A team from Art-A-Hack™ 2023 Special Edition — Warsaw — AI Art in a Time of War
- Gabriel Bielawski
- Gabriela Niechwiadowicz
- Maciej Mehl
- Zuzanna Napora
The team working on Steps for Digesting with a Torn-Open Belly: A Tour in 43 Parts was composed of artists, musicians, and programmers from Poland, Ukraine, and the United States, working collaboratively out of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics at the University of Warsaw. The project, existing at the intersection of memory studies, animation, and computer science, employed machine learning in a physically simulated 3D character and environment in order to develop a scenario exploring inherited trauma, movement, digital / physical space, and apocalypse.
In the piece, a wolf-like character is inserted into an environment built from satellite height data of Węgrów, a town in Eastern Poland where the family of one of the team members is from, and where their Jewish great unlce was in hiding during the Second World War. The wolf must learn to walk from scratch while being pursued by other characters in the scene that are trying to catch it. Through this process the team hoped to explore how anxiety or trauma might manifest physically in an AI, and the possible applications of AI, robotics and a 3D environment in emergent storytelling.
The program was displayed as part of a larger art piece at Jak Zapomnieć gallery as part of FestivALT, an annual Jewish arts and culture festival in Kraków. It will then travel in Węgrów, where it and other parts of the exhibition will become part of a public monument.
Art-A-Hack™ ’23 AI Art In A Time of War was supported by the University of Warsaw Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics and Fulbright Poland