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Art for an Ethical AI

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), ETH Zürich | Marie-France Rafael, Nora Al-Badri, Adrian Notz, Swetlana Heger-Davis

A conversation in two worlds

Technologies related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) play an increasing important role affecting all parts of present and future societies. While the benefit of AI is not put into question, it is essential to work towards a „trustworthy AI“. One key field of trustworthy AI is ethics, and this is where art also contributes essentially as a form of „critical thinking“.

What role can art play in building an ethical AI? This question will be answered from different perspectives during the panel „Art for an ethical AI – a conversation in two worlds“. Nora Al-Badri, multi-disciplinary and conceptual media artist and director of the AI+Art initiative at the ETH AI Center in Zurich, will address this question via insight into her work around (digital) colonialism and (techno) heritages.

Al-Badri as well as many other artists react to and critically reflect about new and emerging technologies, using them not just as a tool, but also this medium itself as a message. A new form of „spectacularization“ is created: spectators are part of the show and nurture it. Marie-France Rafael, tenure-track Professor at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Department Fine Arts, will then share her reflections on „contemporary spectacle in the algorithmic regime“.

The panel – co-organized by ZHdK and ETH Zurich in the framework of „Zurich Meets Berlin“ and the „Berlin Science Week“ – will be introduced by Swetlana Heger-Davis, Vice-President for Internationalisation and Head of the Fine Arts Department at ZHdK and moderated by Adrian Notz, curator at the ETH AI Center. The panel will be followed by a networking lunch.

PUBLIC DISCUSSION VIA LIVESTREAM AND ON-SITE AT THE CAMPUS. PLEASE REGISTER.

This event is hybrid and will take place as part of the Berlin Science Week CAMPUS’.

On-Site: Admission is free. Please reserve your one or two-day ticket here.

Digital: Shortly before the event begins, the stream will be made available on this site. Add the event to your favourites and receive a reminder via email.

Information about the physical accessibility of the Museum für Naturkunde can be found here. The New Normal Hall is located on the first floor and can be reached by lift.

About the Venue
CAMPUS
Invalidenstraße 43
Berlin, Berlin 10115 Germany

Tenure-Track Professor, Department of Fine Arts, ZHdK

Marie-France Rafael (born 1984 in Munich) is a tenure-track professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). She holds a PhD in art history; she studied art history and film studies in Berlin and Paris. From 2011 to 2015, she was a research associate at the Free University of Berlin and until 2019 at the Muthesius University Kiel, Department of Spatial Strategies/Curatorial Spaces. She is notably the author of Reisen im Imaginativ: Künstlerische Situationen und Displays (Travel in the Imaginary: Artistic Situations and Displays, 2017) and Ari Benjamin Meyers: Music on Display (2016).

Nora Al-Badri

ETH ZÜRICH

Director for AI+Art at the ETH AI Center Zurich

Nora Al-Badri is a multi-disciplinary and conceptual media artist with a German-Iraqi background. Her works are research-based as well as paradisciplinary and as much post-colonial as post-digital. She graduated in political sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main. Her practice focuses on the politics and the emancipatory potential of new technologies such as machine intelligence or data sculpting, non-human agency and transcendence. Al-Badri’s artistic material is a speculative archaeology from fossils to artefacts or performative interventions in museums and other public spaces, that respond to the inherent power structures. She has exhibited in major museums around the world.

Adrian Notz

ETH Zürich

Curator ETH AI Center

Adrian Notz is curator at the ETH AI Center, curator of the Art Encounters Biennial 2023 in Timisoara, mentor for the creative strategy and vision at the European Center for Contemporary Art in Cluj (ECCA), King of Elgaland-Vargaland, NSK Diplomat and Chevalier de la Tombe de Bakunin. From 2012-2019 he was artistic director of Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. He worked there first as a curatorial assistant and as co-director. From 2010 to 2015 he was head of the Department for Fine Arts at the School of Design in St. Gallen. Notz has organized and curated numerous exhibitions, events, conferences, actions and interventions with international artists, activists and thinkers in Cabaret Voltaire as well as internationally around the globe.

Vice-President for Internationalisation and Head of the Fine Arts Department at ZHdK

Swetlana Heger was born in the Czech Republic and grew up in Bregenz in Austria. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and subsequently completed postgraduate studies at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. After finishing her residence in Japan, Swetlana Heger lived and worked in the USA, where she started her artistic career with a focus on Conceptual Art. For over twenty years she has exhibited in numerous international museums, galleries and institutions. In 2012, Swetlana Heger was appointed as Professor of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts at Umeå University in Sweden, where she served as Pro Rector and Rector from 2014 to 2017. Since 2017, Swetlana Heger is Head of the Department of Fine Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), where she also serves as Vice-President for Internationalisation.

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