Hugo Scurto, 2020
online installation, generative AI, personal data
On a web page, an oval map continually streams noise sounds and images generated by two deep neural networks. These deep nets were deliberately cracked by myself, using eight years of personal audiovisual archives collected with my smartphone to create low-quality datasets from which the networks would fail to learn. The meditative experience of this perpetual and distributed flow of neural noise invites critical reflection on AI technology in relation to musical expression. On the one hand, the standardized, anonymized, and automated music production processes enabled by deep learning networks could be adopted by mainstream streaming platforms, continuing their eroding of economic bonds between musicians and the public by dematerialising norms of music listening and consumption. On the other hand, the symbolic and aesthetic interpretations of AI-generated media remain in the hands of people, with musicians regaining power over their data, and communities producing cultural value from the new musical experiences. Rather than as an inescapable technology horizon, ciel intends to situate AI within such political struggle for sustainable musical expression.
The project was partly developed in a residency at Le Cube, in collaboration with the w.lfg.ng collective.
Online installation at NIME 2020