Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 November 2020

Bucharest Biennale to be curated by an AI curator named Jarvis in 2022

The artificial intelligence programme that will curate the 10th biennale is named after an AI character in 'Iron Man'

An Ubtech Lynx robot – one of the ways artificial intelligence is becoming more commonplace. Reuters
An Ubtech Lynx robot – one of the ways artificial intelligence is becoming more commonplace. Reuters

A new curator in the art world is set to raise eyebrows. The 10th Bucharest Biennale announced that its 2022 event will be curated by Jarvis, an artificial intelligence programme currently being developed by Vienna studio Spinnwerk.

Speaking to The Art Newspaper, Spinnwerk’s founder, Razvan Ion, explained that Jarvis, who is named after an AI character in the film Iron Man and stands for “just a rather very intelligent system”, will use deep learning and glean information from the databases of universities, galleries and art centres.

The information gathered will then serve as initial concepts to build a “key structure” for the way it will curate. Jarvis’s choice of artists and participants will also be drawn from these already existing databases.

The exhibition will take place in virtual reality, with Spinnwerk set to launch a VR gallery in October that anyone with a VR headset can access. VR booths will also be installed in Bucharest and Vienna for people to visit.

It’s not the first time AI has been used in art. In 2018, a painting titled Portrait of Edmond Belamy, created using AI by Paris art collective Obvious, sold at auction for $432,000 (Dh1.5 million), much to the surprise of many in the art world, including auction house Christie’s.

The piece was estimated to sell for $7,000-$10,000 (Dh25,7000-Dh36,700).

At the moment, most art industry professions still remain safe from being taken over by AI, though the introduction of Jarvis may be met with some scrutiny.

The 2020 Bucharest Biennale, curated by Henk Slager and titled Farewell to Research, was set to run from Thursday, May 28, to Saturday, July 4, and has been moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic. It will launch on Sunday, June 28.

Updated: May 28, 2020 12:46 PM

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