In his legendary Taoist anecdote on Butterfly Dreams, Zhuang-zi famously pondered whether he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he was a man. At first impression, this might seem to be a question of what is real. However, this implies a favoring of one state over another. But both are dreams equally real (and unreal), oscillating between the ego and unconscious self. Such exchanges allow one to explore their inner self; in other words, the butterfly and man are both selves, from dreaming and awakening to wondering, transforming and melting between states.
Butterfly’s Dreams: The New Aesthetic of AI in Artistic Practice alludes to the latent qualities of Machine Learning. It demonstrates how AI can be used to enhance creativity and innovation in artistic practice and the potential for AI to revolutionize how we create and experience art. The works featured explore possible interchanges between dreams and provoke dialogues surrounding the role of machines in sense-making.
The Exhibition comprises 11 works by 16 artists from the Interdisciplinary Media Design Program Pathway in Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media and exchange students from the Global Innovation Design Program at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. This is the first time Singapore’s international collaborative multimedia will premiere at the Ars Electronica Festival.