Stine Deja

poster sky3

Deja’s work is so effective because it engages with the aesthetics of new technologies in order to critique their sociological, psychological, and physical impact on our embodied selves. At times idealistic and others damning, Deja avoids sorting technology into a
good-bad binary, but instead allows both ends of that spectrum to proliferate, allowing visitors to her supersensory exhibitions come to their own conclusion. She just asks “Technology enhances
and simplifies communication, but are we really more connected?”

simon colton

The Painting Fool

The Painting Fool is software that we hope will one day be taken seriously as a creative artist in its own right. This aim is being pursued as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) project, with the hope that the technical difficulties overcome along the way will lead to new and improved generic AI techniques. It is also being pursued as a sociological project, where the effect of software which might be deemed as creative is tested in the art world and the wider public. In this chapter, we summarise our progress so far in The Painting Fool project. To do this, we first compare and contrast The Painting Fool with software of a similar nature arising from AI and graphics projects. We follow this with a discussion of the guiding principles from Computational Creativity research that we adhere to in building the software.

WIM VANDEKEYBUS & ULTIMA VEZ

MENSKE

Even the standing room only tickets have sold out, and the raging mass of disappointed kids looks like they may start a riot: the atmosphere before Ultima Vez’s performance is akin to a rock concert. Choreographer superstar Wim Vandekeybus’s company has toured the world with their trademark vocabulary of acrobatic, extreme, often violent movement, soaked in multimedia and energetic music. Menske (meaning approximately ‘little human’), their latest work, has all the typical flaws and qualities of classic Vandekeybus. On the conservative end of political intervention, Menske is an explosive concoction of brash statements about the state of the world today, a sequence of rapidly revolving scenes of conflicting logic: intimist, blockbuster, desperate, hysterical. The broad impression is not so much of a sociological portrait, but of a very personal anguish being exorcised right in front of us, as if Vandekeybus is constantly switching format in search of eloquence. Visually, it is stunning, filmic: a slum society falling apart through guerrilla warfare, in which girls handily assume the role of living, moving weapons. A woman descends into madness in an oneiric hospital, led by a costumed and masked group sharpening knives in rhythmic unison. A traumatised figure wanders the city ruins dictating a lamenting letter to invisible ‘Pablo.’ Men hoist a woman on a pole her whole body flapping like a flag. “It’s too much!” intrudes a stage hand, “Too much smoke, too much noise, too much everything!” And the scene responsively changes to a quiet soliloquy. At which point, however, does pure mimesis become complicit with the physical and psychological violence it strives to condemn? Unable to find its way out of visual shock, Menske never resolves into anything more than a loud admission of powerlessness.