MACHINE LEARNING FOR HUMAN CREATIVE PRACTICE
| Dr. Rebecca Fiebrink at Eyeo 2018 |
Rebecca is a Senior Lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she works with the Embodied AudioVisual Interaction group, developing new technologies to enable new forms of human expression, creativity, and embodied interaction.
Recently, there has been an explosion of interest in machine learning algorithms capable of creating new images, sound, and other media content. Computers can now produce content that we might reasonably call novel, sophisticated, and even compelling. When researchers, artists, and the general public discuss the future of machine learning in art, the focus is usually on a few basic questions: How can we make content generation algorithms even better and faster? Will they put human creators out of a job? Are they really making ‘art’? In this talk, Rebecca proposes that we should be asking a different set of questions, beginning with the question of how we can use machine learning to better support fundamentally human creative activities. She shows examples of how prioritizing human creators—professionals, amateurs, and students—can lead to a new understanding of what machine learning is good for, and who can benefit from it. For instance, machine learning can aid human creators engaged in rapid prototyping of new interactions with sound and media. Machine learning can support greater embodied engagement in design, and it can enable more people to participate in the creation and customization of new technologies. Furthermore, machine learning is leading to new types of human creative practices with computationally-infused mediums, in which a broad range of people can act not only as designers and implementors, but also as explorers, curators, and co-creators.
CABINETS, CODES, AND CATALOGUES -- OR, STRUCTURED DATA + OTHER DISORDERED THINGS
| Shannon Mattern at Eyeo 2018 |
Shannon is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is the author of The New Downtown Library; Deep Mapping the Media City; and Code and Clay, Data and Dirt, all published by University of Minnesota Press.
In this talk Shannon surveys a variety of sites where the ethereal and datalogical become material — and where built and natural environments become informational. Additionally, she considers those dimensions of thought and experience that resist containment, as well as the politics of imposing order. How do our conceptual architectures manifest themselves in the everyday? How, for instance, might a data model scale up to an urban plan; or how might boxes and shelves, buildings and spreadsheets contain our thinkable thoughts?
ANORAKS AND THE ANALOGUE
| Stefanie Posavec at Eyeo 2018 |
Stefanie is a designer for whom data is her favored material, with work ranging from data visualization and information design to commissioned data art for a variety of clients. Her personal work focuses on non-traditional representations of data derived from language, literature, or scientific topics, often using a hand-crafted approach.
Six years ago Stefanie first spoke at Eyeo and expressed a desire to learn to code and (spoiler alert) she still hasn’t quite gotten around to it, instead moving in the opposite direction with the Dear Data project. In this talk she attempts to answer the following question once and for all: why does she find an analogue, pencil-driven process for data so compelling that she repeatedly comes back to it?
Stefanie investigates the various esoteric and ‘outsider’ data collection processes and data visualizations that have inspired her to see observing as a form of making/creating, exploring how it both influences her creative practice and also functions as a starting point for making the concept of data more accessible to a wider audience.
She calls it a talk “from an American immigrant in love with investigating British ‘anoraks’, trainspotters, ‘twitchers’, and Mass Observers, with a couple recent projects thrown in for good measure.”
Teju is a novelist, essayist and photographer, following those practices in the conventional routes of publication and exhibition. But over the years, he has also used social media—blogs, to begin with, and then Twitter and Instagram—to deepen as well as widen his artistic practices. This talk addresses about a dozen of the various projects he’s executed using social media—particularly in his thinking about "real time"—and also touches on the glaring limitations of hyper-connectivity in the attention economy.
WHOSE TOOLS? WHOSE HOUSE?
| Panel Discussion at Eyeo 2018 |
| Moderator: Jer Thorp. Panelists: Matt Mitchell, Carmen Aguilar Y Wedge, and Meredith Whittaker |
Modern tech-based artwork often has to rely on software, hardware, and computational services that are built and controlled by monopolistic corporations. How to artists weigh the creative possibilities of these tools and platforms against the problematic ethics of the corporations that make them? What opportunities exist for artists to use tools that circumvent corporate systems?