Circular Repetition – Venice Biennale 2019
Culture is a source of inspiration and education, and that is why humanity has kept and preserved it. Society conserves culture by constantly repeating traditions, values, rules, and rituals. However, society also understands the necessity of updating. Cultural development leads to optimizing processes by using new technologies. In a computer epoch, data becomes the crucial form of cultural communication instead of traditional narrative. Data is a complex of diverse information that is usually disorganized.
The installation employs data consisting of traditional ornaments. Using the latest state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms. Neural network computing system that processed more than 15.000 archived ornamental images from museums and libraries. It creates new unlimited combinations based on their similarities. “Circular Repetition“ creating imaginary patterns that didn’t exist so far.
Repetition is the precious data that we hold from our perspective. Therefore, it is no longer an individual idea of something we perceive; it’s also the traces we leave behind. However, perhaps with machine intelligence we can redefine the concept of repetition.
The installation’s visual component imitates traditional Azerbaijani patterns. As a result, viewers see how AI builds new alternatives. These alternatives have a synthetic nature that has nothing to do with the history of authentic ornament patterns. AI imitates and fakes a traditional learning process usually handed down from generation to generation. By accessing the data of authentic ornament images, AI becomes an independent master that can invent new ideas to update culture.
Besides symbols, AI generates new concepts and meanings. It blurs the boundaries between reality and the fake. These actions further prove cultural development, as non-human intelligence replaces traditional craft tools.
Executor: Heydar Aliyev Foundation
Premiered at: La Biennale di Venezia
TeamMachine Learning: Vadim Epstein
Generative Sound: Duganov Ilya
CuratorsEmin Mammadov & Gianni Mercurio
May 1, 2019