February 13, 2018 - Frankfurter Kunstverein - I am here to learn
February 13, 2018

Frankfurter Kunstverein

Zach Blas & Jemima Wyman, im here to learn so :)))))), 2017. Courtesy of the artists.

I am here to learn
On Machinic Interpretations of the World
February 15–April 8, 2018

Opening: February 14, 7–10pm, Speakers: Dr. Ina Hartwig (City of Frankfurt), Franziska Nori (Director), Mattis Kuhn (Curator)

Frankfurter Kunstverein
Steinernes Haus am Römerberg
Markt 44
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm,
Thursday 11am–9pm

T +49 69 2193140
F +49 69 21931411

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Participating artists: Zach Blas & Jemima Wyman, Dries Depoorter, Heather Dewey-Hagborg & Chelsea E. Manning, Jake Elwes, Jerry Galle, Adam Harvey, Esther Hovers, Yunchul Kim, Gregor Kuschmirz, Noomi Ljungdell, Trevor Paglen, Fito Segrera, Oscar Sharp with Ross Goodwin & Benjamin, Shinseungback Kimyonghun, Patrick Tresset

Curated by: Mattis Kuhn / Co-curator: Franziska Nori

The thematically organized group exhibition I am here to learn addresses adaptive algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI). The exhibition focuses on perception and interpretation as human qualities, which machines can acquire through learning procedures. The Frankfurter Kunstverein will present international artists, whose work thematizes the processes involved in machine perception and autonomous action.

Artificial intelligence is all around us. Other and foreign, we nevertheless share a common environment: at work, on the Internet, or in the connected, private home. The rapid development of computer technology, progress in the field of robotics, and a new generation of self-teaching systems are currently in a position to change numerous areas of life. Algorithms optimize online-dating and make transactions in financial systems, robots assume the roles of nurses, and adaptive learning systems navigate our cities’ infrastructures. The progressive expansion of the ability of machines to perceive, interpret, and autonomously act will cause a restructuring of fundamental sections of society: from maintaining privacy in coexistence with smartphones and interactive speech assistants, to automated systems used to assess other people and linked to insurance and credit systems, to fighting crime, all the way to a new judicial conception of responsibility and liability. The increasing use of robots and autonomous weapons systems in war has sparked a debate about ethical boundaries. Which human traits and behaviours do we want to assign machines, which are we able to, and where do we draw the line?

Intelligent systems are defined by their ability to not only passively register their surroundings, but also actively interpret them. But an interpretation is never objective. Does an artificial agent have the ability to engage in interpretation from its own point of view? Does an intelligent system have consciousness or a sense of self? Does a machine develop its own image of the world? And how much autonomy do we want to grant them now and in the future? The artistic stances on display at Frankfurter Kunstverein occasion consideration of these matters and present key components of the contemporary debate.

The exhibition I am here to learn: On Machinic Interpretations of the World investigates art’s role in a field influenced by specialist technicians, market interests, and increasingly privatized research, which, in turn, influence and alter numerous sections of our society. What does the phrase “I am” mean, if it comes from a machinic entity? What does “I am here” mean, if artificial intelligence has no body through which to position itself in the world?


Frankfurter Kunstverein is permanently supported by: Kulturamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main, Nordisk Büro, Anwaltskanzlei Heymann, Frankfurter Sparkasse 1822

Frankfurter Kunstverein
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