Pat Brundell VIP studio

New project will explore the role of AI and immersive realities in art

Thursday, 13 July 2023

Artists are taking part in a new programme, designed to explore the creative capabilities of AI, Web 3.0 and other immersive realities. 

The GloW3 artist’s programme will give four artists access to facilities and expertise at the University of Nottingham’s Virtual Immersive Production Studio, the Epic Games Innovation Lab in London and King’s Digital Lab at King’s College London. The programme is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and it will explore the potential of a raft of new technologies – dubbed ‘Web 3.0’ - such as AI, the metaverse, blockchain, NFTs and other immersive realities. The GLoW3 programme also seeks to interrogate, understand and promote women, non-binary and trans contributions to screen-based media and art.

Helen Kennedy is Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Nottingham and she oversees the Virtual Immersive Production Studio. 

We are delighted to have been invited to collaborate on such a pioneering and important project. The critical theme around showcasing the innovate work undertaken by women, non-binary and trans artists pushing at the possibilities of these new technologies aligns with our ambitions for the VIP Studio. We will be launching our own international scheme of residencies later this summer and see this collaboration as an important step in evolving the research and innovation capabilities of the studio.
Professor Helen Kennedy, Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries

The programme will be led by Sarah Atkinson, Professor of Screen Media at King’s College London, who says: “I am delighted to be working with four accomplished artists who will produce a diverse range of works which speak to gender identity and technology and sit at the intriguing intersection between physical and digital realms. These works will make for a ground-breaking exhibition which will animate the canvas of the newly developed Strand/Aldwych space in very exciting ways!”

The four chosen artists are:

Yarli Allison, a Canadian-born, Hong Kongese art-worker based in the UK/Paris with an interdisciplinary approach that traverses sculpture, installation, CGI (VR/AR/3D modelling/game), moving-images, drawings, poetry, tattooing, and performances. Yarli’s recent works were exhibited at Tai Kwun Contemporary Museum (HK), LINZ FMR (Austria), FACT (Liverpool), Barbican Centre (London), Institute of Contemporary Arts: ICA (London), V&A Museum (London).

Yarli will develop a speculative (possible) future of a fictional city entirely made of Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs), harvested from blastocysts in the uterus. The research-based, multi-media project will explore the usage of biotech innovations to solve current issues on gender health / data gap, with an attempt to heal damaged ecologies. Audiences can access the world-building series via sculptural objects in relationship with digital screenings, sound art, and/or access interactive maps.

Rebecca Smith, an artist practicing under the name Urban Projections, who has been drawing lines between the natural world, art and technology for over 20 years. Smith’s practice centres around the natural environment and our place within it, aiming to reaffirm our connection to nature and each other. Often through the creation of large-scale immersive experiences, Rebecca has developed innovative methods for taking digital arts out onto the streets.

Rebecca's project 'Second Nature' is an outdoor, site-specific artwork which uses live environmental data to transform public space and give agency to audiences. Through the democratisation of data, it encourages us to explore our fragile relationship with the natural world, and the impact we have upon it.

Violeta Ayala, a multifaceted creator, spanning the roles of filmmaker, technologist, writer, and artist. Co-founding and, Violeta has been instrumental in driving innovative projects. In 2020, she became the first Quechua member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Currently, Violeta is working with character and metaverse creation through syntography, algorithmic art, and AI model training, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and artistic expression.

Weaving Ancestral Memory and AI, Violeta’s project ‘Las Awichas’, is an immersive/interactive Augmented Reality (AR) installation that honours and dignifies Violeta’s female Quechua ancestors by interlacing collective digital memory and the Neo-Andean Cosmovision, embracing the nonlinear concept of time inherent in Andean cultures. The experience combines eight physical AI-generated visual representations of grandmothers. The life-sized acrylic portraits serve as the heart of the installation, drawing viewers into the narrative, where each Awicha, corresponds to a unique Andean bird, brought to life through the motion-captured movements of dancers, music, and spatial sound.

Lisa Jamhoury, a Lebanese-American movement artist and programmer creating embodied, computational experiences. Rooted in contemporary circus and mindfulness, her practice includes interactive performances, installations, and websites that encourage a consensual, celebratory approach to humanity’s shared physicality. As an aerial acrobat, she has choreographed and performed across the United States. Supporters of her work include Ars Electronica, Meta Open Arts, NEW MUSEUM / NEW INC, and New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she completed her master’s degree and is an adjunct arts professor.

Situated at the threshold between physical and virtual worlds, Lisa’s project, ‘L’Entrée (The Opening)’ is the first work in a series of installations memorialising what of our humanity is lost, or possibly gained, as we pass into digital realms. On first blush, porcelain-esque objects that capture energy and movement, on closer inspection reveal a critique, asking how we choose who gets put on a pedestal, and how we can better represent and revere diversity in an increasingly virtual existence.

The artworks will feature in a hybrid exhibition in 2024, which will be physically located in the Bush House Arcade and Strand Aldwych but will also be accessible online.

Story credits

Images by Pat Brundell

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