Programme on artificial intelligence

How can we expand our understanding of intelligence?
How can we live together with machines?
Who is coding the code?

Ether’s Bloom: A Programme on Artificial Intelligence
Taking place both online and offline, the Gropius Bau’s first programme on artificial intelligence focuses on the utopian and poetic possibilities of AI. Until 14 January 2024, the first part of the programme, Ether’s Bloom, presents a variety of different formats including artistic presentations, a new Writer in Residence format with K Allado-McDowell, the podcast Beyond and Within: AI Talks, as well as conversations and workshops. The admission to the programme is free.

Emerging developments in the field of AI are touching everyone and everything—excluding, connecting, and otherwise affecting human and non-human entities alike. In this moment of anticipation and criticism, Ether’s Bloom invites visitors to engage with the experimental, ethical and poetic dimensions now blossoming through new networks of knowledge production. The artists and thinkers in Ether’s Bloom challenge us to reconsider the established ways we relate to one another, to other life forms and to machines.

Ether’s Bloom is accompanied by the thinking and contemplation of cultural scientist, researcher and writer Maya Indira Ganesh, who is present throughout the year with new content and publications in various forms.

Freely accessible installations until January 14, 2024
Elisa Giardina Papas trilogy Technologies of Care (2016) surveys the ways in which Al and digital economies are reframing the politics of labour and the practice of care. Mimi Ọnụọha’s short film These Networks in Our Skin (2021) points to the contradictions inherent in the premise of technological “progress” and illuminates a path for a more expansive understanding of technology that embraces the traditions and values of those whose histories have been erased in the name of development. The artist duo kennedy+swan illuminates the benefits of interspecies connections and reveals the constructive power of future AI systems. The new commissioned watercolour and AR work Mixed Signals (2023) delves into the intriguing relationship between artificial intelligence, non-human communication systems and our human perceptions of them. Patricia Domínguez’s works explore ecological myth-making, multispecies relationships and digitisation of life under corporatised, late capitalism. The two video installations Madre Drone (2019–2020) and Holographic Milk (2021) explore various dimensions of spiritual and non-human intelligences.

Writer in Residence: K Allado-McDowell
As an integral part of Ether’s Bloom, the Writer in Residence format provides a digital space to investigate and publish writings on artificial intelligence in collaboration with the Gropius Bau Journal. The first essay Designing Neural Media is the starting point of a three-part series by K Allado-McDowell, explaining some of the fundamental structures underlying AI and the ways neural media are likely to alter human experience.

Beyond and Within: AI Talks
Encouraging the aspects of learning and knowledge sharing, the new podcast Beyond and Within: AI Talks invites experts, artists and researchers to dive deeper into the world of AI and the vital questions it raises. Some of the guest speakers are Maya Indira Ganesh, Orit Halpern, K Allado-McDowell, Jonathan Apelbaum and Jenna Sutela. In five episodes, the listeners will be taken on a journey of questions, analyses and knowledge, while exploring the many sides of the fast-growing technologies around AI. The first episode “What is AI?” was launched on September 15, 2023 and is available on Spotify.

AI-assisted app
In spring 2024, an AI-assisted app will be launched as the second core component of the programme on artificial intelligence. It draws on the questions raised by Ether’s Bloom and aims to provide structural support for users, which facilitates visiting the Gropius Bau. The app emphasises on accessibility and is conceived as an important complement to the Gropius Bau’s existing educational programme. Supporting serviceability and shared learning for users and visitors, it also provides infrastructure for AI-based educational formats in a way that is sustainable and can be used in the future.