in Athens, followed by Plásmata: Bodies, Dreams, and Data in 2022. Her most recent exhibition, Money, Ruins, and the Sea was presented at NeMe in Cyprus. Irini is a co-founder of Maker Assembly, a critical gathering about maker cultures, and she has been a co-curator for the Arts & Culture experience at Mozilla Festival, including the 2019 exhibition Trustworthy AI: Imagining Better Machine Decision Making. She is a recipient of curatorial research programmes including MOBIUS (Finnish Institute), Art Fund Jonathan Ruffer, Mondriaan Fonds and British Council and she has served as a jury member for Prix Ars Electronica, D&AD Awards, Lumen Prize, EU STARTS and ACM Siggraph.

Fri 24 Feb 23 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm

Joanna Zylinska

Joanna Zylinska, artist, writer and curator, Professor of Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice at King’s College London. Moderated by Ele Carpenter, Director of UmArts.

Drawing on her philosophical work and her art practice, Joanna Zylinska will interrogate whether we can actively mobilise nonhuman creativity as a way of opening up our all too human ways of thinking and acting. She will also explore whether AI, rooted as it is in the extractivitst logic of the tech industry, can overcome its own material conditions of existence. Could AI play the role of a philosopher-visionary that will show us a way out of the current socio-political impasse? Could it get beyond the limitations of our human frames of mind to imagine a different set of propositions and arrangements? Could it help us envisage a better future?

Joanna Zylinska is an artist, writer, curator, and Professor of Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice at King’s College London. She is an author of a number of books, including AI Art: Machine Visions and Warped Dreams (Open Humanities Press, 2020), The End of Man: A Feminist Counterapocalypse (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) and Nonhuman Photography (MIT Press, 2017). An advocate of “radical open-access,” she is an editor of the MEDIA : ART : WRITE : NOW book series for Open Humanities Press. Her art practice involves experimenting with different kinds of image-based media. She is currently researching perception and cognition as boundary zones between human and machine intelligence, while using machine learning to try and answer the question: “Does photography have a future?”.

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