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the exquisite machine

co-creating speculative artifical and audiovisual entities

How can collaborative artwork and play bring us closer to machines and to each other?

• 20. September - 18. October 2021
• Online!
• Five-weeks, Mondays, 8-10PM CET
• Small class of participants


Pricing (For tickets click here)
Artist / Student (Full Time)
€175*

Freelancer
€195*

Professional
€215*

Generous Supporter Ticket
€255*

Solidarity ticket
Donation (Limited)*

*plus fees (VAT EU ONLY)


course
description

100 years ago surrealists invented the exquisite corpse game where each participant, much like a relay race, continues the action of the previous participant with a surprising reveal at the finish line. We will use this playful technique to co-create a speculative artifical and audiovisual entity, using machine learning (ML).

With each new AI and ML related paper the field is making significant advancements, while leaving a trace of shimmering examples and goodies behind, that tell tales of great futures. But, with such developments at this rate, it can be difficult to make sense of this creative ally/muse/friend, and how we can function together. Think of this program as an artistic exploration of the multiple fields that current developments touch upon, and an opportunity to weld them together into a collaborative art piece. We’ll not only learn how words, vocals and visuals can be generated but discuss why. In the end, artificial intelligence is very much designed by us, and dependant on our direct and indirect input.


course outline

Week 1:

In this first week, we'll take time to get to know each other. Additionally, we'll be presented with an overview of machine learning techniques, dataset collection, speculative design concepts, critical discourse, and a brief introduction to Playform.

Week 2:

In week two, we'll get into a deeper discussion and review of dataset collection. We'll begin initial training in Playform, have an brief introduction to GPT-2/J, and have conversations relating to manifests/words of importance for the future.

Week 3:

This week, we'll have a collective review of visuals and words created so far, with an attempt at making a beta version of the exquisite machine. We'll also have an introduction to Descript and Colab tools.

Week 4:

Week four is focused on further development, making the alpha version of our exquisite machine. This week, we'll also cover an introduction to EBSynth (optional to use).

Week 5:

In this final week together, we will be preparing the release candidate of the exquisite machine including presentation to the public.


who is this
class for?

This workshop is for those anyone involved in creative projects (artists, performers, architects, designers, makers, musicians, etc.) and the arts and humanities research communities that wish to begin incorporating machine learning techniques into their work or practice. This course approaches machine learning from an introductory level and we will not look deep into algorithms or programming, but instead gently stroll along the surface of what is available, and make use of what we find. Join if you’re new to the field of AI and ML, and would like to seriously kickstart your learning journey.


in this course you will be introduced to

  • Non-technical overview of machine learning concepts for text, video and audio synthesis.
  • Introduction to Playform, EBSynth, GPT-2/J (text synth), Colab and Descript tools.
  • How to effectively gather and prepare image datasets for machine learning using the browser, browser extensions and Python.
  • Hands-on individual and collaborative group work, building a collective online audiovisual piece.
  • Critical conversations on the role of the machine in artistic work, and ethics of generative art from an AI perspective.
  • Professional development for artists and creatives.

about live classes

Classes are 'live' meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback in case you are unable to attend for any reason. For specific questions, please email us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.


about tickets

Tickets for this class are currently available via Eventbrite. If you would like to avoid Eventbrite fees, please email us for direct payment options.


about vat

For tax purposes, we need to include the 19% VAT on top of ticket price for people living within the EU. IF YOU LIVE IN THE EU AND HAVE A VAT NUMBER— IT IS VAT ZERO! WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO HAVE AND PROVIDE THIS VAT TAX NUMBER. In order to utilise this feature at checkout, under Registration Type & Tax Receipt Information, select Business (which as a freelancer you technically are), then enter in your USt.ID. If you have any questions, feel free to email us.


about solidarity

We realise we're living in uncertain times. During this time, we are offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can solidarity tickets for this online class. These are reserved for women, POC, and LGBTQ+ who would otherwise be unable to attend. We are a small organisation with no outside funding and like many, we are also in survival mode and we ask you to consider this when making your donation. For more information, see the FAQ page here.

We kindly ask that all pay-what-you-can students register through Eventbrite. Due to reduced staffing, we’re unable to handle specific payment requests for these registrations.


meet the
instructor