State of the AI-Art

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Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre

4 Midland Street



United Kingdom

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A FREE one day conference celebrating the 'State of the AI-Art', part of Leicester's Art-AI Festival 2019. The conference features keynotes, talks and walking tours of Festival artworks. There is an optional extra of a VR-AI film included at the end of the programme. All refreshments provided throughout the day.

Speakers include pioneering techno-artists from around the world, including: Ernest Edmonds, Mario Klingemann, Fabrizio Poltronieri, Jake Elwes and Libby Heaney, with an overview of the 'state of the art' by internationally renowned AI-art curator, Luba Elliott.

The format for the day is -

10:00-10:30 Registration

10:30-10:45 Welcome: Tracy Harwood, Festival Director

10:45-11.15 Keynote 1: Ernest Edmonds "Art and Influence: Learning in Augmented Worlds"

11:15-12:00 Keynote 2: Mario Klingemann "Trapping the Accident"

12:00-13:00 Networking lunch and Gallery

13:00-13:30 Libby Heaney "Creating Chatbots"

13:30-14:00 Fabrizio Poltronieri "#LoveApparatus"

14:00-14:30 Luba Elliott "State of the Art"

14:30-14:45 Refreshments

14:45-15:30 Jake Elwes "Creative Dilemma"

15:30-16:15 Panel Discussion

16:15-16:30 Closing Remarks: Tracy Harwood, Festival Director

16:30-18:00 High Tea, Networking and Gallery

Additional activities

17:30-18:30 Guided or Self-Guided walking tour of artworks

17:30-18:30 VR-AI Film: Rose Colored (separate booking required via Phoenix, more below)*

18:30-19:30 Guided or Self-Guided walking tour of artworks

18:30-19:30 VR-AI Film: Rose Colored (separate booking required via Phoenix, more below)*

You may also be interested in attending our afternoon/evening launch celebrations with a special guest lecture by eminent scientist, Gerhard Fischer, a VIP launch of the Art-AI Festival 2019, and an evening comedy improv performance by Improbotics - more here

Speaker Bios

Ernest Edmonds

Ernest is a pioneer computer artist and researcher into creative digital technologies. In 2017 he won both the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for Practice in Human-Computer Interaction and the ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art. He is Professor of Computational Art at De Montfort University and Chairman of the Board of ISEA International. His most recent book is “The Art of Interaction: what HCI can learn from Interactive Art”, published by Morgan & Claypool. He is Founding Editor of the journal Knowledge Based Systems, an Honorary Editor of Leonardo and Editor-in-Chief of Springer’s Cultural Computing book series. Ernest has published over 400 books and papers, and exhibited his art across the globe. He recently exhibited in Venice, Leicester, London, Denver, Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai, and Rio de Janerio. His work is described in the Routledge book by Francesca Franco, “Generative Systems Art: The Work of Ernest Edmonds”. For more about Ernest's work, see

Mario Klingemann

Mario is an artist and describes himself as a skeptic with a curious mind. He taught himself programming in the early 1980s and has been creating algorithms that are able to surprise and to show almost autonomous creative behaviour ever since. His preferred tools are neural networks, code and algorithms. His interests are manifold and in constant evolution, involving artificial intelligence, deep learning, generative and evolutionary art, glitch art, data classification and visualization or robotic installations. If there is one common denominator it’s his desire to understand, question and subvert the inner workings of systems of any kind. He also have a deep interest in human perception and aesthetic theory.

At the moment he is an artist in residence at Google Arts & Culture. He has also been helping institutions like the British Library, Cardiff University or the New York Public Library with processing and classification of their vast digital archives since he believes that future creative agents will require a solid foundation of human knowledge to build upon. He received the Artistic Award 2016 by the British Library Labs and won the Lumen Prize Gold 2018.

He has spoken at conferences around the world since 2003, and his works have been shown at Ars Electronica Festival, Mediacity Biennale Seoul, ZKM Karlsruhe, Museum of Modern Art New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Photographers’s Gallery London, Centre Pompidou Paris, British Library and Barbican.

Code for some of the tools and experiments he has written can be found on GitHub. Images of his creations can also be found on his flickr account and tumblr blog.

Luba Elliott

Luba Elliott is a curator and researcher specialising in artificial intelligence in the creative industries. She is currently working to educate and engage the broader public about the latest developments in AI art through talks, workshops and exhibitions at venues across the art and technology spectrum including The Photographers’ Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Seoul MediaCity Biennale, Impakt Festival, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, NeurIPS and ECCV. She has advised organisations including The World Economic Forum, Google and City University on the topic and was featured on the BBC, Forbes and The Guardian. Previously, she worked in startups and venture capital and has a degree in Modern Languages from Cambridge University. You can find out more about her work on and see her latest collection of AI art at

Libby Heaney

Libby Heaney is an artist, researcher and lecturer with a background in quantum physics. Her artistic research is particularly concerned with the impacts of new technologies.

In order to explore science and technology from multiple viewpoints, Libby retrained as an artist at Central St. Martins and has tutored on the Information Experience Design program at the Royal College of Art since 2014 as a visiting lecturer and since 2016 as a permanent faculty member. She has exhibited in London (including Tate Modern, V&A and Christie's), New York, Peru, Ireland, Malta, Spain, Austria and Finland and was part of the official programme at the 2017 EU Capital of Culture in Aarhus, Denmark.

Libby has spoken about her work widely including at the Tate Modern and V&A Museum. She won an Arts Council England Project Grant in 2018, a Sky Arts 50 commission in 2017, the Ideas Tap Innovators award in 2014 and the Lifeboat residency award in 2016 and has been short listed for the HeK Basel Net Based Art award, the Helen Scott-Liggett award and the Picton Art Prize. Her work has been featured on the BBC, in the Guardian newspaper, Forbes and Resident magazines, the Irish Examiner, the and on Irish and Danish national radio.

Libby has over ten years research experience in both the sciences and arts, including post-doctoral positions in quantum information science at the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore. As a scientist, she published numerous papers in international peer-reviewed journals, spoke about her research at major conferences and was interviewed for the Times and Independent newspapers and the BBC.

Libby is currently a resident of Somerset House Studios and works with The Artists' Development Agency.

Jake Elwes*

Jake Elwes is currently based in London. His recent works have looked at Artificial Intelligence, investigating the technology, philosophy and ethics behind it. Jake graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art (UCL), London in 2017, having also attended SAIC, Chicago (Erasmus), in 2016 and Central St Martins (foundation) in 2012.

Jake has exhibited in the UK and internationally, including Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017, Newcastle & London, UK; Ars Electronica 2017, Linz, Austria; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; City Loop, Barcelona; Nature Morte, Delhi, India; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; CyFest, Venice; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany and Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), Cambridge, UK.

His talk will explore his creative practice.

Fabrizio Poltronieri

Fabrizio Poltronieri (São Paulo, 1976) is an award-winning computer artist, designer, researcher and curator with a special interest in the relationships between Art, Design, Digital Media, Gamification, and Technology. His expertise lies in the development of creative coding and its exchanges with philosophical questions.

Two of his artworks from the ‘Visual Theogonies’ series (Dionysus and Calliope) are in the V&A’s – Victoria and Albert Museum collection, in London, UK.

Currently, Fabrizio is a permanent member of the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, supervising PhD students and teaching creative code on the Digital Arts MA.

He is currently researching Creativity & Artificial Intelligence, applying machine and deep learning techniques to the production and design of narratives, moving images and objects.

More info about the artist can be found at

Tracy Harwood

Tracy is Professor of Digital Culture at the Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), De Montfort University, Leicester. The IOCT promotes practice-based, trans-disciplinary research into the future of interaction in a distributed and connected world. Its mission is to understand professional and creative practices across disciplines and to develop and advance such practices. Research focuses on technological innovation in professional practices, art, performance, music, games, machinima and the application of emerging technologies in public environments. It generates new knowledge that has an impact on everyday creativity, the arts, new technologies, cultural exchange and innovation in social structures.

Tracy's research is published in international journals on marketing and consumer behaviour and digital culture. For more about her work, see

*Phoenix VR: Rose Colored is being shown at 5.30pm and 6.30pm. The film is directed by Adam Cosco (USA 2018, 45mins). The film is the Winner of the 2018 Lumiere Award - Best Live Action Virtual Reality Film. Victoria’s personal AI, Klive is only doing what his program thinks will benefit his user, and that’s his job: to make sure she’s happy. No matter what. But deep down, Victoria knows something is amiss. From her perfect boyfriend to her perfect face, everything is just a bit too….perfect.

The Phoenix VR programme is curated by Alex Rühl and supported by Cats Are Not Peas. The screening will also include a discussion and Q&A.

Separate booking is required via Phoenix website (link to follow):

Promotional image: copyright Mario Klingemann, used with permission

This event is funded by Arts Council England, De Montfort University, including its award winning #DMULocal programme and Phoenix Leicester

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4 Midland Street



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