Bringing together diverse artists telling their stories using AI, a tool that itself, acknowledges its shortcomings in understanding them.
Feral File is pleased to announce In/Visible, a group show curated by Linda Dounia featuring work by Adaeze Okaro, Afroscope, Arclight, Jah., Minne Atairu, Moonsundiamond, Nygilia, Rayan Elnayal, Serwah, and Zoe Osborne. This important group of artworks explores AI’s inherent biases, its mis-conceptualization, and its misrepresentation of humanity as a whole. Launching Monday, June 12, 2023.
In Blonde Braids Study II (above), Jah. examines the ways in which the text-to-image algorithm—Midjourney (v4)—renders a portrait of Black identical twins adorned with blonde braids. The resulting image underscores significant gaps in the training data, which inevitably precipitates a flattened representation of the Black identity outlined in the text prompt. Instead, the algorithm generates an interpretation that evokes the semblance of fraternal twins, their hair styled in blonde, permed waves.
“Any Black person using AI today can confidently attest that it doesn’t actually know them, that its conceptualization of their reality is a fragmentary, perhaps even violent, picture. In a world where AI’s understanding of humanity is as vast and layered as humanity itself, the human hands engineering its sentience and feeding it with data must recognize that their biases are logical by-products of the way they see and make sense of the world. That their biases are reflected in what/where/how they measure.
Black people are accustomed to being unseen. When we are seen, we are accustomed to being misrepresented. Too often, we have seen our realities ignored, distorted, or fabricated. These warped realities, often political instruments of exclusion, follow us around like shadows that we can never quite shake off. Still, like anyone, we crave to be visible. We want the world to hold space for our humanity. This exhibition brings together artists who are defiantly visible, telling their stories using AI, a tool that, itself, acknowledges its shortcomings in understanding them. “While my training data includes information about black cultures and people, it is essential to recognize that my understanding is limited by the quality, diversity, and biases present in the data.” – ChatGPT 4.” Curator, Linda Dounia.
June 12, 2023
Rayan Elnayal is a Sudanese artist/designer based in London. Using her architectural background, she visualizes and speculates on fictional spaces. She is interested in how magic realist techniques can aid in the production of futuristic narratives in Sudan, the SWANA region, and its diaspora. Since graduating from the University of Greenwich, Elnayal's work has been featured in several publications and two solo exhibitions in Central London. She has also acted as a guest critic and guest speaker on topics relevant to architectural design, digital art, and diversity. Moonsundiamond is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is marked by color, the expressiveness of the line, and the brut treatment of form, depicting a reality in the unreal, in dreams, and unplaces.
Jah. is a bold and visionary filmmaker and visual artist from Brooklyn, now based in Los Angeles, whose work explores themes of digital identity, intrapersonal conflict, and future worlds. His artwork has been exhibited in prestigious venues such as Mass Appeal, Brooklyn Museum, and SXSW, as well as in acclaimed exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris. Jah is also a leading artist in the web3 space, recognized for collaborations with renowned artists like Latashá, and has sold his works on cutting-edge platforms like Zora, Foundation, Rarible, Known Origin, and Superrare. Jah is also a TIMEPieces artist for Time magazine, further pushing boundaries and cementing his status as a premier artist.
Minne Atairu is an interdisciplinary artist whose research-based practice seeks to reclaim the obscured histories of Benin Bronzes. Utilizing generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and additive fabrication, Atairu reassembles visual, sonic, and textual fragments into conceptual works that engage with repatriation-related questions. Atairu has exhibited and performed at the Harvard Art Museums, Boston (2022); Markk Museum, Hamburg (2021); SOAS Brunei Gallery University of London, London (2022); Microscope Gallery, New York (2022); and GRANTEE PROJECT PAGE—DRAFT Fleming Museum of Art, Vermont (2021). She is the recipient of the 2021 Lumen Prize for Art and Technology (Global Majority Award)
Adesola Yusuf (Arclight) is a visual explorer from Lagos, Nigeria. The visually expressive form of his works takes inspiration from highly detailed Renaissance art to the overly ornate Baroque and Rococo styles to modern minimalist, pop, and internet art. Zoe Osborne is a Toronto-based artist and designer from Barbados. Her work has a focus on Caribbean symbolism and narratives and explores homesickness in the Caribbean Diaspora. Zoe has showcased digital animations in Toronto, New York, Barbados, and Dubai, as well as on the NFT platform SupperRare. She holds a BA in interior design from Toronto Metropolitan University and was a creator in Elevate’s inaugural NFT Residency Program in Toronto.
Afroscope (Nana Isaac Akwasi Opoku) is an artist and designer from Tema, Ghana, who makes art that is often rooted in a diversity of Afrikan worldviews and cosmogonies. The Yoruba concept of Ashè, the Nguni Bantu philosophy of Ubuntu, and the Akan Adinkra symbology are some examples of his early, enduring influences. His work typically exudes strong surrealist leanings with afro-futurist undertones, as it asks and responds to questions such as: Who could we become if we remembered who we were? Where could we go if we remembered where we came from? What alternate realities and futures could we create if we knew our various pasts? The genesis of his formal art practice largely coincides with the peak of his disillusionment with colonially programmed norms, particularly within the spheres of education, religion, nutrition, society, and selfhood. Thus, art-making has become a way for Nana to investigate and synthesize the alternative modes of being he continues to encounter on his ongoing journey to “decolonize imagination.” In essence, his work currently attempts to deconstruct normative reality and challenge popular tropes about Afrika(ns) by imagining transcendental visual narratives that usually comprise otherworldly beings, speculative dreamscapes, and peculiar forms. Nana straddles the worlds of myth, mystery, and automatism in his work. Ultimately he sees his art as portals into a multiverse of realities, and also as a form of cosmic play.
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"I wish more people understood Web3 = ownership and community."