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Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Cheuk Wing Nam, Ben Snell, Tom White

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. We collaborate with machines on a daily basis. They influence our every decision – from the route we drive or walk, to the songs on our playlist, to the words with which algorithms offer to fill in our text messages. 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 explores 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, utilize machine learning to understand and co-create with machine intelligence. Cheuk Wing Nam taught her computer to visualize spoken numbers and create a drawing based on the visual output of the numeric input. Ben Snell trains his computers on 3D image datasets of Renaissance busts, and then directs his AI system to generate never-before-seen forms that are echoes of the classical originals. Tom White investigates how machines see the world and interpret visual structures for themselves by training AI systems to identify everyday objects, and then working closely with them to generate their own abstract interpretations of visual forms such as a chicken or an eye.

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