Winner of the national art+science AI Lab selection for 2020 – Digital Prayer

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Digital Prayer is an award winning project of the art+science AI Lab national selection for 2020; it is realised in collaboration with the Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, under the mentorship of Dr Miloš Milovanović. What is presented here is an art & science concept dealing with the application of one of computer vision methods aiming at generating an image, whose visual product resembles an Orthodox icon. Generating pixels through the use of machine learning techniques, a relation has been established between the canonical structure of the Ortodox icon and the image artificially created through a computer program. A computer program was created and a database of about 4000 digital reproductions of ortodox icons was collected, based on which the computer learns to create a completely new image.

Directing algorithmic processes to generate the language of the icon, two visual interfaces intersect - the virtual world of digital image, and the traditional handcrafted Orthodox icon. Our needs, answers to questions, moral codes, and impacts are today kept within a virtual more so than within a spiritual space. The image that we see is just a visualisation of the code and information data in the background, which leads us to the analogy proposed by Boris Groys: “The digital image is a visible copy of the invisible image file, of the invisible data. In this respect the digital image is functioning as a Byzantine icon—as a visible copy of invisible God.”

Kristina Tica has a BA in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Arts, Belgrade, and an MA in the area of digital arts from the Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade. She participated at several study programmes in London, as part of the Central Saint Martin, UAL, and Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. She exhibited her work at numerous group exhibitions locally and abroad, and has so far realised one independent exhibiting project. She realizes her art projects in the domains of painting, video art, ambient installations, and generative new media art. She resides and works in Belgrade.

Scientific mentor: Dr Miloš Milovanović, Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Collaborators on the project:

Software development: Miloš Trifunović

Audio installation: Marija Šumarac

AI mentor: Dr Uroš Krčadinac/ Faculty of Media and Communication, Singidunum University Technical support: Jacques Laroche/ Faculty of Media and Communication, Singidunum University

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