Smart Hans wins Lab30 Award

 

Smart Hans” won the main jury prize of Augsburg’s renowned media arts festival Lab30. The jury consisting of Julia Holzmann, Andreas Muxel, Stefanie Sixt, Martin Spengler, and Karin Zwack highlighted the scientific rigor and social relevance as well as the intuitive accessibility of the interactive artwork.

 

“Smart Hans” is the artificially intelligent reincarnation of Clever Hans, the “mind-reading” horse that lived 100 years ago. The interactive installation shows an animated horse that can guess any number on your mind in real-time via posture recognition. This installation is fun to play with, but it is also a warning about public surveillance and automated decision making. Furthermore, the artwork is a literal manifestation of the Clever-Hans-Effect, which describes the core flaw of any AI model – the general impossibility to fully determine, on which data its decision was based.

 

 

 

During the four days of the Lab30 festival, “Smart Hans” was allowed to guess the number on the visitors’ minds more than 700 times. With a total amount of almost 200 correct guesses, our current AI model is performing significantly above chance. We are looking for partners to further train our models to hopefully reach an accuracy of 70 – 80 % like the original Clever Hans.

 

Team: Anja Borowicz Richardson (UK), Bruce Gilchrist (UK), Akshita Gupta (IND), Max Haarich (Artistic Lead / DE), Martina Huynh (NL), Asad Imtiaz (PAK), Muhammad Qasim Khan (PAK), Adrian Ludwig (DE), Pekka Ollikainen (FI), Raphael Pickl (DE)

 

Project Smart Hans was incubated during the Deepfake Masterclass at Baltan Laboratories  in Eindhoven (NL) under guidance of Ellen Pearlman (US) and Julien Deswaef (NL) from ThoughtWorks Art  as well as Leif Czakai (NL) from Baltan Laboratories. The project won the “Super Artistic AI Award” in the category “Interaction” and the jury’s main prize at Lab30 festival 2022.

 

Gefördert durch die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.

Užupis Embassy @ Haus der Kunst

 

It was all about money, trying to make money for the next show. We, the Munich embassy of the republic of Užupis, made some research on the problem of money. We found out that all nations are in debt. All nations without exception. So the question is, if everyone is in debt, whom do they owe this money? Who has all the money?

 

 

 

 

 

As Užupis was not even listed on the debts chart, maybe we have all the money and just did not notice? So to end this misery, we created emergency money in our local Už-EUR currency. During the offshore exhibition, we paid the debts of the world. Ambassador in colors H.E. Mykolas Kimtis and me provided each visitor emergency money in an amount equal do the visitor’s statistical debt per capita. In total we paid out more than 500K Už-EUR which equals 500K beers in our little republic. As such an liquidity flood would kill our little economy, we urged visitors not to spend the money in Užupis, but to immediately buy Užupis treasury bills instead. Problem solved.

More info: https://www.hausderkunst.de/ausstellungen/zu-gast-offshore-money-for-the-show

TeleNFT @ ART NFT Linz

 

Art NFT Linz presents an exhibition and artist talks to explore the story of the past, present, and future of digital art and NFTs. NFTs are neither dead nor without history.

 

John Gerrard | Jonas Lund | Mitchell F Chan | Operator | Manuel Rossner | Anne Spalter | Mario Klingemann | Lynn Hershman Leeson | TeleNFT | Organic Material | Unsigned | Kevin Abosch | Harm van den Dorpel | UBERMORGEN | Erwin Wurm | CryptoWiener | Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau

 

Curated by Anika Meier

More info: www.ooekultur.at/event-detail/art-nft-linz

 

 

 

 

TeleNFT @ Ars Electronica

“Teletext is Art” is a multimodal exhibition experience dedicated to 7 bit teletext art. The artworks are presented on air in ORF TELETEXT and ARD text, online at the Museum of Teletext Art, on chain as NFTs on the Tezos blockchain, and in real life at the Ars Electronica Festival 2022.

 

Watch the Austrian National News’ report about our exhibition.

The digital artworks will been contributed by the 15 international artists presented by TeleNFT, which, for the first time brought cryptoart into the teletext and teletext art onto the blockchain. The contributed works stand out for their deliberate use of medium and context. Teletext raises expectations: on the one hand, it raises aesthetic expectations of technically possible colors and resolutions. Some works play with this ironically by producing even lower levels of detail, sometimes at great expense. On the other hand, the teletext medium raises service expectations of information, news and entertainment. But instead of neutral information, a clear position is taken here; against nation-state wars, against the abortion policy of the USA, against the lies of the classical financial system. Instead of repeating the daily news, it specifically highlights the blind spots, such as mechanisms of monetary policy, which are usually hardly discussed on TV. And instead of illustrating sex hotlines, one prefers to offer entertainment in the form of eerie short stories.

Max Haarich & Gleb Divov

In cooperation with ORF, ARD, and Museum of Teletext Art

More info here: https://ars.electronica.art/planetb/de/teletext-is-art/

Online teletext viewer: https://teletext.orf.at/channel/orf1/page/560/1

7bit movements @ Deutsches Museum

During 1E9’s Festival der Zukunft at Deutsches Museum we exhibited our new 7bit movements NFT collection.“7bit movements” is an artistic investigation into the boundaries of visual perception. 13 international artists created short 7bit GIF animations to challenge our perception of movement.

At the festival we organized a workshop on how to create teletext art based on the Tius software by code artist and teletext OG Matthias Waldorf and boradcasted the results live on SAT.1 teletext.

More infos on 7bit movements: www.uzupis.de/7bit

 

Užupis Constitution @ Spazju Kreattiv

SAAI Factory is an art project initiated by the Hamburg-based artist Christoph Faulhaber. The performer, filmmaker, and author is known for his surprising, bold, and mind-boggling projects that address socially relevant issues and institutional critique. In 2021, SAAI Factory conducted a symposium, a workshop program and an international interdisciplinary hackathon.

The presentation of SAAI Factory is a comprehensive collaborative approach presenting the whole ecosystem: the award winners, selected projects from the competition, accompanied by works from associated members, partners and collaborators. The exhibition is showcasing artworks along the intersection of Art and AI enabling to view the interactive human-machine-process. While questioning “art” as a merely human product SAAI is offering an act of rethinking, rewriting, reorienting.

More infos: https://www.kreattivita.org/en/event/saai-factory-exhibition-on-art-and-ai/

Curatorial Note on “Dawn of the Metaverse”

by Max Haarich & Gleb Divov

 

The temporary gallery “Dawn of the Metaverse” offers a glimpse into the world of NFT-based digital art as well as an outlook on the technological possibilities of Web 3.0 and the social vision of the metaverse.

 

The term “metaverse” originates from the science fiction novel “Snow Crash” by Neil Stephenson” and describes the idea of completely virtual parallel worlds created by hackers, into which we humans can enter more and more immersively. Today, the term metaverse is applied to a variety of 3D digital architectures created by artists, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO), and even global sporting goods corporations. Many metaverses seem visually outdated compared to current computer games, but technological advances are enabling increasingly realistic experiences through increasingly complex online interaction capabilities but also through increased physical experiences e.g. through haptic feedback. Currently, the most important driver of the metaverse concept is probably the link with blockchain technology. It enables the convenient management of online profiles, but most importantly, it allows digital property to be claimed and traded in the form of NFTs.

 

For the temporary gallery “Dawn of the Metaverse”, we choose five digital artists each to highlight different aspects of metaverses with NFT-based works. For example, they address questions such as: What are metaverses? How are they created? What are they made of? What do they mean for us as people and society?

 

 

Artworks

Gleb Divov’s work “Messier 87” provides the cosmic reference frame of the metaverse concept. His work uses NASA sound data of the black hole “Messier 87” to create a visual image that is superior in detail to most optical representations. This work, for one, puts the visual focus of most metaverse projects into perspective. However, the world consists of more than light waves and metaverses offer the possibility to integrate further information into our visible architecture. At the same time, the work shows with what great degree of imprecision and ignorance we still face our own universe, while we are already trying to build universes or metaverses ourselves. His second work “Feel the artificial thought (triangle)” is an animation of digitally generated image motifs generated with artificial intelligence: one recognizes the fluid transition from heart to brain and/or vice versa. The work shifts the focus to the constitutive role of the visitor of the respective metaverse. The potential of the metaverse technology is presented as a function of the physical and mental constitution of the visitor, whose active participation appears as an indispensable prerequisite of the metaverse.

 

From artist sp4ce we show “Tile #20 (“Decentralized Mona”)“, which is part of an international collaboration project. The work proclaims the dilution of classical notions of value in the realm of art and culture. Instead of historical provenance, short-term crypto-financial usability now counts. The face of the Mona Lisa is obscured by the logo of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The brand symbol has the function of sunglasses at the same time and is a fashion accessory actually traded as NFT for avatars in the metaverse. Culture consumption becomes consumer culture.

 

Betty Menu’s works “VORTEX SKYTRIAL #1” and “Vortex // WaterMovement” draw the viewer into a vortex of visual stimuli that must be deciphered. These video loops allude to the tension between attractiveness and aloofness of the artificially created metaverses. The optical impressions invite the eyes to rest, while the partly synthetic partly natural parts urge constant reinterpretation. This attempt, however, comes to nothing and gets lost in the infinity of repetition. This addresses a constitutive difference between real and virtual worlds: while we can examine the real world ever more precisely and accurately, the virtual world is limited by computing power, at which point the immersive experience ends.

 

Max Haarich’s work “Urinal” is a teletext page mined as NFT that was broadcast on SAT.1. The urinal, rendered in clearly digitized 7bit graphics, references Duchamp’s work “Fountain.” Just as Duchamp showed over 100 years ago that anything can be a work of art, NFTs today show that anything can be a digital asset – even a teletext page. His second work, “It’s Love O’Clock“, is a charity NFT for Ukraine. It is a special edition “pixel chronometer” a collection of binary, trinary, quaternary and quinary coded timepieces consisting of only a few pixels. This collection is an experiment on the metaphysics of the metaverse. It shows how a fully functional timepiece could look like, in a world where energy and information are ubiquitous, and material and dimensions are only fiction. This special edition is binary coded in blue and yellow and starts every full hour with the red letters “LV” as a reminder that love is the strongest weapon.

 

From the CryptoWiener we show on the one hand “Oida!” from the series “Pixelrebellen”. In the animation, which is only a few pixels in size, a figure can be seen raising a sign with the inscription “Oida“. The figure invites you to emulate her without copying her. It offers a template, a model to become active oneself. This image manifests the revolutionary spirit of many NFT communities, who are currently trying out new ideas of society both in reality and in metaverses. That these speculations and explorations do not run in isolation from each other is evidenced by CryptoWiener’s second work, “The Fluffy Krapfen“. This 3D rendering of a very roughly pixelated doughnut is mined as an NFT. The owner of the NFT not only receives the rendering, but also five doughnuts from a Viennese bakery every Shrove Tuesday for life. This work reminds us that every virtual metaverse always exists in a real universe and should be developed as an extension rather than a competition to each other.

 

Tatjana Lee’s works “Meta Reality Genesis” and “Evolution Cycle: New Horizons” specifically use optical illusions to create physically non-existent images. Her two works embody the essence of the immersive experience in the metaverse. Without leaving our physical world, the works allow us to open a second level of experience created solely by our minds and only for us individually. Everyone can reach this level, but no one can meet on this level. Are metaverses in the sense perhaps also anti-social worlds, which only pretend a community? How much sensuality does the belief in a shared reality require? The two works play with the dualism of body and mind and their constitutive role for our experience of reality. While in “Meta Reality Genesis” a human face is turned into the perceptual matrix of the universe, in “Evolution Cycle: New Horizons” the infinite flow of passing clouds becomes the input factor of the just created private reality.

 

Michael Förtsch uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create his works. AI is also a very relevant technology for Metaversen because it solves a scalability problem: the more metaverses there are, the more needs to be created and designed. Artificial intelligence will in the long run be able to create complete worlds starting from a simple voice command. Michael Förtsch’s work can be seen here as a test of this creative power, not only from an aesthetic point of view, but even more from a semantic perspective: Does an AI understand humans well enough to be able to design on our behalf? This is tested in the work “Am I non fungible?” while his work “Portal to Another World” is asking in a different direction: Does AI understand who we are, what makes us tick, and what a desirable new world for humans would look like?

 

Primal Cypher focuses on the political and social aspects of metaverses. In an aesthetic that seems to echo the progress-propagandist comics of the 1960s, he draws motifs that are at the same time decorative paintings and activist pamphlets: “DON’T LET THEM CONTROL YOU!” is a clear warning against the power of technology. The more we use it, the more usable we become. His second work “THE GREAT DESIRE (unique Satoshi Tribute Edition)” is additionally a warning against ourselves, against our desires and cravings, with which we gain pleasure in the short term, but surrender to ruin in the long term, if we don’t find the right balance.

 

Juliane Kahl Devotes herself to extended meaning of fashion and clothing in the metaverse. In the metaverse, no one wears just anything because he or she is cold. Every piece of clothing thus has an even stronger effect as a statement. The work “Ukrainian Fashion XR” goes one step further. The 3D model of a Ukrainian costume is not only a visible sign of support for Ukraine, it is the support itself. Via smart contract, sales commissions are automatically donated to aid organizations: Wearing is caring. Her second work “Data Enabled Short Range Mobility – DESRM – Speculative Sound of the City” illustrates the new freedom and expanded creative space in the metaverse, which is no longer subject laws of nature. In such metaverses, shoes do not make physically determined sounds either. How a shoe sounds becomes a conscious decision and at the same time a personal identifier worth protecting.

NFT Gallery Opening

 

“Dawn of the Metaverse” is Germany’s first gallery exclusively presenting NFT-based art. It will be opened on 7 May in the heart of Munich, in the Donisl-Passage at Marienplatz 1.

Curators Max Haarich (DE) and Gleb Divov (LT) will show works by local and international digital artists from May 7 – June 26, 2022. The selected and regularly changing works demonstrate the medial range of NFT-based art. In terms of content, the artists deal, among other things, with the utopia and dystopia of completely virtualized living worlds, so-called metaverses.

Further info here.

Užupis Embassy @Galerie der KünstlerInnen

Užupis Embassy @Galerie der KünstlerInnen

Munich Ambassador H.E. Max Haarich installed his Embassy of the Republic of Užupis as part of the group exhibition “Die ersten Jahre der Professionalität 41” in Bavaria’s Galerie der KünslterInnen. In his room, H.E. Max Haarich’s shows central cultural cultural artifacts of his work from the past 5 years including the Munich version of the Užupis constitution, the Užupis Principles for Trustworthy AI design, but also new works like the Užupis Republic Treasury Bill, a collaboration with the Hungarian painter Zsuzsa Gyetvai, as well as the embassy dog Sunny Capitolina created by Steffanie Oberhoff.

The topics of this exhibition center around the technological and financial instruments that shape our society. While some works refer to artificial intelligence and shall serve as an impulse for the policy debate, other works are meant as direct paradox interventions: the embassy offers to pay the world’s debts by issuing emergency money to visitor’s according to their calculated personal debt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inside of the inflatable dog Sunny Capitolina offers enough room for the embassy office. Visitor’s are welcome to meet H.E. Max Haarich to announce their citizenship or get to know Otto the Octopus. The exhibition is open from 12 APR to 8 May. More info here.

 

NFT Art Event at Shopping Village Ingolstadt

NFT Art Event at Shopping Village Ingolstadt

The shopping destinations Wertheim Village and Ingolstadt Village organized a press event to celebrate the new exterior designs by Australian artist Karan Singh on 7 Apr. During this press event Dr. Anette Doms hosted a discussion panel about the NFT and the future of digital art with gallerist Benjamin Eck, fashion influencer Fiona Dinkelbach and Užupis ambassador H.E. Max Haarich.

Here is the full press release (in German): https://www.lifepr.de/inaktiv/value-retail-management-germany-gmbh/ingolstadt-village-und-wertheim-village-begruessen-karan-singh-ein-gespraech-ueber-die-verschmelzung-von-digitaler-und-analoger-kunst/boxid/894865