• CALL FOR PAPERS: Artificial Intelligence in Interdisciplinary Creative Practice: Ethics and Aesthetics

    15-Jan-2024

    Given the pace of technological development, it can be difficult to track how artificial intelligence is currently shaping creative practice. AI systems are produced and refined at unprecedented rates, with the mass adoption of large language models such as ChatGPT putting pressure on policymakers and technologists to try and curb the impacts that these tools will have upon society. While the challenge of finely predicting AI’s cultural impact still remains, we can readily identify a number of differing viewpoints on AI as an emerging cultural presence. Some of these are positive, with artists developing new works, approaches and techniques that utilise AI. Others are less so, as there is a growing range of legitimate artistic concerns around the technology, particularly from environmental, ethical, economic, philosophical and practical perspectives. Given the diverse spread of opinion here, we want to use this issue to platform a variety of different stances that emerge across this spectrum. We wish to foreground both theoretical and practical work that is helping to lead us to a better understanding of this condition.  

    We are interested in this topic from ethical and aesthetic standpoints. There is already a rich discourse around the ethics of AI in society and culture, and we are particularly interested in reading the work of researchers who explore these ideas with specific relation to interdisciplinary creative practice. As AI systems are set to work in human life, making autonomous decisions about changes that can be made to their environment, it is important to ask whose values and interests these tools represent. How can we encourage an AI-inflected arts culture that supports the values of artists and audiences, rather than those of policymakers, technologists and commerce? Moreover, from an aesthetic perspective, what creative opportunities are made possible by these systems? Can we understand artistic adoptions of AI as leading towards an influx of new creative ideas, practices, works, scenes, institutions and cultures, or are we more likely to encounter a combinatorial rehashing of things that we already know? Is there a new aesthetic push to be made? In this regard, we are much more interested in foregrounding the generative (or destructive) aesthetic features of AI systems, as opposed to simply documenting new technological approaches or proofs of concept. 

    Given the exploratory nature of the call, we remain open to a wide range of approaches and suggestions. We wish to read work that surprises us, as well as pieces that attempt to answer the following questions: 

    • How is AI different to artists and technologists? 
    • Where is the threshold between human and computational creativity? 
    • In what ways are pre-trained models functionally derivative? What is the difference between copying and taking influence? 
    • How ‘in the loop’ do humans have to be for AI systems to produce novel creative output? Where do these boundaries emerge between the roles of software and artist? 
    • What economic arguments can be made for or against AI-driven content creation? When do we worry about computers stealing jobs from artists and designers? 
    • What, if any, are the general aesthetic features of AI in creative practice? 
    • How does AI relate to artistic social life: to collaboration, scene and institution? 
    • What are the differences between collaborating with humans and machines? 
    • What affordances – practical, social, theoretical, material – does AI open up or elide? 
    • Why are these debates so often focused on visual culture (text and image)? 
    • What different conceptions of ‘ethics’ (e.g. work ethics, legal ethics, moral frameworks, etc.) are needed to write cogently around this debate? 
    • To what extent can artists use AI to propagate their own values, as opposed to those of technologists and policymakers? 
    • Does art occur in perception, computation or material?
    • With technical practice developing so quickly, how can theory keep track? 

    To be considered for this issue, please submit an abstract of 300 words along with author name(s), institutional affiliations, and contact details by 31 March 2024. 

    Submission instructions: 

    Register on http://journals.ed.ac.uk/airea and submit abstracts via the Open Journal System (OJS) Journal policies: http://journals.ed.ac.uk/airea/about/policies 

    Editorial information: 

    Editors: 

    Dr Jack Walker, PhD in Creative Music Practice, University of Edinburgh 

    Dr Eleni-Ira Panourgia, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf

    Dr Katerina Talianni, Teaching Fellow in Performative and Digital Arts, University of the Peloponnese 

    For general enquiries about the call please contact airea@ed.ac.uk 

    This call for papers was published on 15 January 2024 

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  • CALL FOR PAPERS: Digital and Creative Heritage: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Best Practices

    12-Jul-2021

    Digital technologies and creative practices contribute to heritage conservation professional practices, including interpretation, community engagement and scientific understanding of the physical and environmental dimensions of heritage. Digital and creative methodological approaches support uncovering and reframing tangible and intangible heritage within their original settings. This provides an opportunity to diversify community engagement strategies and engage young generation with heritage in an informing manner, enhancing heritage accessibility and inclusivity by bringing sites to people around the globe via digital technologies. Such approaches are crucial in encouraging creative and digital practices and digital humanities approaches to preserve missing or in-danger heritage and develop curatorial or performance strategies in enclosed and open-air settings. Creative practices and digital technologies are also interpretation tools that are capable to bridge tangible and intangible aspects of heritage and engage communities with their cultural and social attributes.  

    The diverse applications stemming from digital and creative approaches are a vehicle to probe the effectiveness of preservation proposals and community consultations by mapping and visualising conservation methodologies. These approaches facilitate community-accepted interpretations and interventions producing less damage to the historic assets and their associated tangible and intangible values. Such knowledge could open new directions for integration in historic strategies and features to contemporary architecture producing culturally and socially rooted regeneration solutions which are environmentally sufficient.  

    New technologies and digital tools bring new developments in the explorations the physical and environmental qualities of heritage. These tools enable the understanding of the structural and environmental performance of historic buildings and provide the necessary information for adequate physical consolidation or environmental retrofitting strategies. Therefore, digital technologies and creative practices can establish effective applications in reinterpreting culture and bridging gaps across sciences, humanities and artistic explorations by engaging methods from diverse artistic, design and engineering disciplines. This includes, but not limited to, processes that address inter/multi/trans/cross-disciplinary explorations, tangible-intangible and physical-digital relationships, multiple dimensions including 3D, visual, sonic, audio-visual and physical dimensions as well as applications of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Extended Reality (XR), User Experience (UX). 

    Digital and creative heritage is an emerging and fast-growing discipline. Maintaining best practices is key in order to ensure continuous effective contribution of these tools to heritage conservation, preservation and interpretation from different perspectives. The fourth issue of Airea journal “Digital and Creative Heritage: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Best Practices” invites contributions that investigate best practices in engaging digital technologies and creative practices in heritage matters within academic and professional contexts.  

    This issue accepts contributions from theoretical, design, practice-led and professional backgrounds (including case studies) on the following themes:  

    • Reinterpreting the Past 
    • Intangible Heritage 
    • Tools and Methodologies 
    • Documentation and Preservation 
    • Conservation Practices 
    • Critical Reimaginations and Intersectional Approaches 
    • Community Engagement 
    • Evaluation of Heritage  
    • Artistic-Scientific Synergies about/for Digital Heritage 

    The issue is in collaboration with ICOMOS-UK and its Digital Technologies National Committee, encouraging both academic and professional contributions in heritage.

    To be considered for this issue, please submit an abstract of 300 words along with author name(s), institutional affiliations, and contact details by 20 November 2021. 

    Submission instructions: 

    Register on http://journals.ed.ac.uk/airea and submit abstracts via the Open Journal System (OJS) Journal policies: http://journals.ed.ac.uk/airea/about/policies  

    Editorial information: 

    Editors:  

    Dr Tarek Teba, Senior Lecturer in Architecture, University of Portsmouth 
    Dr Eleni-Ira Panourgia, Teaching and Research Fellow in Art/Music, Gustave Eiffel University 
    Dr Katerina Talianni, Teaching Fellow in Performative and Digital Arts, University of the Peloponnese
    Jack Walker, PhD candidate in Music, University of Edinburgh
     

    For general enquiries about the call please contact airea@ed.ac.uk  

    This call for papers was published on 12 July 2021 

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  • Upcoming issues

    02-Sep-2020

    Following our call "Revisiting Interdisciplinarity within collaborative and participatory creative practice" Airea: Arts and Interdisciplinary Research will publish two special issues:

    iss. 2 "Revisiting interdisciplinarity within collaborative sonic practice" (guest ed. Sophia Lycouris, journal eds. Eleni-Ira Panourgia, Katerina Talianni and  Jack Walker) is scheduled to come out in October 2020;

    iss. 3 "Interdisciplinary relationships within spaces and bodies of collaboration" will follow by the same editorial team.

    The next call for abstracts will be announced in 2021. Please note that Airea does not review submissions on a running basis, but only in relation to thematised calls.

    Read more about Upcoming issues