Constructing Contexts

Curating the Art Galery of the Art Machines 2 Symposium

10.06.2021 – 20.06.2021

One of the key emerging ideas behind machine learning is the notion of generative adversarial networks, or GANs, where at least two neuronal networks are set in a competition, forming a framework of rules in which learning can take place. The more neuronal networks are involved, and the more references are presented to discriminate and learn from, the better and more complex the outcome.

However, one problem that arises in this scenario is the question of context. If a context is solely constructed around art, understood as technique and visual representation, then the result tends to be discussed and analyzed in terms of such a context. If the context of a painting, for instance, is only its visual reference, image quality, and the strokes of the paintbrush, then key aspects of what defines art as a search for questions of being may be ignored or even misunderstood. The visual output of an artwork cannot be neglected, yet it does not represent art alone.

Within the framework of the Art Machines 2 Symposium, the Art Gallery thus acts as a spatial condition, a field in which artworks are not seen on their own or showcased in a vacuum devoid of meaning and critical perspective. Instead, we bring together 27 artworks to form a context in which art is evolving and through which we can articulate further frames of understanding. This context, therefore, allows us to establish a new and more advanced discourse, one based less on stylistic mannerisms or medium, and more on how essential cultural questions and societal concerns can be re-evaluated and re-articulated through the lenses of emerging technologies and computational tools.

Though small in size, our “training set” in this exercise includes works of bio art, digital fabrication, sound art, style GANs, works concerned with the definition of landscape, nature and our global environment, explorations of new urban conditions, political realities in media art or the lack thereof, emotional and emancipatory relationships and, ultimately, what it means to be human within such contexts.


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Studio Tobias Klein is a practice operating in the ‘between’ of architecture; across the fields of art, installation, experimental design, interactivity, and sculpture.

Trained internationally as an architect, the work of Tobias Klein maintains a fascination with the construct of space, while questioning the modern image of its understanding, instigating a re-positioning between embodiment, perception and projection. The works constantly evolve between static and dynamic models, shifting from objects to installations and design, prospecting new visual territories in the field of narrated embodied space.

The work of the practice is linked to academic research at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong where Tobias Klein holds the position of Associate Professor. For inquiries regarding internships or Ph.D. research positions, please email: ktobias (at) cityu (dot) edu (dot) hk

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