A group exhibition presented until recently in Paris celebrated collaborations between artists and machines. Human Learning: What Machines Teach Us also explored the emergence and development of different forms of Artificial Intelligence over the past decades. The exhibition, curated by Dominique Moulon, Alain Thibault and Associate Curator Catherine Bédard, featured the work of Matthew Biederman, Emilie Brout & Maxime Marion, Grégory Chatonsky, Douglas Coupland, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Emilie Gervais, Sabrina Ratté, David Rokeby, Justine Emard, Louis-Philippe Rondeau, Samuel St-Aubin, Skawennati, Xavier Snelgrove & Mattie Tesfaldet, and Olivier Ratsi. It was presented by Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris as part of the official programme of Nemo, the Biennial of Electronic Arts Ile-de-France, in partnership with Elektra (Montreal) and with the support of Région Ile-de-France.
Human Learning considers how the evolving ties between humans and computers have created new cultural forms and concepts, as well as new ways of thinking about identity and epistemology. What, exactly, does ‘machine learning’ mean? Does it describe a type of learning which is becoming increasingly remote from human learning patterns, or does it refer to collaborative exchange between humans and computers? What can machines teach us, and what does that teaching feel like? Can a computer see, feel and communicate, and if so what does such communication look like? Our relationship with computers involves both exploratory dialogues and detached observation; empirical testing and shifts in theoretical reasoning.
Olivier Ratsi, IIII, 2020 (production Julien Taïb)
Matthew Biederman, Morphogerador, 2018.
The exhibition presented artworks which explore these questions in a variety of ways, through diverse media, formats and cultural backgrounds. Immersive installations and interactive devices, generative algorithms and custom hardware, robotic performances and neural networks, science fiction and data visualisation all feature. Since time immemorial artists have questioned contemporary culture through engagement with contemporary media and tools. Human Learning was a display of some of the attempts by today’s artists to interrogate media far more complex than any we have known before.
Human Learning has until recently been on display at the Centre Culturel Canadien, 130 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris. It is currently closed and may reopen later this year; please check the venue website for updates.
Top image: Matthew Biederman, Interference, 2018.