Colin Ives: Generative Landscapes

Generative Landscapes

Colin Ives
[ United States / Canada]

We live at a time where there are a set of predictive calculations occurring for any given action. This might be most obviously when we are online and as a result of data mining highly targeted ads appear. But predictive analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence is already being deployed throughout all levels of our social structure, from policing and medicine to models of climate change. The sheer persuasive utility of these AIs underwrite particular the logics of their practice. The amplification of the value of functionality accounts for their ever-increasing deployment even in the face of known problems such as the way in which they can retain or extend cultural bias. In this context using AI in a non-functional way is an act of resistance.

The video works included in The Earth, Our Home: Art, Technology and Critical Action are based on movement through three landscapes. The work acknowledges how our expansive technologies have led to crises; yet its aim is restorative. The AI algorithm, trained on original footage I shot of these landscapes, generates new sequences by predicting and adding new frames. The spatial trajectory of the source footage troubles the AI’s process of “understanding” patterns of relation. The resulting videos have an animate sense of desynchronization, an aesthetic strategy that reveals the co-presence of multiple durations, temporalities, and tempos. The representational drift evokes upheavals in geological time, an ever-changing reshaping: destruction, renewal: vibrancy. We’ve tried to contain the natural world, to dam its living rivers and stop its fluctuations, but here they’re set adrift in the unresolved contingencies of our times. Comfort and crises. 

  • Medium: Ai Generated Video
  • Year Produced: 2021

Colin Ives

University of Oregon, Art & Technology and Affiliate Faculty Ecological Studies

Colin Ives is a media artist whose creative practice operates within a nexus of overlapping cultural categories, including art, technology, and ecology. He uses technology never as an end in itself, never an unexamined tool, but a chance to reflect, examine, and reveal aesthetic and cultural substructures. Across a diverse range of work, including media installation, kinetic video sculpture, sculptural objects, and interactive screen-based work, he explores how our digital tools are not only changing our capabilities, but also our worldview. His work has been shown in the context of international exhibitions such as International Symposium of Electronic Art and the Microwave International New Media festival in Hong Kong. His project Wave Scribe was included in the 2019 Portland Biennial at Disjecta in Portland Oregon. His AI Creative Practice Research Group (AICP) recently completed a project with the gammy nominated vocal quartet New York Polyphony.

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