The Shifting Proximities garden at Ars Electronica hosted by Nxt Musem captures elements of our inaugural exhibition that explore how human experience and interaction in the face of social and technological change continually shifts the proximities between us. Perception of space, and our place within it, is called into question through the collected collaborations of artists, designers, technologists, scientists and musicians.
Nxt Museum is the first museum in the Netherlands dedicated to New Media Art. It is shaped to be a fluid future-facing institution that seeks to examine accelerating socio-political, technological and environmental change by questioning “what is next”.
The garden investigates how the tools of new technologies both empower and threaten us, and how those contradictory forces act upon our bodies individually and collectively. New technologies have offered new modes of expression, alongside new avenues of external manipulations, shifting how we relate to each other.
In evoking concepts of proximity, our interconnectivity becomes ever more apparent. Within this garden, we look to examine these shifting proximities and together create new forms of networked nearness amongst the Ars Electronica gardens in this unifying moment.
Courtney D. Cogburn (US), Moderator: Jesse Damiani (US)
In this talk, we will examine the relationship that emerging technologies have with the past, ranging from biased algorithms to the unequal degree of access that has been granted to different communities—and by extension how they have been respectively represented in media and technology. As art created with these technologies increasingly enters the public discourse, how can artists thoughtfully engage these media as tools to subvert the legacies of colonialism rather than unwittingly reinforce them?
Jeremy Bailey (US)
Face filters are widely used. In the last months we have been online in front of the camera more than ever. The question is what face-filter to wear. Choose fabulous looks using the latest tools tips and tricks to augment reality Transgress and queer your identity, become a digital drag unicorn or whatever Nxt you can imagine. Famous New Media Artist Jeremy Bailey will fly you through step by step to create and perfect your own AR look, so you can stand out from the crowd at your upcoming zoom party or corporate webinar. Let’s all become famous new media artists!
Heleen Blanken (NL)
The environmental crisis and the destruction of habitats forces us to imagine a future in which nature can be remembered in digital form. Natural history museums seek to preserve nature physically by fixing it in time and space. How might the archiving of nature evolve in a digital context? Could it bring us even closer to nature? Habitat is a data-driven installation that uses 3D scans of organic artefacts such as stones, corals and fossils from Leiden’s Naturalis Biodiversity Center and transforms them into a game-like, meditative environment. You are invited to reconnect with the wonder of nature as you navigate through a series of ever-evolving digital worlds, each accompanied by its own soundscape. Original installation is on display at Nxt Museum.
Entirely realized though AI systems, „Within a Latent Space“ is an AV performance about exploring past, present and future as it relates to our constant journey between our transpersonal psyches and non-human unconscious. A Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) was trained on an original plot based on a dataset composed by multiple transcriptions of dreams. AI-generated images and sound interpret than those words, disclosing an eerie, uncanny journey into our common deepest.
Kathy Steppe (BE), Thijs Biersteker (NL). Moderation: Bogomir Doringer (RS/NL)
We do not acknowledge that collaboration with plants is paramount to our existence. Econtinuum is a new installation by ecological artist Thijs Biersteker, in partnership with different scientists and commissioned by Nxt Museum. It visualises the latest pioneering research into plant-to-plant communication. In discussion with the artist and bio-engineer in environmental technology, we will uncover how trees work together, how to learn from each other, warn each other and share nutrients, but also how we can learn from it to improve our own communication and relationships. We can again connect with nature by using the latest technology.
Sari Depreeuw (BE), Francesco D’Abbraccio aka LOREM (IT)
Creative Artificial Intelligence and Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are by now daily used in the production of images, videos and art. This creative relationship is exciting yet not very clear. Largest part of production feeds into popular deep fakes and face swapping tendencies. We do feel a layer of suspense and concern when it comes to ownership of AI produced artworks. For this reason, we are meeting an expert in digital law, AI media artist, to discuss the role of AI in society today and tomorrow.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Garden Curator: Bogomir Doringer (RS/NL)
Opened in Amsterdam Noord in August 2020, Nxt Museum is the first museum in the Netherlands dedicated to New Media Art. Driven by a fascination with the future, Nxt Museum fuses art, science and technology to seek, show and question what is next. Nxt Museum exhibits and commissions large-scale, immersive art installations born of interdisciplinary collaboration between artists, designers, technologists, scientists and musicians. Through immersive, multi-sensory exhibitions that shed new light on the world, visitors are invited to engage and interact physically, conceptually and emotionally with the art. Nxt Museum’s three-fold public programme, comprising exhibitions, performance and learning and research, is designed to appeal to a broad range of visitors and is led by the museum’s mission to incite curiosity, challenge assumptions and open minds.