Writing in progress - this page was performed during the Society of Artistic Research conference on the 8th of April (www.sar2021vienna.ac.at) and will be worked upon further. 

Artificial Intelligems is part of a larger research in arts that I, Anneleen Swillen, am currently working on at PXL-MAD School of Arts, Hasselt and Hasselt University (BE). This page will share some insights into the research (topics, questions, methods…). As you might have read on the 'about' page, this website serves as an experimental writing tool, as well as way of documenting and presenting the research process. Additionally, it's an invitation to you, reader/viewer, to interact by using the blue and yellow sticky notes that you can find in the top left corner of this page to leave your thoughts, questions and images. 

Imagining jewellery.  
 Speculative reflections on creating, presenting and experiencing jewellery in the (post-)digital age (working title)

/ (Verschijnselen mee-maken in de (post-)digitale tijd) 

postdoc at PXL-MAD School of Arts and Hasselt University, Belgium  


How to imagine ancient-contemporary-future bodies and artifacts (jewellery especially) through new technologies and media in this (post-)digital age, in which 'the' physical and 'the' virtual seem to be interwoven? This research observes current material/digital cultures and their impact on appearances and jewellery phenomena in the phygital age. By experimenting with artifacts created and used for self-presentation and self-expression, this research explores the interactions that take place between people, things, technologies, spaces and images (…) 



Current focus: Machine Learning (ML) and jewellery 







ML <> jewellery: potential, gaps? 







1. Little artistic research into ML and jewellery to date 

  • AI: ubiquitous, influential, explored in various domains 
  • > yet, roles + impact in jewellery? 
  • Opportunities + new perspectives for how jewellery is made, displayed, worn, experienced? 
  • threats? 





2. Digital Adornments 

  • digital media 
  • within contemporary jewellery, fashion, design, the visual arts…  
  • people express, create themselves through online personas
  • > New ways of wearing + interactions? Hybrid bodies?
  • self-presentation in contemporary society?
  • How do digital adornments relate to the body (both in terms of making and wearing)?
  • visual culture <> jewellery? <> bodies?  
  • images most important? <> bodily experiences? 
  • how to connect with digital adornments?  
  • How to explore + challenge these themes and discussions through ML? 





ML <> jewellery -> questions! 

  •  new perspectives, surprising insights, different approaches ?
  •  to expand us as humans? (what does it mean to be human? > AI and jewellery)
  •  <> impact on jewellery, bodies, interactions with artifacts…?
  •  ‘artificial’, ‘fake’, ‘real’ = ?
  •  focus on potential <> to be critical towards algorithms?!




Methodology?

 ‘Show Cases’

  • to raise and reflect on questions and themes through various artistic, participatory, projects
  • collaborations + interactions between domains (arts, philosophy, anthropology,  software engineering…) 
  • through various formats and events to reach a diverse audience of participants






Show Case #1: Artificial Intelligems

  •  explores ML as artistic output, participatory design tool and experimental exhibition format, among other.
  •  open call for jewellery makers to collect images of their works 
  • > to reach a variety of makers and works
  • > broaden the often considered in-crowd art jewellery field
  • > reach new audiences
  • > explore new contexts 
  • > go beyond 'our circle'
  • > try not to control and decide everything ourselves
  • >> prediction <> control <> randomness <> chaos <> surprise 
  • >> self-learning 
  • >> Can ML imagine a new jewellery species?
  • >> Paradoxes
  • >>> humans program the code, give instructions, make decisions. How to go beyond human control? How to let the machine decide as much as possible on its own? 
  • >>> how to create something new out of what already exists?  
     Might ‘newness’ happen when different kinds of intelligence - human, machine, materials, other - blend? 




INPUT: 969 images, by 124 jewellery makers

--> StyleGAN

…LEARNING…

OUTPUT = … 

https://www.twitch.tv/artificial_intelligems 










‘Ornamutations’ 

  • human-centered design?
  • the role of the designer/artist today?
  • making processes?
  • ownership?
  • Do we create in collaboration with AI or do we mainly use it as a tool to expand our creativity?
  • … 


Ornamutations, February 2021 





To work with images of other artists’ works as material for a new, collective creation

  • ‘the artistic work’ = ?
  • Who? 
  • What?
  • collaborations between humans and other 'intelligent systems'?
  • artistic freedom <> ethical questions?
  • best practices?
  • research context <> commercial?
  • AI makes it more complicated, but can also offer new approaches?
  • Presentation, reflection, discussion, perspectives? 





Munich Jewellery Week (March 2021)

  • live dreams + talks 
  • speakers from various domains (jewellery, philosophy, anthropology, biology, mathematics and software engineering) + participating artists
  • on artificiality, intelligence, creativity, materiality, digital curation…
  • dreaming sessions + conversations to present, contextualize, reflect on the  research
  • encouraging fresh and critical perspectives on AI and art practices 
  • generous: exchanging ideas, experiences, questions 
  • Open mind + inviting others for discussion through talks + by experiencing and co-creating the work
  • carefully considering our roles and responsibilities
  • read + see more about this event at Show Case #1: Artificial Intelligems during Munich Jewellery Week 2021 



Artificial Intelligems in Current Obsession's MJW21 paper



Current Obsession's paper

  • "bringing the exhibitions to your door": publication as alternative for the otherwise physical Munich Jewellery Week, since hardly anyone was able to travel to Munich because of the Covid pandemic.
  • flip book -> DIY dreaming session
  • analogue medium
  • to experiment with presentation as an artistic medium and method to create, communicate and reflect
  • medium, context, format! 
  • In a constant search for ways to gather and share potential knowledge, we explore various methodologies 




  • translations (from one medium to the next) 
  • interactions (between physical and digital media, things, bodies, realms)









Questions and topics that arise in one project, might fuel the next. Output becomes input, similar to how a machine might work. 






  • generated images <> physical materials, pieces and bodies?
  • bodily experiences?
  • How to embody these images? 
  • visual = enough/most important?
  • To show things that do not exist 'in real life' (?) 
  • physical objects to provide multi-sensory experiences? As counter-reaction? Something to hold on to? 
  • phygital society: co-existing movements 
  • How (+ why) to re-think traditional forms, materials, techniques, functions or concepts within the context of a contemporary society in which AI plays an increasingly significant role?
  • craftsmanship <> uniqueness <> tactility <> artistic <> industrial <> mechanic <> digital … processes?
  • AI <> goldsmith’s traditions <> craft practices? 


ML <> jewellery characteristics (such as wearability, materiality and manufacturing processes)

  • traditional values and developments <> current society
  • >how different ways and views can co-exist and interact, to broaden understandings and push boundaries 
  • > to create and share knowledge (?) 
  • > within and beyond jewellery 






Website 

  • to start/further conversations with ourselves and others
  • active archive
  • continuous publication of the research
  • creative writing tool
  • experiment in documenting and sharing the research process 
  • meta perspective
  • 'visitors' as participants
  • Online accessible
  • frames the research
  • collection of texts, images, ideas, references, questions… 
  • interdisciplinary platform
  • artistic research + collective creation project + experimental exhibition