Last two months have been a roller coster of activity comprising the usual ingredients: blood, sweat and tears. Why such gnashing of teeth and procrastination? The answer is simple: It was to make sure that the one week group residency (5th-12th March) at Tate Modern through the Tate Exchange culminates in a successful, credible and professional public event…’The Art Work of the Future‘………if that wasn’t challenge enough we were also going to compete for attention against a minor artist named Pablo Picasso who was also exhibiting concurrently a couple of floors below.
Following on the heels of the earlier public event at the Tate Modern (Uniqlo Tate Late) in January which had taken up most of my Christmas holidays, this was now going to be the mother of all events….bigger, better and with more cutting edge technology & art practice.
The artworks would need to embrace future technology, be interactive, entertaining as well as challenge the public to engage in a critical debate. We were to occupy the whole of the 5th floor in the Blavatnik building. So lack of space was not going to be an issue…in fact using the large angular space would need careful planning and curating. I had therefore invited some additional curation support in the form of Sotheby’s MA student, who had helped us curate a MAFA exhibition last year.
We would work in groups that reflected our interest or research area. My group choice was a simple one: ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) and humankind’; which was actually my key area of art research. We would need to cater for audience of all ages as well as all level of expertise in the subject. We had invited guests from across the world and across all fields of technology. I had invited the chief scientist from a company called ‘SenSat’ to partner our group. This company made three dimensional maps of UK cities using commercial drones for application in various AI systems including autonomous cars. Oh yes…and did I mention we were expecting up to 1300 people a day…so no pressure there!
Our group comprised a team of amazing individuals. We worked on three to four concepts that we would ‘show’ at the event that closely aligned to our art research criteria ‘the changing relationship of technology/AI and humans’.These included an artwork in the form of a mock holographic cyborg that acted as a welcome and an introduction for the whole event, a ‘talking robot’ that asked thought-provoking and deep questions and an AI quiz that compared AI and human creativity…amongst other IT based interactions.
The outcome at a personal level were many, including:
- Collaboration and networking with students, artists, teaching staff, Tate staff, commercial and education partners
- An opportunity of a week’s group residency at Tate Modern
- Planning and exhibiting experience at a major event in a large and world renowned venue
- Making work that cutting edge, takes risk and meets the commission remit as well as is true to the criticality of my own art practice
- opportunity to make presentations to the public with slides and props
- experience of talking about the artworks on national TV
- Opportunity to talk in the main Tate Gallery about a chosen artwork to the Tate vistors
- Etc etc….
We received a very good feedback from Tate
Big, big thank you to the team and to all you that came to see us xxx
To avoid boredom…will stop now…More to come later……