Artificial intelligence meets art in an exciting series of events coming to Leicester from Saturday as part of the ART:AI Festival.
Now in its third year, the festival will feature installations, performances and activities taking place across the city and online – including the chance for people to ‘talk’ to some of Leicester’s most famous landmarks through an interactive walking trail called Hello Lamp Post.
People can text the King Richard III statue, Alice Hawkins statue, the Town Hall Square fountain, the Arch of Remembrance war memorial in Victoria Park, and the beacons at the Highcross shopping centre.
The walking trail consists of 16 points of interest across Leicester, which encourages people to look at the city with fresh eyes. Powered by artificial intelligence, conversations are aimed to be thought-provoking and insightful.
Also launching on Saturday is Masked Reality by Harshit Agrawal at Highcross Shopping Centre. Harshit Agrawal is an artificial intelligence and new media artist who has exhibited his work across the globe. In this installation, artificial intelligence is used to merge your face with an Indian Mask, creating a ‘masked reality’.
Shoppers at the Haymarket, meanwhile, will be able to see Elvis by Libby Heaney. Libby’s art practice uses quantum computing and AI in this installation, where her image is swapped with Elvis in an example of a deepfake.
Festival Director, Tracy Harwood, said: “This year’s Art-AI Festival will see us exploring a variety of AI themes through both physical artwork displays and virtual events. The programme we have curated brings together world leading artists and is an exciting prospect for Leicester as we emerge from the Covid lockdown period.”
Art-AI Festival 2021 celebrates the programme with an online launch event featuring a live improv performance with an AI by Improbotics on 5 May. In this live online event, artificial intelligence is used to stimulate and create a comedy improv performance. Improbotics is free for all to attend and will be streamed live with an opportunity for audience Q&A with the performers. Registration for the event is open now via Eventbrite.
The Festival will showcase the latest developments by world leading artists and researchers from the UK, USA, Canada, India, Croatia and Germany. Visitors can expect to see work illustrating artificial intelligence through chatbots, deepfakes, creative interaction and biomimicry. Many of the artworks are interactive and some also comprise video art installations.
ART:AI is a partnership between the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, Phoenix, Leicester City Council, Highcross and independent creative AI curator Luba Elliott with additional support from Arts Council England, and this year runs over an extended period from May to October. Get ready to see artworks located around the city centre, including at Highcross, Haymarket, Phoenix and more.
Jo Tallack, senior general manager at Highcross, said: “We’re delighted to be a host for one of the Art-AI Festival’s installations this year. The Festival is a great example of the unique experiences available in the city, and we’d encourage our shoppers to plan a visit from next month when it opens.”
Chris Tyrer, digital arts manager at Phoenix – another Art-AI Festival partner – said: “Phoenix is delighted to be part of the Art-AI Festival once again.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to engage people with artificial intelligence through creativity – showing the incredible (and sometimes scary) things it’s capable of, exploring how it’s changing the way we live now and thinking about how it could shape our future.”
Posted on Tuesday 27th April 2021
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