Artificial Intelligence & Life Art
Nandita Kumar’s installation is playfully reminiscent of a newspaper-press, stuck in an eternal loop. The work comments on the constant regurgitation of misinformed and manipulative facts in relation to various environmental issues. (…) As the challenges and consequences of climate change manifest, Nandita Kumar reflects on the knowledge gap between the scientific community, political spheres, and the populace at large. Kumar’s work deconstructs political rhetoric related to varied environmental issues by collating statements made by influential individuals, politicians, and organizations. Employing the very methods of data manipulation and fake news, the statements were transformed by an algorithmic “Haiku” generator to produce a poem to accompany each of the untrue statements. Forming a glitching musical code, the resulting 91 Haikus play out through a 40-foot pianola score. The accompanying digital publication allows the viewer to connect each of the poems to its original statement, alongside expanded essays detailing the truth behind these falsehoods. The collaboratively developed sound installation comprises five sonic journeys representing the elements—Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.
This installation surrounds its public with sounds, voices, and texts of misinformation on the environmental crises streamed in the physical space. In this artwork, the notion of fake news by Artificial Intelligence merges with the notion of disinformation spread by traditional mainstream. A cacophony of media archeology, with words printed on paper is juxtaposed with voices recorded from the Internet, all mixed with poetry and piano. The soundscape and the stream of information circulating in the installation creates an environment reminiscent of both natural and media spaces in which the public become immersed. In this work, media ecology binds with actual ecological issues, showing how vital policymaking on the environment is increasingly intertwined with the information that surrounds us.Excerpt from the jury statement
Pianola Mechanical Engineer: Subhadeep Biswas
Pianola Code: Matt Gingold
Researcher & co-writer: Pooja Das
Haiku co-editor: Priyanka Tagore
Co-graphic designer: Shikha Usgaonker
Book Editors: Malcolm Riddoch
4 Channel Sound Installation:
Sound production: Merche Blasco & Felicity Mangan
Voices: Christian Kesten, Alex Nowitz, Ute Wassermann
With support from: DAAD Artist in Berlin Program; Goa Open Arts: The Catalyst New Media Grant in collaboration with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai
Nandita Kumar (IN)
Nandita Kumar is a new-media artist/system designer who works at the intersection art, science, technology, and community. Her interest lies in propelling the human race towards a sustainable development, which not only focuses on environmental protection, but also on social development. Kumar’s current projects are heavily research-based, which are interested in “the data,” its representation, and how one communicates that to the larger audience. Her data-driven artistic experiment probes through a given topic through its nature, scarcity, politics, interdependency, utility etc. and simultaneously explores methods of engaging audiences through these interactive sound installations. Nandita has shown in Listening Biennale, Mardin Biennale, Pompidou, ZKM, Kiasma, KNMA, LACMA, REDCAT, ISEA, Jeu de Paume, NY Film Archive, NTAA, RedCat.