Anatomy of an AI System

“At this moment in the 21st century, we see a new form of extractivism that is well underway: one that reaches into the furthest corners of the biosphere and the deepest layers of human cognitive and affective being. Many of the assumptions about human life made by machine learning systems are narrow, normative and laden with error. Yet they are inscribing and building those assumptions into a new world, and will increasingly play a role in how opportunities, wealth, and knowledge are distributed.”

[read the whole paper here]

Holly Herndon’s Eternal Video

“Holly Herndon’s video for her dizzying new song “Eternal” follows the lonely journey of a machine as it analyzes and connects to a human face. It’s blurry and disorienting: a collage of eyes, ears, and mouths materializing in front of the camera, soundtracked by one of the most direct melodies Herndon has ever composed. Synth-orchestra blasts beam in from Y2K pop radio. A dance rhythm keeps stalling out while it’s buffering. “Right in front of my eyes,” a choir sings, slowly, in unison”.

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Stunning 3D Scans of the Bust of Nefertiti

Two years ago, a scandalous “art heist” at the Neues Museum in Berlin—involving illegally made 3D scans of the bust of Nefertiti—turned out to be a different kind of crime. The two Egyptian artists who released the scans claimed they had made the images with a hidden “hacked Kinect Sensor,” reports Annalee Newitz at Ars Technica. But digital artist and designer Cosmo Wenman discovered these were scans made by the Neues Museum itself, which had been stolen by the artists or perhaps a museum employee.

[read the full article here]

iScream for iPhone

This is a work made by Memo Atken in 2009, but I just discovered it and it’s lovely!

“iScream consists of 16x iPhone applications that do absolutely nothing. Each one has a custom icon, which is a small section of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. Using the iPhone’s built in home layout interface, one can jumble up or re-align the tiles until the original painting is revealed; locked behind the iPhone home screen with the icon spacing acting as black cage bars.”

The Beauty of Degraded Art

“The distorted guitar is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to it” – Brian Eno

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TV Man is coming

On a Sunday morning in Henrico County, Virginia, dozens of residents woke to find old TV sets dumped on their lawns. One person reviewed their home security footage and reported the following: “It was a guy dressed in a jumpsuit with a TV for a head,” said Adrian Garner. “It’s the weirdest thing. He squats down, puts the TV there and walks off. It’s really weird.”

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Murder on the dancefloor

“Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt were a wife and husband partnership briefly famous in Germany during the early 1920s for their wild, expressionist dance performances consisting of “creeping, stamping, squatting, crouching, kneeling, arching, striding, lunging, leaping in mostly diagonal-spiraling patterns” across the stage. Shulz believed “art should be…an expression of struggle” and used dance to express ‘the violent struggle of a female body to achieve central, dominant control of the performance space and its emptiness'”.

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