Session Five: Artists mining the machine

Sunday 26 May
10:00 – 11:10

Te Kura Hoahoa – School of Design Innovation, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington, 139 Vivian Street, Te Aro

In a series of quick fire presentations, artists present the ways they have worked with algorithmically generated material.

Musician, artist, and record label runner Fraser Austin discusses the rise of generative AI in the context of plunderphonic and remix culture. His talk explores how AI is forcing our hand in re-evaluating the limitations of creative ownership, and considers how artists might survive this new landscape without succumbing to an existential crisis. Toby Eglesfield shares his journey of training a model to draw a forest based on drawings that he provides it with. Chris Berthelsen, Rumen Rachev, and Adam Ben-Dror discuss their one day generative-AI sprint exploring weather commons, as part of the art activities of the Weather Commons Research Group (Faculty of Collaborative Regional Innovation, Ehime University) within  the Japanese Science and Technology Agency Moonshot Goal 8 Project “Realization of a society safe from the threat of extreme winds and rains by controlling and modifying the weather by 2050”. Finally, Stu Sontier brings his visual gleanings from a two year long survey of the glitches that occur in Google Earth due to algorithmic interventions in the raw data.

Paper: Remix(((Remix)Remix)Remix): AI’s Role in the Recursive Redefinition of Artistic Ownership in the Post-Copyright Era

Fraser Austin

Fraser ‘Frase’ Austin is a multimedia artist with an extensive background in DIY music, digital art, and record label management. Austin’s work explores the intersection of physical and digital identities, often focusing on the relationship between our bodies and digital avatars.

Paper: AI, Draw Me A Forest Based on My Drawings

Toby Eglesfield 

Toby Eglesfield is a lecturer in design communication at Otago Polytechnic where he teaches design fundamentals software, animation, and UI design for video games. His interests also include blockchain art on the Tezos blockchain, creative coding with Javascript, the Cavalry application and the Godot game engine.

Paper: AI-addled D.E.S.P.A.I.R. Cobbling together a conceptual framework for “Weather Commons” as part of a critical artistic research project within Japan’s Moonshot 8 Project for Weather Control.

Chris Berthelsen, Rumen Rachev and Adam Ben-Dror 

Chris Berthelsen is an independent artist who likes to explore environments for creative activity, resident-led modification of the everyday environment, and alternative education(s). He is currently a researcher at Ehime University and a doctoral candidate at the Elam School of Fine Arts.

Rumen Rachev, an RMA graduate from Utrecht University, is a practice-led researcher in art and design, co-founding the NEWS Programme and serving as Creative Guest and Director at Activities and Research in Environments for Creativity Charitable Trust (AREC). Currently a research assistant at the University of Auckland, his work spans media, performance, and environmental studies.

Adam Ben-Dror is a multidisciplinary artist, designer and inventor based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. With Xin Cheng he co-runs Local Making, a neighbourhood-scaled laboratory for living and making together amongst the more-than-human Anthropocene.

Paper: Questioning ‘springtime everywhere’ – a visual analysis of Google Earth

Stu Sontier

Stu Sontier is an experimental photographer who works with digital devices to question the role of images in a digital society. He predominantly presents work in online spaces, digital screens and Tezos-based NFTs to reduce his ecological footprint.