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AI and the Question of Agency

May 19, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm


NY LASER is a series of lectures and presentations on art and science projects every 6 weeks save for the summer, in support of Leonardo/ISAST’s LEAF initiative (Leonardo Education and Art Forum).  Former LEAF Chairs, Ellen K. Levy, former IDSVA Special Advisor in the Arts and Sciences and Patricia Olynyk, Director, Graduate School of Art, Washington University co-direct these presentations to promote dialogue at the highest level among artists, scientists, scholars, and historians. This LASER co-partners with Creative Tech Week to query  AI and the concept of agency. There will be feature presentations by Stephanie Dinkins, Hod Lipson, and collaborators Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault. After all presentations, the presenters assemble, and the attendees are encouraged to engage in discussion with the presenters.

Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist and associate professor of art at Stony Brook University who creates platforms for dialog about artificial intelligence as it intersects race, gender, and our future histories. Dinkins is a 2019 Creative Capital Awardee as well as a 2018/19 Soros Equality Fellow and Data and Society Research Institute Fellow. Wired, Art in America, The New York Times, the BBC, and Apple Inc. have recently highlighted Dinkins’ work. Through her projects Not The Only One, the multigenerational memoir of one black American family told from the “mind” of an artificial intelligence with evolving intellect, and Conversations with Bina48, an ongoing series of recorded interactions between the artist and Bina48 a socially engaged robot, Dinkins advocates for open, inclusive, equitable, human sustaining artificially intelligent systems. 

Hod Lipson is a professor of Engineering and Data Science at Columbia University in New York, and a co-author of Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing and Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead. His work on self-aware and self-replicating robots challenges conventional views of robotics. Hod directs the Creative Machines Lab, which pioneers new ways to make machines that create and machines that are creative. The Six Waves of AI, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics technology have been making grand strides over the past few years, outperforming humans in tasks once thought to be impossible. But where will this technology go next, and how far can it reach? Hod will discuss the field from its inception nearly a century ago and its recent accelerating ascent into the future. 

Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault are collaborators whose work explores what makes us human. Their presentation will discuss the use of advanced technologies and imaging of the body to investigate our physical and psychological vulnerability and also cultural identity. They are recipients of a Guggenheim Fellowship and their work has been exhibited at the List Visual Art Center at MIT, the Carpenter Center for the Arts at Harvard University, Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The work that is currently on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art includes videos from an artist residency using a 4D scanner at the Max Planck Institute for Perceiving Systems and an installation and collaboration with mechatronic and embedded systems engineers, computer scientists, and AI researchers.

Ellen K. Levy is a NY-based artist and writer. She was Past President of the College Art Association before earning her doctorate in 2012 from the University of Plymouth (UK) on art and neuroscience. She then served as Special Advisor on the Arts and Sciences at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Her diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston followed a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Zoology. Levy’s solo exhibitions include the New York and the National Academy of Sciences, and she was represented by Associated American Artists and Michael Steinberg Fine Arts (NYC). Her honors include an arts commission from NASA, an AICA award, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at Skidmore College. She has lectured, taught, and published widely, locally and internationally, on art and complex systems. With Patricia Olynyk she co-directs monthly art, science, and technology meetings in conjunction with Leonardo/ISAST.www.complexityart.com

Patricia Olynyk is Director of the Graduate School of Art and Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University. Her work investigates science and technology related themes and the ways that social systems and institutional structures shape our understanding of human life, society, and the natural world. Working across disciplines to develop “third culture” projects, she frequently collaborates with research scientists, humanists, cinematographers, and industry specialists. Olynyk’s work has been featured at Palazzo Michiel, Venice in an ancillary exhibition of the Venice Architecture Biennial, the Los Angeles International Biennial, The Brooklyn Museum, the Saitama Modern Art Museum in Japan, and Museo del Corso in Rome. Her solo exhibitions include: Sensing Terrains at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., Dark Skies at the Art I Sci Center Gallery at UCLA, and Transfigurations at Galeria Grafica Tokio, Tokyo, Japan.


May 19, 2019
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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NYC LASER: Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk
NYC LASER: Patricia Olynyk


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