Last year’s launch of the AIxMusic Festival at the extraordinary site of St. Florian Monastery was a huge success. It proved to be a promising starting point for a platform that doesn’t only address important issues on the ethical and creative dimensions of artificial intelligence, but also brings together great minds from a variety of disciplines on an international scale. As a forerunner and early adopter of technology, music is the ideal medium to spark a debate around these topics. Thus, for the second time, Ars Electronica is organizing the AIxMusic Festival in collaboration with the European Commission as part of the STARTS initiative. In 2019, the program focused on artistic improvisation through artificial intelligence to provoke human encounters and emotions, and on giving a broad overview of the historical and theoretical dimensions involved in the interplay of music, composition and technological progress.
This year, the AIxMusic Festival provides deep insight into the latest research and artistic practices developed in conjunction with artificial intelligence, with special attention to its potential to facilitate networked remote collaboration among musicians. In light of the difficult situation presented by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, digital information and communication tools became crucial solutions for artists to interact and perform at all. However, it is also clear that artificial intelligence harbours even greater possibilities for a networked approach to music, which is why Ars Electronica wants to contribute to the steady research and development of the field, by actively encouraging interdisciplinary experiments with this technology. Due to the hybrid structure of the festival this year, the program includes on-site performances in Linz and other locations worldwide that will be streamed or showcased entirely online. The online platform invites different professionals – artists, musicians, composers and researchers – to discuss human-machine interaction alongside concerts and performances, conferences, workshops and online exhibitions.
As one of the historical partners of the Ars Electronica Center, BOZAR in Brussels presents a series of 3 online events happening at the Centre for Fine Arts, digitally connected to the main Festival in Linz. There, live coding expert and drummer Dago Sondervan and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Claes team up for an experimental exploration of artificial intelligence in music performance.
Born out of a global crisis, Silicon Valley’s The Grid: Exposure – Art + Tech + Policy Days explores innovative ways to reconnect the world in our current state of isolation. This year’s Exposure deploys the visual phenomenon of blurring borders as an artistic strategy. It creates a platform for technology to make itself vulnerable to artistic practices rooted in humanism that expose the essence of our digital reality.
The IRCAM Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music in Paris is one of the largest public research centers dedicated to musical creation and scientific research. Following this tradition of combining scientific and artistic approaches, the IRCAM AIxMusic garden will display multidisciplinary views of both the scientific and creative research carried out on AI and feature six events.
Credit: Zach Jiroun