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The New Real Mlso2020 Jake Elwes

The New Real

Featuring newly commissioned artworks alongside a series of critical reflections, this exhibition explores the boundary between the real and artificial. 

The Edinburgh Futures Institute has commissioned two arresting digital installations that reflect on humanity’s journey into a ‘new real’ and how we make sense of differing realities. Anna Ridler and Caroline Sinders are leading artists and researchers in the field of machine learning. Mechanized Cacophony is an interactive online sound work that explores how experiences of nature are mediated by technology, inspired by Ridler and Sinders' experiences of lockdown. The artists, working remotely, each captured sounds from a variety of sources, including field and online recordings of both natural and industrial environments. They then trained a machine learning neural network on the resulting dataset to generate eerie and uncanny soundscapes. 

Jake Elwes creates artworks exploring the algorithms, philosophy and ethics behind artificial intelligence. His Zizi – A Virtual Show is an interactive artwork that constructs and deconstructs a virtual cabaret show. It is hosted by Zizi, a drag act constructed using deep-fake technology that has learnt by observing human performers. During the acts, audiences are invited to switch between the different deep-fake bodies and identities that Zizi has learnt, making visible the processes used in their construction. 

Curated by Drew Hemment
Edinburgh Futures Institute 
Artwork by Jake Elwes, Anna Ridler, Caroline Sinders 

A project by the Experiential AI research group at Edinburgh Futures Institute and Edinburgh College of Art.

Supported by Edinburgh Futures Institute; Creative Scotland; Creative Informatics; and the Data-Driven Innovation programme of the South East Scotland City and Region Deal. 

Thanks to Festivals, Cultural and City Events, School of Informatics, Bayes Centre at the University of Edinburgh; Heriot Watt University.  

Mechanised Cacophony developed in partnership with Ars Electronica and AI Lab (ARTificial Intelligence Lab). 

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17 October-30 November 2020

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