Becoming Artificial

3 min read

As an unprecedented collective experience, the 2020 pandemic has come to emphasise the importance of both creatively cognitive character, as well as, universal aspirations constituting a point of intersection between art and science. With respect to the theme of this exhibition, though already present, yet, by unforeseen circumstances, accelerated transfer of digital data, and enforced reliance on artificial intelligence, intensified the interdependent relationship of humans and state of the art machines, making it an everyday occurrence. From the techno-pessimistic perspective, this affects a reinforced control and surveillance of human activities. However, coalescing with art, science succeeds in not only overcoming its self-sufficiency, but in becoming self-conscious of possible instrumentalisation.

AI Lab is a product of connecting infrastructures − individuals, as well as an institution of art and science − with the aim to reinforce them in their creative and critical reflection, attentiveness and re-imagining − the mentioned transforming social practices − the status and function of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The selection of artists proposes considerations of a pervasive digital upload of the self, with the focus on: biology (Victoria Vesna), religion (Kristina Tica), knowledge extractivism (Vladan Joler & Matteo Pasquinelli), and non-commercial world creation with the tools borrowed from gaming (Filip Kostić), as well as visualisation, attentiveness, atmosphericity, and articulation of data, as result of a+s+cpn workshops within the platform envisioned by the CPN. Instead of being fetishised, machine learning and artificial intelligence are here examined and demystified. The artists and scientists take on a critical attitude toward transhuman turn in the world being transformed, as well as visualise and articulate a complex interdependence of humans and machines, and their impact on culture.

art+science lab presents a creative approach to artificial intelligence as a critical practice, and the audience is the witness of abandoning the object-oriented culture towards the systems-oriented culture where change doesn’t stem from the object, but from the way in which objects are being constituted (Jack Burnham, Systems Esthetics, 1968). Curating, positioning the intersection of art and science, here implies to allow the audience to experience a critical creative appreciation of the use and effect of artificial intelligence.

The potentialities of artificial intelligence and recent technological paradigms are so far unforeseeable. However, through the lens of Shoshana Zuboff’s surveillance capitalism and her ontology, these potentialities already regulate, control, and exploit human life. art+science lab, promoting creation and critical thinking of artists and scientists, thrives on being an element that generates technological progress, and offers resistance to the techno-positivism and techno-patriarchy imposed by technology as an equal participant in the contemporary ecosystem.


Dr Maja Ćirić
is an award-winning curator and art critic experienced in leading and contributing to international projects. Maja was the curator of the Mediterranea 18 biennale, in Tirana (2017), and has been both the curator (2007) and the commissioner (2013) of the Serbian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Her recent speaking engagements have been at MAC VAL (2017), the Centre Pompidou (2018), and the MNAC Bucharest (2018). Her most recent writings appear in Obieg, Artforum, and Artmargins Online.

AUTHOR: Dr Maja Ćirić, guest curator