Creative Work as Adversary : The AI and Machine Art of Alexander Reben

The Urban Arts Media Art Gallery at Emerson College and Boston Cyberarts are pleased to present an exhibition of the artificial intelligence (AI) art of Alexander Reben.

Creative Work as Adversary : The AI and Machine Art of Alexander Reben presents a new, cutting-edge exhibit examining the connections between the worlds of artificial intelligence, robotics, and art. Curated by George Fifield, director of Boston Cyberarts, the exhibit features the work of Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained roboticist and artist Alexander Reben, who explores humanity through the lens of art and technology.

Reben defines his work as “art as experiment,” using tools such as artificial philosophy, synthetic psychology, perceptual manipulation, and technological magic. The exhibit includes oil paintings created when AI combines words to generate a new image; thought-rendered prints created when the artist’s thoughts on specific phrases are interpreted by an art-generating algorithm; AI misfortunes or prints chosen by the artist that represent AI-learned philosophy creation from fortune cookies; as well as videos, images of AI-generated handwriting, and a sculpture that speaks in AI-generated languages.

“Viewers will have many opportunities to discover the interconnectivity of art and artificial intelligence. This work helps us not only understand who we are, but also to consider who we will become,” said artist Alexander Reben. “I am thrilled to share these works with the Emerson community, Boston, and beyond.”

“Reben’s work probes the inherently human nature of artificial intelligence and our inevitable co-development with artificial creations,” said curator George Fifield.

Reben’s artwork and research have been shown and published internationally, including The Vitra Design Museum and the MAK Museum Vienna, and he is a consultant for major companies guiding innovation for the social machine future. Reben has built robots for NASA, and is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab, where he studied human-robot symbiosis and art. He has lectured at TED, SXSW, Google, University of California Berkeley, School of the Museum of Fine Arts Tufts, and MIT, among others. He is a 2016-2017 WIRED innovation fellow, a Stochastic Labs Resident, and a recent visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley Psychology department.

The exhibit opens Thursday, February 14, with a reception from 5-7 p.m., and runs through Sunday, April 14 at the Emerson Urban Arts Gallery, which is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. Reben will host a gallery walkthrough on Sunday, March 3, at 4 p.m. The gallery is located at 25 Avery Street in Boston.