LASER Talks: | Decolonising art ecosystem PART II

LASER Talks: | Decolonising art ecosystem PART II

Co-hosts: Satinder Gill and Victoria Vesna and Chrysi Nanou

LASER Talks at Cambridge in collaboration with LASER UCLA
30 Nov 2023 - 11:00am Decolonising Art Ecosystem PART II
When: November 30, 2023, 6-8 pm GMT | 11 am - 1 pm PST
Where: Online via ZOOM
Co-hosts: Victoria Vesna (Art|Sci Lab, UCLA), Satinder Gill and Chrysi Nanou (Centre for Music and Science, Cambridge University)

On June 1st, we held the first part of this LASER series on Decolonising AI with guests Amir Baradaran and Mashinka Fruits Hakopian. See HERE
This LASER discussion is based on a special issue on Deconolonising AI with the AI & Society Journal, co-curated by Victoria Vesna and Amir Baradaran. Artists are well-placed to ask critical questions of access, agency, and equity in relation to AI and its impact on the art ecosystem. These include the encoding of bias and the (digital) marginalisation of various social groups. Such critique of AI allows for the emergence of knowledge that stems from, or lives through, cosmologies marginalised or erased through colonisation, and presents how they can be re-centered through processes of decolonisation, i.e. through questioning patterns of power shaping our intellectual, political, economic and social worlds.


- Minne Atairu
- George Zarkadakis

Minne Atairu is an interdisciplinary Artist, and doctoral student in the Art and Art Education program at Teachers College Columbia University. Minne's research emerges at the intersection of Machine Learning, Art Education and Hip-Hop Pedagogy. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence (StyleGAN, GPT-3), Minne recombines historical fragments, sculptures, texts, images and sounds to generate synthetic Benin Bronzes which often hinge on questions of repatriation, and post-repatriation. For Minne's residency at the movement lab, she will focus on developing a CGI film using motion and facial capture technologies.

George Zarkadakis is an accomplished writer of both fiction and non-fiction, as well as a science communicator, Artificial Intelligence engineer, futurist, and digital innovation expert. He authors books spanning both fiction and non-fiction genres. Additionally, he collaborates with both private and public organizations, aiming to transform business and democratic institutions in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Zarkadakis perceives the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and engineering not as isolated fields, but as a continuous spectrum, constantly enhanced by human creativity and imagination.


The authors/speakers will present a diversity of cultural perspectives on the issues around AI and Art, from their personal experiences as artists. Each artist demonstrates their active engagement with technology, interrogating its implications and conjecturing about our potential futures with it. At its core, the future of these developments remains an enigma; and artists see their ‘role’ as being to caution [us] about potential pitfalls and to present alternative approaches to artificial intelligence. In their discussion they expose us to multiple points of view on Artificial Intelligence and offer an opportunity to consider another “I” in AI.


Renzo Filinich Orozco, David Maulén de los Reyes, Benjamin Varas Arnello
Qatipana: cybernetics and cosmotechnics in Latin American art ecosystems

George Zarkadakis
The goddess and her icon: body and mind in the era of artificial intelligence

Mashinka Firunts Hakopian
Art histories from nowhere: on the coloniality of experiments in art and artificial intelligence.

Sara Morais Dos Santos Bruss
Artificial reproduction? Tabita Rezaire’s Sugar Walls Teardom and AI “liveness”

Minne Atairu
Reimagining Benin Bronzes using generative adversarial networks

Maurice Jones
Mind extended: relational, spatial, and performative ontologies

Anisa Matthews
Sculpting the social algorithm for radical futurity

The Leonardo/ISAST LASERs are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of the LASERs is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 50 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit @lasertalks

Image: Minne Atairu, Portraits of Mami Wata wearing a fishscale-inspired hairdo accentuated with blonde, synthetic hair extensions [2023].