Laurie Anderson to be inaugural Art Intelligence artist-in-residence

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson. Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Award-winning NYC avant-garde artist and creative pioneer, Laurie Anderson, is the inaugural artist-in-residence at Art Intelligence, a ground-breaking collaboration between the Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML) and Sia Furler Institute at the University of Adelaide.

Art Intelligence is a world-first artistic research platform and independent art space for capturing emerging thoughts and creative forms that pairs world-class AI and machine learning engineers with leading artists, supporting their collaboration in mediums from VR to robotics, from music to architecture with a goal to produce ground-breaking explorations at the intersection of art and artificial intelligence (AI).

Resident artists and the creative experiments they deliver will be shared with the public via MURMUR – an online and offline exhibition space that will capture emergent thinking and creative forms borne of the artist-engineer collaboration process.

“When people say the purpose of art is to make the world a better place I always think: better for who? Art is not medicine or science. It’s not about creative problem solving.”Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson – a performance artist, composer, musician, writer and film director whose work has spanned the media spectrum, most recently virtual reality – was the first artist-in-residence at NASA in 2003. She will conceptualise MURMUR”s first piece during her visit, as well as work with students at the University of Adelaide, and perform for RCC 2020 at Bonython Hall.

Laurie Anderson said: “I’m really excited to be the first Artist-in-Residence within the Art Intelligence program.

“One of my favourite quotes about technology is from one of my meditation teachers who said, ‘If you think technology will solve your problems, you don’t understand technology- and you don’t understand your problems.’

“When people say the purpose of art is to make the world a better place I always think: better for who? Art is not medicine or science. It’s not about creative problem solving.

“If I had to use one word to describe art it would be freedom. I’m curious about whether this freedom can be translated or facilitated by AI in a meaningful way. One way I’d like to try is with language mutation.

“Sometimes art and poetry are made of accidents and collisions. Maybe there’s a way AI can collaborate with artists. I can’t wait to try.”

Sia Furler Institute director Tom Hajdu said: “The duty of the artist is to respond to and reflect upon the human experience. The edges of that experience are now clearly being challenged by AI and the machines that we are rapidly welcoming into our lives.

“Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers. Her work shapes the way new mediums unfold, I can think of no other artist in the world more qualified to be the first AI artist in residence at the AIML.”

Anton van den Hengel, director of AIML, said: “This project will help shape the future of AI and of art. There is a lot of art about AI, but very little that is AI. We’re aiming to change that.”

While in Adelaide, Laurie Anderson will host or perform at a number of other events with the University of Adelaide, including an AI Art Hackathon, a music workshop, the launch of the AI/ART Initiative.

The public can also catch her in the RCC Fringe Masterclass and In-conversation with Laurie Anderson on Monday 9 March at 5.30 pm, with proceeds to be donated to bushfire relief. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

The public will be able to see Laurie Anderson in performance at Bonython Hall on March 14 and 15, in her career-spanning, multimedia retrospective based on her recent best-selling book All The Things I Lost In The Flood – a series of essays about the archive of work which she lost when Hurricane Sandy flooded her and her husband Lou Reed’s basement in 2012.

About AIML

The Australian Institute for Machine Learning is an internationally renowned machine learning research group. It carries out world-class research in machine learning and has been funded by, and competes with, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, among others. AIML is setting the pace of machine learning technology development that is fuelling the current enthusiasm for artificial intelligence.

About Sia Furler Institute

Inspired by the spirit and work of Sia Furler, one of Australia’s most influential modern-day creative forces, the Sia Furler Institute was founded in 2017 by the Elder Conservatorium of Music at University of Adelaide. The institute operates at the intersections of diverse disciplines (name some of them), with the goal of providing a new generation of graduates with entrepreneurial, creative and leadership skills to help shape the future of South Australia.

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