Lena Frei, CC BY-NC-SA

In this pre-program to the symposium RE-IMAGINING AI early career researchers will gather at the Critical Media Lab in Basel in order to discuss topics related to the conference and exchange about their research activities. In two hands-on workshops participants will reflect on the operative principles of algorithms, how they reorganize the world through an engagement with various ground truths, and how artistic approaches can challenge human and machine biases alike.
The workshop will stretch across two half-days, leaving enough time and space for discussions and encounters between the participants. There is no fee for participation and a dinner on Wednesday evening will be offered free of charge.

We are looking for PhD and early Post-Doc researchers coming from the arts, design, humanities or engineering who can relate their research to the topic of the conference and the workshop. Knowledge of AI-related discourses is not a precondition for participation, however those applications which contribute most to the discussion will be preferred. The workshop is limited to 20 participants.

In order to apply to the workshop please send a short statement of interest to michaela.buesse@fhnw.ch until 27.05.2019.

Detailed Program

Wednesday, 19.06.2019

Welcome and Introduction to Critical Media Lab
Michaela Büsse

2:00PM – 4:00PM
Artificiality, Intelligences, Imaginaries – Who am I and if so how many?
Critical Media Lab researchers

In this introduction to the two day workshop we will gather around commonalities and differences in our research practices and get to know each other through playful encounters inspired by the conference’s topic. Participants are encourage to think of their relation to the theme prior to the workshop. No formal presentation required but a willingness to share interests, hypotheses and questions.

4:30PM – 6:30PM
Plotting Data – A dive into the Enron corpus
Cristina Cochior

Datasets form the basis on which computer models, that are used in automatic decision making, function. But they are not a distilled version of reality: in their creation, conflict and ambiguity are neglected in favour of making reality computable. As any technology, datasets encode their goal, their purpose and the world view of the makers. In this workshop we will explore tactics of instilling affective relations back into datasets by looking at multiple ways to perform the Enron corpus by abstracting the generative logic of simple algorithms, such as n-grams, and embodying the text. No computers are needed.

The Plotting Data project is a collaboration between Ruben van de Ven and Cristina Cochior. For this workshop, artist and educator Amy Pickles has developed a script based on the corpus.

6:30PM – 8:30PM

Anatomies of Intelligence
Performance by Jonathan Reus and Joana Chicau

Thursday, 20.06.2019

10:00AM – 12:00AM
Anatomies of Intelligence
Joana Chicau/Jonathan Reus

A research project into techniques for in-situ dissections of machine learning algorithms.
Following an evening performance, Joana Chicau and Jonathan Reus will share their approach, and look closer into their growing repository of terminologies and techniques for a critical examination of the “anatomy” of learning and prediction processes.
In this session we will collectively discuss how, through performance practices, such toolkits can actualize the idealized bodies of artificial intelligence. From data corpus to models of machine learning algorithms, fixed representational structures and opaque learning processes — we will explore how to embody emergent forms of bringing-into-relation of such codes.

Web: https://anatomiesofintelligence.github.io/
Anatomies of Intelligence is a project by Joana Chicau and Jonathan Reus, co-produced with the generous support of V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media.

Wrap up


Cristina Cochior [RO] is a researcher and designer working in the Netherlands. With an interest in automation practices, disruption of the interface and peer to machine knowledge production, her practice consists of research investigations into technical and bureaucratic knowledge sharing systems. She graduated in Visual Communication from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BA, 2010-13) and Media Design and Communication from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam (MA, 2014-16). She lives in Rotterdam.

Joana Chicau [PT/NL] is a graphic designer, coder, researcher — with a background in dance. Her trans-disciplinary project interweaves web programming languages and environments with choreographic practices. In her practice she researches the intersection of the body with the constructed, designed, programmed environment, aiming at in widening the ways in which digital sciences is presented and made accessible to the public. She has been actively participating and organizing events with performances involving multi-location collaborative coding, algorithmic improvisation, open discussions on gender equality and activism. Web: http://joanachicau.com/

Jonathan Reus [US/NL] is a musician and artist who explores expanded forms of music-making and improvisational performance through technological artefacts. His practice is cross-disciplinary and research-based, involving open and iterative processes of collaboration with practitioners from across the arts, sciences and humanities. His work tries to confront and challenge the representational capacities of mathematical-logistical systems, algorithms, and infrastructure through a practice of invasive intuition and trust in the diversity of lived experiences. Web: https://jonathanreus.com/

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