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6th Critical Space on planning the Dust and Data exhibition

DAD´s Arthur Flexer gave a virtual lecture on our plans for the DAD exhibition opening early summer at the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art. The lecture was given at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI), where DAD was also located during the first nine month. This last CRITICAL SPACE was conducted to get feedback about our plans to build exhibits documenting our engagement with the collections of the Glyptothek of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Volkskundemuseum Wien and the Belvedere. Results for these three case studies differ according to the level of interaction between curators and machine: from using natural language processing tools for research in museum databases to a symbiotic interaction between curators and algorithms to robots visiting museums autonomously.

The ensuing conversation centered around ways to include and document aspects of algorithmic bias and societal stereotypes existing in natural language models. We also discussed our approaches to turn digital findings into analog exhibits and how using a robot to explore the Glyptothek aligns with the public’s (mis)conception that AI is predominantly about building machines not software.

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One day Conclusive Space workshop

Our initial intention was to review and audit the current development of all our approaches after 18 months of the project‘s time span in a (semi-public) symposium-esque format. Due to COVID-19 this CONCLUSIVE SPACE was a somewhat smaller affair in the form of a one day workshop (29.1.2021) including the whole DAD team with all COVID precautions taken.

We planned the remaining half year of the project which will be used for a final documentation of the assembled approaches, of the models, code and curatorial developments. This CONSTRUCTIVE SPACE will also finalize hands-on displays and physical proof of concepts for use in the final PRESENTATION SPACE.

This PRESENTATION SPACE will be a comprehensive exhibition documenting and presenting all achievements and works-in-progress at the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art. Please watch this space for a making-of and behind-the-scenes documentation of this process, as well as announcement of the exhibition which will open beginning of summer.

Foto: Matthias Klos, Volkskundemuseum Wien