> Papers > Paper Session 3

9th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X

Paper Session 3


Andrew Sidsworth


York University, Toronto, Canada

Making the Computational Physical Through Digital Craftsmanship

The forms that can be created through computational methods are infinite in both their number and complexity. However, in order to exist in the real world, the given form must be negotiated with reality through a material. The most direct and accessible form of digital to material translation is 3D printing. However, much of the knowledge required to perform this digital-material translation exists in an embodied state, taking a form similar to the embodied knowledge of craftsmanship. There are underappreciated constraints in all materials that must be taken into account when making with any given process, and the use of 3D printing to give materiality to ethereal, computationally generated forms highlights these constraints. Metal foundry, as an example of one of the oldest forms of traditional fabrication, can be made to utilize computational design by using 3D printing as an intermediary step between computation and craft. Through the examination of several works of sculpture and works in progress, this paper demonstrates the strengths, shortcomings and general use of 3D printing as a form of expressing the computational in the physical, and will use foundry as an example of an extension of this.

Marinos Koutsomichalis


Media Arts & Design Research Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

Alexia Achilleos


Media Arts & Design Research Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

Cyprus as AI Saw It: Digital Colonialism and AttnGAN Text to Image Synthesis

This paper discusses an ongoing project pivoting on an AttnGAN Text to Image synthesis as the means to critically comment on affairs of bias in historical and digital colonialism. It zooms in on Cyprus — a geographic region that is largely underrepresented in AI programming — as seen through the lenses of 19th century colonialism. A well-known AttnGAN pipeline is appropriated and trained over a DIY dataset to produce images that more genuinely reflect the (post-)colonial Cypriot reality — thus giving agency to a geographic region, the cultural and historical idiosyncrasies of which are generally not reflected in AI programming. Sample imagery is presented and the results of a qualitative survey are discussed in some detail. In this fashion, the authors intend to contribute empirical data to the ongoing discussion about digital colonialism, and to initiate a broader conceptualisation process about methodologies to decolonise current affairs in AI research. Technical, critical and ethical implications of the above are further discussed, with references to Digital Colonialism and AI-driven Text-to-Image synthesis.

Daniel Bisig


Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom


Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland

Granular Dance

This publication presents a tool that can be trained with motion capture data and then used to generate new dance movement sequences. This tool combines two different components: a deep learning model based on a recurrent adversarial autoencoder architecture, and a sequence blending mechanism that is inspired by granular and concatenative sound synthesis techniques. The publication contextualizes this tool with respect to other artificial intelligence inspired approaches in dance. Subsequently, the implementation of the tool is detailed and results from its usage are presented. These results are discussed in terms of their artistic potential. Finally, the publication provides a brief outlook into possible future research directions.

Kit Kuksenok


Independent, Berlin, Germany

Marisa Satsia


Independent, Nicosia, Cyprus

Know thy Flesh: What Multi-disciplinary Contemporary Art Teaches Us about Building Body Knowledge

Building body knowledge is a multi-disciplinary, interpersonal endeavor that implicates medical imaging capabilities, scientific institutions, and datafication of personhood in popular culture. Drawing on existing scholarship in critical digital health studies, we contribute an articulation of how self-tracking leads to a paradox of control: the motivation to extend body knowledge is complicated by the experience of available consumer tools. Self-tracking as a mechanism of biopower underpins this paradox of control and contextualizes the subversive or resistant aims of the proposed resolutions. Prior work has suggested paths of subversion and resistance through available consumer technologies, as well as a critique of how these technologies are designed. Our work focuses on relating biotechnologically mediated art to the use of self-tracking tools more generally. This article is intended for both artists working with biological data or matter, and consumers of self-tracking technology who are interested in adapting these tools as creative means for building body knowledge. We turn to contemporary artworks constructed using biological material or bodily observation to find resolutions to the paradox of control, which include (1) renegotiating the relationship to institutions, (2) mobilizing available tools for unconventional narratives, and (3) embracing biological material.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: André Rangel