Anna Ridler (UK) and Caroline Sinders (US) win a residency in Edinburgh and Linz

Press Release as PDF
Blog post AI isn’t Artificial but Human
Statement of the jury

(Linz/Edinburgh, April 14, 2020) The “European ARTificial Intelligence Lab” – AI Lab for short – aims to enable artists to take residencies at scientific institutions and the Ars Electronica Futurelab. The AI Lab was initiated in 2018 by Ars Electronica. 12 renowned cultural institutions from all over Europe belong to the network, which is financed by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Every year, a residency is offered to artists who work in the field of artificial intelligence or are dealing with its impact on our society.
This year the residency has been designed and developed by Ars Electronica and the Experiential AI research group at the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) – part of the University of Edinburgh – in partnership with the Edinburgh International Festival. It was developed in order to support artists to explore AI systems. The residency theme is Entanglements – fair, moral and transparent AI.

In 2020, the residency will go to Anna Ridler (UK) and Caroline Sinders (US) for their project “AI isn’t Artificial but Human”. Due to the corona crisis both artists will complete their residencies at the EFI in Edinburgh in autumn. The artists’ one-month production residency at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz is then scheduled to take place next winter or spring 2021.

AI isn’t Artificial but Human
“AI isn’t Artificial but Human” is the title of the winning project by Anna Ridler and Caroline Sinders, which was selected by an expert jury from 161 entries from 42 countries. “Through artistic experiments, Anna Ridler and Caroline Sinders hope to make transparent the human influence on AI, so people can understand where they have agency, ” says Drew Hemment, jury member and founder of the Experiential AI group (Edinburgh Futures Institute at the University of Edinburgh). Martin Honzik, director of the Ars Electronica Festival and jury member explained the reason for the decision: “With the artists and researchers Caroline Sinders and Anna Ridler, who were finally selected for the AI Lab, 2 personalities were chosen whose approach and project proposition could be assessed as having the highest potential for the orientation of the project programme.” The selection jury consisted of representatives from Ars Electronica, the Edinburgh Futures Institute and Edinburgh International Festival. You can read both jury statements in full here:

Anna Ridler
Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher. She has exhibited at institutions such as the V&A Museum, Ars Electronica, HeK Basel, Impakt and the Barbican Centre and has degrees from the Royal College of Art, Oxford University and University of Arts London. She was a 2018 EMAP fellow and was listed by Artnet as one of nine “pioneering artists” exploring AI’s creative potential. She is interested in working with collections of information, particularly self-generated data sets, to create new and unusual narratives in a variety of mediums, and what happens when things cannot fit into discrete categories. She is currently interested in the intersection of machine learning and nature and what we can learn from history.

Caroline Sinders
Caroline Sinders is a machine learning researcher and artist obsessed with language, culture and images. Her work explores the intersections between natural language processing, artificial intelligence, abuse, online harassment, and politics in digital, conversational spaces. Her work has been featured in the Victoria and Albert Museum, MoMA Ps1, the Modern Art Museum of Bologna, Ars Electronica, as well as others. She is the founder of Convocation Design + Research an agency focusing on the use of machine learning and design for public good.

European ARTificial Intelligence Lab
The network, initiated by Ars Electronica in 2018, comprises 14 renowned institutions from the fields of art and science throughout Europe. The AI Lab is aimed at artists who work with AI applications and/or reflect on their use and effects on our society. The initiative is financed by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.

Experiential AI
Experiential AI is a new research theme and cluster at Edinburgh Futures Institute. It aims to support the creation of artistic works using machine learning algorithms and robotics, and to inspire new concepts and paradigms on ethical and responsible AI. Experiential AI develops research on AI futures, science, art and ethics through collaborations with artists, festivals and the AI community.

Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival is the world’s leading performing arts festival, featuring the finest performers from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre for three weeks each August in Scotland’s capital. Created in 1947 to celebrate the human spirit and bring people together through art, the International Festival remains a global celebration and a point of annual cultural exchange, for an international audience exceeding 400,000 per year.
Committed to being inclusive and accessible, the International Festival offers free events, discounted pricing, accessible performances and year-round community learning and engagement programmes.

Anna Ridler / Photocredit: Anna Ridler / Printversion

Caroline Sinders / Photocredit: Caroline Sinders / Printversion