dialogues2: Albena Baeva and Sam Salem
The Creative-Ai (AI and the Artistic Imaginary – WASP-HS, https://www.kth.se/hct/mid/research/cmt/projects/ai-and-the-artistic-imaginary-1.1100143) and MUSAiC (https://musaiclab.wordpress.com) project teams at KTH kindly welcome you to the second seminar in our series “dialogues: probing the future of creative technology”, which was held on Friday 9 September, 15-16h (CEST).
Guests: Albena Baeva and Sam Salem
Albena Baeva (https://albenabaeva.com): I will talk about the relationship between feminism, biases and algorithms - a topic that plays a central role in my recent work. Algorithms are not only automating many production processes but are also already shaping our perception of reality. AI is becoming a curator and creator of content, while humans are left to engage in poorly paid mechanical activities in content control factories or the preparation of training databases. Speculating over the imagery of the new reality is what inspires the artist to keep collaborating with different neural networks creating different artworks. My presentation will show how I as an artist simultaneously uses and critiques new technologies in my works.
Albena Baeva works at the intersection of art, technology, and social science. In her interactive installations for urban spaces and galleries, she uses ML and AI, augmented reality, physical computing, creative coding, and DIY practices. Albena has two MAs; in Restoration and Digital Arts from the National Academy of Art in Sofia. She received an Everything is Just Fine commission from the Bulgarian Fund for Women (2019), won the international Essl Art Award for contemporary art (2011) and the VIG Special Invitation (2011). Albena is a co-founder of Symbiomatter: experimental arts lab, the studio for interactive design Reaktiv, the first Bulgarian gallery for digital art gallery Gallery and the AR sculpture park Ploshtadka. Her work was shown internationally in museums for contemporary art including Essl (Austria, 2011), EMMA (Finland, 2013), MCV Vojvodina (Serbia, 2015 and 2019), galleries and festivals for video and performance in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA.
Sam Salem (https://www.osamahsalem.co.uk): I will discuss approaches to, and reflections on, the use of Neural Synthesis in my recent works, Midlands (2019) and THIS IS FINE (2021), and my forthcoming work for solo trombone (+), Bury Me Deep (2022).
Sam Salem is a British / Jordanian composer who creates works for performers, electronics & video. His compositional process begins with a set of locations, a line on a map connected by a particular theme, history, or set of constraints. He captures moments, surprises, and ultimately, like prominent London-based psychogeographer Iain Sinclair, he offers a reading of his chosen locations, a divination made through an “act of ambulatory sign-making”. The layers of myth and history that he uncovers form his building blocks. His first works for live performers, London Triptych, were recorded and released as Salem’s debut portrait album in November 2021 via dFolds. He is a founding member and co-artistic director of Distractfold Ensemble, the recipients of the Kranichstein Music Prize for Interpretation from Internationales Musikinstitute Darmstadt (IMD) in 2014. Sam is also co-founder and co-director of Unsupervised / The Machine Learning for Music Working Group, a collaboration between RNCM and the University of Manchester that explores the creative applications of ML and AI. He is currently PRiSM Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and was once described by the New York Times as “young”.