Inside A.I. Art

By Carla Rapoport July 28, 2020

This year will make the fourth year Lumen will be awarding an A.I. Award, kindly sponsored by the UK’s BCS Chartered Institute for IT. In those four years, we’ve had to find experts in the field to assist us with the important first-round judging of the work entered into this category. Happily, last year, we found Luba Elliott.

Since we’d last touched base, Luba, a curator, producer and researcher specialising in artificial intelligence in the creative industries, has been very busy indeed, reflecting the growing interest in this genre of art. The photo above shows her back in January giving the keynote speech at the world’s first AI Artathon, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Over the opening weekend, 300 participants from all over the world worked in teams to create AI Art. She was part of the jury to select 20 teams to take part in the 2-month training programme and was very impressed by the breadth of ideas and references to calligraphy and Arabic culture.

For the past three years, she’s been organising the NeurIPS Creativity Workshop and accepting AI art submissions alongside papers. This year, she was able to put all the art submissions on one website – There are over 200+ projects listed there and we’d highly recommend it for research and inspiration for artists, curators and anyone curious about the field.

More recently, she created a list of 65+ machine learning tools for artists for The Creative AI Lab, a resource on art and AI produced by The Serpentine Galleries and King’s College London. “I hope the tools will encourage more artistic experimentation with AI, providing ideas of what else is possible beyond the GAN (generative adversial networks),” she says.

Jake Elwes’ Zizi – Queering the Dataset

And if this wasn’t enough, she has an new online exhibition which opened last week, Real Time Constraints. Co-curated with arebyte gallery, the show takes the form of a browser plugin – allowing works to ‘pop-up’ on your desk top if you leave it running.

On top of its stunning aesthetics, particularly Lumen finalist Jake Elwes’  mesmerising work, it looks critically at the current state of automated computing to provide alternative narratives to data-driven approaches, referencing fake-news, gender bias and surveillance. In addition to Elwes, it features Sofia Crespo, DISNOVATION, Ben Grosser, Libby Heaney (2019 Lumen Longlist) and others.If you’d like to know about A.I. art and have a chance to hear Luba live, she’ll  be moderating a panel discussion with some of the artists on the 6th August. Details on how to join can be found here.


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