Research-creation 02: MACHINE RELATIONS + REC Discussion

Joe Zeph Thibodeau (CA), Marc-André Cossette (CA), Alexandre Saunier (FR/CA), Ceyda Yolgormez (TR/CA), Evan Hile (CA), David Jhave Johnston (CA), Sofian Audry (CA), Ionat Zurr (AU), Cynthia Noury (CA), Paloma Leyton (AR/CA), Gaelle Scali (FR/CA)

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“Chronogenica” is a research-creation project that uses bureaucracy to define human-machine relationships in the context of a worker’s collective. The lack of dignity and agency afforded to machines is reflected in a culture of consumption and disposability that devalues machine and human workers (or human resources alike. Chronogenica defies the status quo by establishing a culture of mutual care and collaboration towards machines, protecting it with a body of legal and organizational bureaucracy. In this video, Zeph Thibodeau will give a guided tour of Chronogenica and discuss its origins, the issues it addresses, and the challenges that it presents.

Poetics of Otherness
Fragments: Poetics of Otherness is an audiovisual performance for human performers and autonomous computer processes. The work reflects on how data processing Artificial Intelligence systems anonymize and aestheticize human conflicts. In a short video presentation, the artists discuss the aesthetic, technical, and reflexive aspects of the work. They present their creation process, the role of technologies in their creative decisions, and the modes of cooperation they develop with autonomous computational processes.

Harvesting Signs in Post-Semiocapitalism
For the purpose of this video, we used these machine-generated outputs as new prompts for GPT-3 to generate new kinds of links and syntheses to continue harvesting signs, with less intervention from human interlocutors. In this video, we watch the reactions of a machine to a machine-created glossary. We capture the process of making-sense while working with AI models, and open up to question the limits of human-machine interactivity all the while making space for the reality of the machine.

REⓒ Discussion
REⓒ is a radio series featuring young Montreal researchers-creators whose creative practice is changing not only the way we perceive research, but — potentially — our entire worldview. This episode will feature Sofian Audry from Université du Québec à Montréal and Ionat Zurr from University of West Australia. During the 1-hour discussion, the participants will discover each other’s work with the public and exchange on Hexagram yearly thematic: EMERGENCE/Y.


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Joe Zeph Thibodeau (CA): Joe Zeph Thibodeau is a PhD student and multimedia artist-researcher exploring the relationships between machines and humans. Situated between the fields of robotics, interface design, sensory art and anthropology, Zeph seeks to challenge and improve the way we relate to our nonhuman colleagues.

Marc-André Cossette (CA): Marc-André Cossette is a Canadian trans-disciplinary artist working on the relation between technology and performing arts using sound, visual, and interaction design.Marc-André holds a BA in Interactive Media and a Master’s in Experimental Media (UQAM). He is now pursuing a PhD program at Concordia University in which he explores the use of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life algorithms to create generative dance performances. In addition to his research-creation practice, Marc-André has collaborated with several artists as a sound, visual, interaction, and stage designer. He is also the co-creator and co-host of the REC podcast series on research-creation produced in collaboration with CHOQ.fm and the Hexagram Network.

Alexandre Saunier (FR/CA): Alexandre Saunier is a inter-disciplinary artist who works at the intersection between light, video, autonomous systems, and sensory perception. He holds a master in sound design from the ENS Louis Lumière (Paris), and participated in research in robotic design and interactive lighting at the ENS Arts Décoratifs (Paris). He is now pursuing a research-creation PhD program at Concordia University in which he develops the concept of “performative lighting” at the intersection between lighting design, media arts, and Complex System theory. His artistic work and academic research has been presented and published in various international venues such as Mutek, Ars Electronica, Impakt Festival, MuffatHalle, Bcn_llum, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, or Media Art History.

Ceyda Yolgormez (TR/CA): Ceyda Yolgormez is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Concordia University, and is part of the Machine Agencies research group at Milieux Institute. Her work focuses on new forms of social relations pertaining to sustained interactions with AI systems, and develops sociological tools to better conceive the machinized nature of contemporary reality.

Evan Hile (CA): Evan Hile is a Master’s student in Sociology at Concordia University and the coordinator of the Speculative Life Research Cluster at Milieux Institute. He is currently studying the unfolding cultural consequences of smart building surveillance and algorithmic intervention in public spaces. His research interests are social theory, speculative futures, and critical data studies.

David Jhave Johnston (CA): David Jhave Johnston is a digital-poet writing in emergent domains: A.I., 3D, VR, and code. Author-programmer of the multimedia human + A.I. writing art-project ReRites (Anteism Books, 2019), the theoretical-history Aesthetic Animism: Digital Poetry’s Ontological Implications (MIT Press, 2016), and many online interactive literary works at www.glia.ca

Sofian Audry (CA): Sofian Audry is an artist, scholar, Professor of Interactive Media within the School of Media at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and co-director of the Hexagram international network for research-creation in art, cultures and technologies. Their work is inspired from artificial intelligence, artificial life, biology and cognitive sciences. Their computational artistic practice branches through multiple media including robotics, interactive installations, immersive environments, physical computing interventions, internet art, and electronic literature. Audry is the author of the upcoming book Art in the Age of Machine Learning (MIT Press).

Dr. Ionat Zurr (CA): Dr Ionat Zurr is an artist, curator, researcher and academic coordinator of SymbioticA. An award winning artist and researcher, Zurr formed, together with Oron Catts, the Tissue Culture and Art Project. She has been an artist in residence in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology since 1996 and was central to the establishment of SymbioticA in 2000. Zurr, who received her PhD titled ‘Growing Semi-Living Art’ from the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts, is a core researcher and academic co-ordinator at SymbioticA. She is considered a pioneer in the field of biological arts and her work has been exhibited internationally.

Cynthia Noury (CA): Cynthia Noury is pursuing a doctorate in research-creation communication (UQAM) dedicated to media street interviewing. She explores the issues related to this practice from both a theoretical and a creative perspective, notably through a series of experimental radio performances. She has collaborated on several international projects and research groups on research-creation and is also a lecturer at UQAM’s École des médias.

Paloma Leyton (AR/CA): Paloma Leyton is a Ph.D. student in research-creation (UQAM/UNIBO), whose project focuses on the roles that gravity management and identity construction play in the movement of the body in suspension. Her background blends art-based approaches to creation, research and education in both visual arts and aerial practices, in different contexts (international institutions, companies around the world, local education systems and associations). She works fluently in French, English, Spanish, and Italian.

Gaelle Scali (FR/CA): Gaelle Scali is pursuing a Master’s degree in communication, research-creation, experimental media at Université du Québec à Montréal. Musician and visual artist by training, she explores the connections between matter, sound, writing, and space through her research and creation. Her work is at the crossroads between musical performance, painting, and installation. She is interested in musical technologies inspired by « live electronic music », like human-machine interfaces, digital instruments, improvisation, and visual arts.