A short video diary by Fabrizio Poltronieri about his Art-AI Festival installation, shown at Highcross Shopping Centre between 30 April and 13 May 2018. Fabrizio is a researcher/artist/coder at De Montfort’s Institute of Creative Technologies (Leicester). The installation was called “#LoveApparatus” – it was an artificial intelligence with its own Twitter account, @apparatus_love, that it used to reply to messages sent to it which had incorporated the hastag #LoveLeics. The AI was trained on a vast database of international poetry themed around ‘love’ and over the 2 weeks it was ‘live’ at Highcross, it learnt a great deal about love in the City of Leicester. More to follow on this in due course.
In support of the installation, the acclaimed Highcross Beacons, located at the St Peter’s Square entrance area of Highcross, were used to draw attention to the role of the AI and how to communicate with it – all imbued with love for the City. The Beacons comprise seven digital columns each standing over 3M, which were installed in 2016 as a focus for community engagement through public art. They were a very impressive way to draw attention to ‘an AI in the building’!
(image thanks to Tina Barton, Highcross Community Manager)
It is exciting to have the Art-AI Festival in Leicester this year and very appropriate to see the strong support from De Montfort University. DMU’s involvement goes back nearly 50 years, when it was Leicester Polytechnic.
(available on Amazon)
Two Invention of Problems events around 1970 showed art experiments and presented talks on the subject, including by one of the most important pioneers of AI in art, Edward Ihnatowicz. He returned later in the 70s for what was probably the first full conference on the subject, Human and Robot Behaviour. That was a meeting of scientific and artistic minds coming from such groups as Edinburgh’s AI Lab and the Royal College of Art.
A few years later another pioneer of Art and AI, the late Harold Cohen, spent some time at Leicester Polytechnic inspiring both staff and students. Today DMU’s Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT) is a strong player in the Art-AI field with several members using AI in their art and music as a standard part of their practice.
(both available on Amazon)
Craig Vear is an internationally renowned composer whose music employs AI and I myself have employed AI in various aspects of my art for most of my career. The latest work of Fabrizio Poltronieri, a relatively recent recruit to IOCT, can be seen as part of the festival.
(Fabrizio Poltronieri’s installation for the Art-AI Festival,
located in Highcross Shopping Centre)
Professor of Computational Art
Institute of Creative Technologies
De Montfort University