Trials & Errors, Romantso, Athens, GR, 2021

Group Show | 27 November – 22 December 2021

The Trials & Errors exhibition at Romantso explores the social and aesthetic implications of artificial intelligence. Five Greek artists try out and challenge artificial environments, classification systems, and ways of thinking that are being shaped by machine learning and AI applications.

What does a reality-based more and more on artificial intelligence really mean? How autonomously do artificial systems operate? What kind of worlds does machine learning encourage, and how accessible and open are they?

Considering the impact of artificial intelligence applications in different fields –for instance, in art, communication, health and the natural environment–, the participating artists focus on the relationship of humans to intelligent systems both as designers and as users. They are particularly looking into the process of machine training, the role that errors play in their constant optimization and their potential effects on humans. Purposely adopting a trial and error approach,  the artists appropriate the work ethic of the tech industry. Possible errors, failures, and flaws are employed as a means of understanding automation processes while datasets, motion capture software and gaming platforms are the raw material of their projects.

Theodoros Giannakis develops a DIY tool of artificial intelligence with an uncanny human-like figure that evolves autonomously in real time. Maria Varela explores the influence of synthetic data and mathematical predictions on the female body through her own experiences and classifications. Yorgos Papafigos creates eerie devices-collectors combining industrial toxic waste and organic matter. Theoklitos Triantafyllidis creates handmade datasets and hints at the algorithmic bias of automated systems. Eva Papamargariti reveals the difficulties of a human-like swarm of avatars to imitate human intelligence.

The worlds that the artworks reveal are unexpected, heterogeneous and controversial. Contrary to the promises of the AI industry, nothing is predetermined or fixed. As artificial intelligence systems remain largely obscure and opaque, artists' explorations and experimentations suggest alternative ways to navigate and interpret this new form of knowledge.

Artists: Theodoros Giannakis, Yorgos Papafigos, Eva Papamargariti, Theo Triantafyllidis, Maria Varela
Curated by Daphne Dragona & Katerina Gkoutziouli