Aotearoa Digital Arts Network Symposium
Rising Algorithms: Navigate, Automate, Dream
24 – 26 May 2024
Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington
Submissions due: 11:59pm, 26 January 2024
A two-day symposium and program of performances, workshops and exhibitions in Te Whanganui-a-Tara that speculates on the future for artists working with contemporary digital and emerging technologies in Aotearoa.
Who is listening? How did it know? Where to next?
The symposium Rising Algorithms: Navigate, Automate, Dream explores the increasing sophistication of machine learning and artificial intelligence, its growing accessibility for artists and the general consumer, and its influence on wider society as we navigate complex environmental, social and economic issues worldwide. In our digitally ubiquitous era, we ask if technology can solve the wicked problems of our time or if it is exacerbating them? How have powerful machine learning-driven tools impacted contemporary cultural production? How are artists in Aotearoa navigating this shifting landscape?
The kaupapa of the symposium will be open inquiry and a spirit of exploration. Through critically examining how these technologies operate, the symposium seeks to bring together experts in relevant fields, artists engaging with machine learning and AI, industry professionals and early adopters, with the intention of sharing knowledge, application and experimentation. We ask, how do we understand these novel technologies through an aesthetic lens? What is AI’s influence on our current knowledge systems?
ADA invites the submission of expressions of interest from interested parties for artworks, performances, workshops, demonstrations, papers, and facilitated discussions to be considered as part of Rising Algorithms: Navigate, Automate, Dream.
We encourage submissions which engage with the diversity of machine learning and AI practices, attentive not just to its potential as a critical applied practice, but also its current exclusions and barriers. Possibilities encompassed by our theme include:
The ethics of AI: Ethical issues abound in machine learning and AI from how datasets are sourced and used, to how algorithms shape society and often entrench existing inequalities. How do these play out and how might we respond?
Authorship and AI: The authorial relationship between the artist and the large language model and the text to image generator is in flux, and yet these issues are part of our long history of remix culture and appropriation art. What are the implications of the latest method for the creative industries? How might norms around citation and acknowledgement of the use of AI and its underlying datasets be developed in Aotearoa?
Data sovereignty and indigenous knowledge: Machine learning has Te Tiriti o Waitangi implications in Aotearoa, including how sovereignty can be retained over data and mātauranga in an age of data exploitation. We invite responses that explore how Māori are leading in developing frameworks and creative machine learning projects that preserve or advocate for data sovereignty and are grounded in a Māori world view.
Adversarial AI: Deceptive data sets designed to derail the algorithm, the hardening cultural works against data scraping and techniques to confuse computer vision software have all emerged alongside AI. We invite responses that share and explore these tools.
Delegated making: Artists have long written their own machine learning programs, setting parameters and constructing unique data sets for their programmes and robots to run, evolve and perform, resulting in artworks, paintings, music, and films. We invite discussion and demonstrations of this practice.
Co-performance: We invite explorations of ways that artists collaborate with machine models, such the co-creation of edited LLM poetry, iterative image prompting and post generation editing, as well as undertaking live improvisation with AI partners and presenting live code-as-performance.
Making Kin: From Eliza to ChatGPT people have tended to attribute intelligence, agency and emotion to the stochastic parrot. What does it mean that we desire AI models to have human characteristics and their actions to have meaning? How does that shape our relationship to them? What other ways can we form kinships with the digital non-human and more-than-human, with Donna Harraway’s oddkin?
Confabulations, data glitches and deep fakes: From seven fingered humans to nonexistent citations the confabulations of machine learning models entertain and harm. What are the implications and possibilities of the plausible confabulation or fake and how are artists exploring this?
Utopian visions, dystopian futures: From aspirations that AI will solve wicked problems like the climate crisis and usher in a post work age of leisure to fears that it will further destabilise the world the field of AI has been the locus of both utopian and dystopian imaginings in both tech journalism and literature and film. Where do we stand now?
Expressions of Interest
ADA invites expressions of interest for research papers (including academic papers, experience reports and case studies), panel sessions, demonstrations and workshops for its symposium program:
– Long paper: 30 min slot (20 for paper, 10 for discussion)
– Short paper: 15 min slot (10 for paper, 5 for discussion)
– Panel Discussion: 60 min (45 for panellists, 15 for discussion)
– Workshop: 2 – 3 hours hands on activity.
– Demonstration: 30 min (20 for demonstration, 10 for discussion)
ADA invites expressions of interest for short performance and screen works to be presented at the opening symposium event at Vogelmorn Community. Works can span music, performance art, poetry, film and performative programs.
ADA invites submissions of web based works to be included in their online program.
The ADA symposium supports remote presentation.
How to submit
Fill out our submission form. We’ll ask for the following information:
– Contact email
– Phone number
– Title of proposed presentation/workshop
– Either a 300-400 word written abstract (or project description), or a 3-minute video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo
– Length and type of proposed presentation, performance or workshop.
– A 100 word bio
– Links to your website or relevant publications.
– Please state if you intend to present in person or remotely.
Submissions due: 11:59pm, 26 January 2024
Confirmation of acceptance 2 February
Symposium 24 – 26 May 2024
Since 2003, Aotearoa Digital Arts Network (ADA) has contributed to the discourse of digital culture in Aotearoa through symposia, scholarship, writing and presentations. The established and growing archive of media art history lives at ada.net.nz. In 2024, we aim to bring urgency and a refreshed conversation to the deep-rooted digital culture we live in.
The symposium convening committee consists of James Hope, Dr Melissa Laing, Vicki Smith and Ted Whitaker.
[Banner Image: Janaína Moraes, Chris Berthelsen, Adam Ben-Dror, Public Massage Organ (The Hopeful Decomposition of a Massage Chair Part 4e) (semi-remote operation), 2023. Exhibited during the 2022 ADA Symposium, Whakatū Nelson. Photo: Jason Oldfield.]