17th && 18th of November 2021
18:00 - 21:00
Domgasse 1, 1.OG
10th => 19th of November 2021
Mo => Fri | 10:00 - 18:30
Domgasse 1, EG
|Building the Zombie Cloud|
12th => 13th of November 2021
12:00 - open End
19th November 2021
14:00 - 18:00
Conversations with Computers is a 2-day Symposium organized by the net culture initiative servus.at in cooperation with the Department of Time-based Media of the University of Art and Design Linz. The symposium addresses contemporary artistic research in the field of AI, focusing on new languages that emerge between humans and machines, but also how work and communication are facilitated through technological means. The discursive event is accompanied by two workshops and an exhibition of artistic works produced during the Silicon Friends Camp, a 5-days retreat with 15 artists in the austrian alps that took place last summer.
Conversations with Computers is a 2-day Symposium organized by the net
culture initiative servus.at in cooperation with the Department of
Time-based Media of the University of Art and Design Linz. The
symposium addresses contemporary artistic research in the field of AI,
focusing on new languages that emerge between humans and machines, but
also how work and communication are facilitated through technological
When we talk about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning today, we must not forget the enormous amount of human labor that is hidden in seemingly autonomous systems. Behind every computer program are an immense amount of people who make it possible, and whose presence, in most cases, stays hidden behind the interface. Moreover, these AI systems are built upon an extractivist logic that inherits and reproduces harmful social biases in their statistical weights. Artists, critical designers, and researchers are playing a central role in excavating AI systems by exposing the work that flows into the creation of large datasets and their refinement.
By stepping back and exploring the codes and symbols we use to create instructions for machines, artists and programmers are fundamentally questioning the desire for efficiency embedded within the act of programming computers. What is discussed under the label of 'Esoteric programming languages' breaks away from the norms of computing and create novel languages and styles with strange syntax and twisted logic. Within these fringes of programming languages, we can find a desire to untangle and obfuscate the building blocks of human-computer interaction, while critical code studies are articulating discourse around feminist, decolonial, indigenous, and queer approaches to AI and the Human.
With forthcoming large language models, new conversational agents are emerging, which distill scraped websites into stochastic parrots. They lead to advancements, which enable more natural forms of interaction between humans and computers.
A look into the future suggests that we will soon be living with anthropomorphized computers, which are designed with an obedient personality that mimics empathy and emotion. Current models of voice computer interfaces already simulate personalities to gain a user’s trust. Designers are optimizing for approachability, efficiency, and by all means, to avoid friction. Yet, at the fringes of computation, we can find points of friction, and exploitation, but also new experiments and poetic communication.
Taking examples from esolangs and analytical design practices, how do we envision new critical interfaces between humans and machines? How do we navigate through our increasingly computational environments with our silicon-based friends?
10th–19th November 2021
Opening 10th November 2021, 18:00
Opening time: Monday-Friday 10:00-18:30
& Belinda Sykora),
For participation in presence a 3G proof (vaccinated, recovered, tested) as well as a registration in our form is necessary. The number of participants is limited. Participants are asked to wear a mask during the workshop.
Building the Zombie Cloud
12th-13th November 2021
from 2pm, open end (both days)
Hardware Hacking Workshop with Chipp Jansen
register now Max 10 participants.
The world is becoming littered with old mobile phone discarded as “upgrade” culture entices us to the shiny latest thing and obsolete Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets which turn into useless plastic bricks when their dependent cloud services go dark as the start-up fails and goes bankrupt. In addition, while manufacturers are increasingly locking and securing the devices we have “purchased”, the right to repair movements aim to re-use these electronics in new and surprising ways. The first step towards this culture of circular use is to be able to re-purpose a device for general purpose computation. In this “hardware hacking” workshop, we will look at a typical IoT internet security camera and discover how to talk to it and re-program it for our own customised uses. The spirit of this workshop is to also to generate ideas for an eventual system for combining discarded electronics into a re-usable general purpose computational system. No previous hardware or software “hacking” experience is necessary for this step-by-step workshop, and all the necessary supplies will be provided.
Chipp Jansen is a PhD candidate in Robotics at King's College London researching human-robotic interaction in in visual arts. In the past, he has worked as a creative computing consultant and interdisciplinary artist in the areas of data visualisation, information aesthetics, interactive installation, and computational architecture. Previous projects include exhibiting a light-enhanced sculpture (Tampa Public Mood Ring), a cartographic Rorschach generator for Turbulence.org’s Net Art Commission (Invisible Influenced), and experimental fabrication research involving carbon fibre architectural composites. In addition, he has taught students of computer science, fine arts and architecture in the US and in the UK, most recently at Brunel University and King's College London.
19th November 2021, 14:00-18:00
Zeitbasiertes Wohnzimmer 4.OG
“Serving sounds” - A listening session and compositional workshop
with Ekheo The server room is a place carrying other seemingly
endless digital spaces. We can experience it as a trace of online
files and data it stores. How does this mysteriously layered space
sound? Is there a way to give it a sonic materiality through the way
we listen to it? This is what we would like to attempt with you in
this workshop. Divided in two parts, we will do a guided listening
session in the morning and produce a collective sonic composition in
What do you need? For the morning listening session: Paper and pens of your choice For the Afternoon production session: A computer with a DAW and headphones (audacity is free for mac and windows)