SAPAR Contemporary is proud to present Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Cheuk Wing Nam (Hong Kong), Ben Snell (US), Tom White (New Zealand), an exhibition curated by Marnie Benney. Long before John McCarthy coined the term “artificial intelligence” in 1956, humans have been fascinated by the idea of intelligent machines. In our modern society we collaborate with machines on a daily basis. They influence our every decision – from the route we drive or walk, to the songs we listen to, to the words it offers to fill in our text messages and emails. With such a close relationship, it is no wonder that we inherently want to understand these systems. Not only do we want to understand them, we want them to understand us.
Throughout history, artists have confronted the cutting-edge technology and investigated the transformations and undercurrents that shape our culture. In Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, an exhibition of human/machine understanding , a group of artists explore this very question: how can creative expression help us understand the technologies that so powerfully influence our lives? Artists Cheuk Wing Nam, Tom White, and Ben Snell employ their creative skills and in different ways, utilizing machine learning and other cutting edge technologies to understand more about this technology which is a mystery to most.
Cheuk Wing Nam (also known as Chang May Wing Joy) is an interdisciplinary artist works at the intersection of sound and computer technology, producing diverse bodies of work including new media installations and sound sculpture. She graduated from Hong Kong Baptist University with the MA in Visual Arts (Studio Art and Extended Media). Cheuk is interested in visualizing the relationships between light and shadow, sound and space. She has exhibited and performed in Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong Visual Art Centre, K11 Art Foundation, Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair, A+Contemporary (Shanghai), NIME 2016, Sonic Environment 2016 (Brisbane, Australia), Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK, Switzerland), Connecting Spaces, Hong Kong Baptist University. She is selected to participate in Sonic Transmission Artist Exchange Project 2016 by Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong (CMHK).
Ben Snell is an artist who listens to the inner dialogues of the machine. Using contemporary techniques and traditional motifs, he navigates the space between creation and automation,
suggesting a humanist approach to technology. Through drawings, images and sculpture, he explores what it means to be born from code. Snell has exhibited internationally. His AI sculpture was the first-of-its-kind to sell at Phillips. Snell is a finalist for the Lumen Prize and a resident of Autodesk Pier 9, whose work is featured in major art publications. He received a BA in Experiential Art and Design from Carnegie Mellon University. He lives and works in New York.
Tom White is a New Zealand based artist investigating artificial intelligence and machine perception. He is also a lecturer teaching computational design and creative AI at the Victoria University of Wellington School of Design. White has been working with AI and drawing systems for 25 years. His early work on drawing frameworks at MIT led to influential toolkits that are still popular today - such as Processing and OpenFrameworks. Tom’s artwork focuses on how machines using computer vision see the world. Neural networks use a specially constructed drawing system to produce abstract ink prints that reveal their visual concepts. These abstract prints trigger specific concepts not only in the neural networks that created them, but also universally across most AI systems.
Marnie Benney is an Independent Curator working at the juncture of contemporary art and technology. Over the last decade, she has produced 27 exhibitions in city centers, public spaces, galleries and festivals around the world including the New York Hall of Science, University of Cambridge London, the National Aquarium in Maryland, and The Nook Gallery in Los Angeles. Benney is the Co-founder and Curator of AIArtists.org, the world’s largest community of artists using Artificial Intelligence, where she provides a platform for artists to share their practice and investigate the future implications of AI on society.