Text reading "I return to earth" overlays AI-generated abstract background resembling painting

Artificial intelligence, poetry, and biology combine in this immersive outdoor art project.

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UrbanScreen at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre - 13458 107A Avenue

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In this audiovisual art project for UrbanScreen, pr0phecy sun, Freya Zinovieff, Gabriela Aceves-Sepúlveda, and Steve DiPaola—all artists and academic researchers at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Art and Technology—have collaborated on an immersive foray into the world of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven poetry.

Using machine learning algorithms, Body as Border: Traces and Flows of Connection expands the human form into digital space and mingles it with fragments of poetry, painting, and sound. Each artist examines the intersection between the body, technology, and the broader ecological world in which we live. Through a randomized, generative digital process, the work draws from bacterial cultures, documentation of the Fraser River, and fragments of poetry to produce a series of composite audiovisual landscapes. The resulting images and sounds chart humanity’s impact upon the environment, as well as our own porous relationship with both artificial and natural entities. Exploring the possibilities of these artist-developed technologies, Body as Border: Traces and Flows of Connection invites audiences to see, feel, and sense the world beyond the limits of the ordinary senses.

companion essay about Body as Border by curator, writer, and academic Shalon T. Webber-Heffernan, is available as part of the Surrey Art Gallery Presents publication series.

About the Artists

Steve DiPaola, working as a scientist and artist, uses computational models of creativity, cognition, and artificial intelligence to create generative and interactive art installations. He explores the uneasy interplay between what it means for humans to perceive and emote in a modern computer era. DiPaola’s art has been exhibited internationally at the A.I.R. and Tibor de Nagy galleries in NYC, Tenderpixel and LimeWharf galleries in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the MIT Museum, Cambridge University’s King’s Art Centre, and the Smithsonian. In 2021 he was elected to the College of New Scholars by the Royal Society of Canada.

Gabriela Aceves-Sepúlveda (Ph.D.) is a media artist and cultural historian with a research focus on feminist media art, aesthetics of interaction and research-creation. She is the author of the award-winning book Women Made Visible: Feminist Art and Media in post-1968 Mexico (Nebraska Press, 2019). She produces video installations, sculptures, digital projects, print media and live performances that investigate the body as a site of cultural, gendered and techno-scientific inscriptions. She directs the Critical Media Art Studio at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology in Simon Fraser University, and is a member of art/mamas, a Vancouver-based collective of artist mothers.

prOphecy sun (Ph.D.) is an interdisciplinary performance artist, queer, movement, video, sound maker, and mother. Her practice celebrates both conscious and unconscious moments and the vulnerable spaces of the in-between in which art, performance, and life overlap. Her recent research has focused on ecofeminist perspectives, co-composing with voice, objects, surveillance technologies, and site- specific engagements along the Columbia Basin region and beyond. She hosts Tapes and Beyond on Kootenay Co-op Radio and is the Arts Editor for Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities. She performs and exhibits regularly in local, national, and international settings, music festivals, conferences, and galleries and has authored several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and journal publications on sound performance and domestic spheres.

Freya Zinovieff underwent her MFA at University of New South Wales. She holds a first class honors degree from Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin. Her research looks at how sound can mediate relationships to landscapes in the Anthropocene age. She is interested by the potential for digital audio technologies to reimagine the narratives of digital media, deep, and cyclical conceptualizations of time, and how sonic art practices can explore human history and geo trauma. Freya has received multiple awards, including an Endeavour Scholarship, and has exhibited her research across the globe in various formats, including writing, choral singing, and curating.

Curator: Rhys Edwards
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery