VAGon June 9, 2022

Artificial Intimacy Lab

A week of experiments within an infrasture based on a computer vision algorithm trained on analogue archives, with public contribution, in the framework of Art Clinical Tests.

  • Details

    Participatory installation, individual sessions of 5-10 minutes; part of Art Clinical Tests

  • Artists

    Sabina Suru, Andrei Tudose

  • Team

    Programming: Cristian Balaș; Algorithmic Sound: Cătălin Crețu

  • Partners

    Simultan Festival, Rezidenta9, Qolony NGO; Funded by AFCN;

Part of the Art Clinical Tests experiments, Artificial Intimacy Lab took place during the week of June 9-15, 2022, at VAGon within the Malmaison Studios, being one of the two spaces that became a playground for technological, conceptual and participatory experimentation. Throughout this week, the public joined the artists to test the limits and possible approaches to various technologies and working ideas.

The stake of the project was to generate awareness about the responsibility we have in the human-technology relationship, by researching the ability of technologies to be an invisible guide to our behaviours, habits, and physical and emotional states.

Through Artificial Intimacy Lab, multimedia artists Sabina Suru & Andrei Tudose proposed a participatory experience that revolved around defining the type of relationship that can be manifested in the interaction human-artificial intelligence: is the machine a tool, a neutral assistant or do we personify it and develop a relationship with it?

Participants were invited into a room one by one, alone with a machine learning algorithm connected to a webcam, where they had the freedom and, most importantly, the control over this interaction. Thus, each visitor could show what and how much they wanted to the machine in an experiment of human-machine intimacy. The algorithm was trained by programmer Cristian Balaș in collaboration with the two artists, based on analog image archives developed by Sabina Suru. During each participant’s interaction with the installation, the algorithm recorded a frame, visually manipulated it and presented it to the visitor, who had the choice between deleting the image (in which case, contrary to the digital world, no duplicate would be left behind) or keep it (in which case the algorithm sent it to the participant by email, also asking for consent to be used in social media). At the same time, certain numerical data from the image recorded by the algorithm were sent to another algorithmic infrastructure, developed by artist Cătălin Crețu, to be sonified in real time and participate in the emotional space created during each interaction.

Sabina Suru & Andrei Tudose work at the border between art, social sciences and technology. Sabina follows an objective approach to silver-based, alternative and experimental photography and holography, with a foundation in painting and multimedia, while Andrei has been active for many years in the field of numbers, sociology and marketing. Their projects address topics such as instrumented vision, surveillance, private vs public space, digital identity and objectification, through collaborations with practitioners from various fields such as scientific research, contemporary dance and music.

Cătălin Creţu has a double education – electromechanical engineer and musician. He has a rich creation that includes works in different genres, from chamber music, choral and symphonic opuses to electronic music, computer assisted music, installations, interactive multimedia works, etc. He has published specialised articles and studies and is a scientific researcher at the Center for Electroacoustic and Multimedia Music, as well as an associate teacher at the National University of Music in Bucharest, a member of the Union of Composers and Musicologists from Romania and executive director of the InnerSound New Arts Festival.

Art Clinical Tests is a part of the research and artistic production project The Somatist, the Entropist & the Skeptic, in collaboration with artist Floriama Candea and developed within the framework of Qolony NGO – the Colony for Art and Science, in partnership with the National Research and Development Institute for the Physics of Materials, Rezidenta9, Simultan Festival, VAGon – in(inter)disciplinary space and Malmaison Studios. Project co-financed by AFCN. 

Installation View

  • Artificial Intimacy,Lab_Installation View, Sabina Suru Andrei Tudose

Artificial Intelligence View

  • @alexandrabalasoiu, Artificial Intelligence View