Title of presentation:
Embodying Artificial Intelligems, Ornamutations, and Ornamisms - A Glossary of emerging Jewellery Phenomena in the Phygital Age.
Anneleen Swillen is a postdoctoral researcher at PXL-MAD School of Arts and Hasselt University (BE). As a tutor within PXL-MAD’s Jewellery Design, Gold- and Silversmithing department, she guides students with developing their artistic/designer practices as contemporary jewellery and object makers through various projects. Additionally, she teaches jewellery history together with jewellery artist and doctoral researcher Charlotte Vanhoubroeck. Through collaborative projects, experimental presentations, and creative writing, among other, Swillen explores how jewellery is made, presented, and experienced in a (post-)digital, and predominantly visual, culture. What it means to be human is shifting through the ubiquitous implementation of digital technologies, consequently impacting notions of jewellery and bodies. More specifically, Swillen is curious about how jewellery might evolve within the age of A.I. Together with Greg Scheirlinckx (composer, sound engineer and programmer), she founded Artificial Intelligems to explore the immense potential as well as possible threats posed by algorithms that have a major, albeit often mysterious or even invisible, influence on many facets of life. By experimenting with Machine Learning, a form of A.I. that is fascinating because of its ability to self-learn through data, Swillen aims to co-create with more-than-human intelligent systems. What insights might this foster for jewellery as a discipline and discourse? In collaboration with an A.I. and a growing number of jewellery artists and designers (124 at the moment of writing), Artificial Intelligems explores Machine Learning as a mediating technology between humans and nonhumans with the aspiration to envision a new jewellery species. How do the algorithmically generated, seemingly supernatural, constantly meta-morphing Ornamutations and Ornamisms change our perspective on themes such as wearability, human-centered design, manufacturing processes, materiality, value, or authorship? How to embody these digitally generated pieces? Do material jewellery pieces become superfluous when anything can be imagined virtually, or can they offer an urgent response, something to hold on to, in accelerating digital, and potentially disconnected, societies? By co-engineering jewellery with self-learning algorithms, Swillen aims to generate a better understanding of these dominating technologies while she questions what we, as humans in the 21st century, might learn from working-with them. Speculating about hybrid jewellery and bodies, malleability through digital technologies, and the roles of artists and designers in a technocentric society, Swillen ultimately envisions what posthuman jewellery can be.