Belief Machines: The aesthetics and politics of AI religiosity

Belief Machines: The aesthetics and politics of AI religiosity

07 February 2024

arebyte Gallery, London, UK | Website

Zach Blas, artist behind CULTUS, and arebyte curator Rebecca Edwards are joined by academics to delve into the complex intersections of artificial intelligence, religion, feminism, anti-racism, and speculative thinking.

Addressing the ways in which religion, spirituality, and belief influence the roles that AI plays in our lives, the panel will provide unique insights into the diverse facets of AI’s impact on our present and future societies.

Thao Phan is a feminist science and technology studies (STS) researcher who specialises in the study of gender and race in algorithmic culture. She is a Research Fellow in the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society and the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University, Australia. Thao has published on topics including the aesthetics of digital voice assistants, big-data-driven techniques of racial classification, and the commercial capture of AI ethics research. She is the co-editor of the volumes An Anthropogenic Table of Elements (University of Toronto Press) and Economies of Virtue: The Circulation of ‘Ethics’ in AI (Institute of Network Cultures), and her writing appears in journals such as Big Data & Society, Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technosocience, Science as Culture, and Cultural Studies.

Mashinka Firunts Hakopian is a writer, artist, and researcher born in Yerevan and residing in Glendale, CA. She is an Associate Professor of Technology and Social Justice at ArtCenter College of Design. She was a 2021 visiting Mellon Professor of the Practice at Occidental College. There, she co-curated the exhibition Encoding Futures: Critical Imaginaries of AI with Meldia Yesayan at Oxy Arts, which travelled to the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York in September 2023 under the title What Models Make Worlds. She is the guest editor of the spring 2023 issue of Art Papers on artificial intelligence. Her book, The Institute for Other Intelligences, was released by X Artists’ Books in 2022. Her writing and commentary have appeared in AI & Society, Los Angeles Review of Books, Performance Research Journal, Archetypes with Meghan Markle, and Art in America.