ArtScience Museum’s latest exhibition Notes From The Ether: From NFTs To AI explores a new frontier of artistic expression. From Aug 19 till Sept 24, it invites enthusiasts and newcomers to discover contemporary artworks using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and generative artificial intelligence (AI).
Innovation has always been a hallmark of artists. Blockchain and AI are rapidly developing fields, while NFTs have allowed clear ownership, authentication, and the development of new online communities. Generative AI has also gained traction, thanks to platforms such as ChatGPT.
Deborah Lim, ArtScience Museum’s curator of exhibitions, and independent curator Clara Che Wei Peh have organised an exhibition featuring 20 artists exploring these new realms. Besides pioneers like Simon Denny, Holly Herndon, Rhea Myers, Jonas Lund, and Memo Akten, contemporary digital artists include Emily Xie, Sarah Friend, AI artist Botto, and locals jo+kapi.
Interactive displays, cutting-edge installations, vibrant images created in code, and self-portraits created in collaboration with machines await visitors.
Lim points out that technology and humans are interdependent, and NFTs and generative AI have taken over our social consciousness. She hopes visitors approach the exhibition with openness and curiosity to learn more about how technology is changing our world.
Peh adds that the exhibition looks at how artists have innovated around emerging technologies so far. Computer art and code begin the exhibition, which ends by asking about our collective futures as human and machine become increasingly intertwined.
Here are some highlights from Notes From The Ether: From NFTs to AI galleries.
Coded Possibilities: This gallery showcases works created with code and algorithms, the building blocks of computers.
Co-Creation: As AI advances, artists are increasingly collaborating with machines to explore new approaches to artmaking. Here, see fully autonomous artist Botto’s new art from its AI-powered art engine.
Networked Systems: This gallery spotlights an emerging networked system – the blockchain – through three artworks created by Sarah Friend, jo+kapi and Burak Arikan. These artworks are designed to evolve over time as audiences interact with them.
Physical-Digital: Artworks here illustrate the nuanced interplay between tangible and intangible art. A blockchain allows artwork authentication and distribution to address the volatility of value, ownership, and interaction. While some works of art are valuable to the artist, others facilitate long-term relationships.
Expanded Self I: Visitors experience digital identity experiments, reminding them that digital technology is becoming an extension of themselves.
Expanded Self II: Ninaad Kothawade and Rimbawan Gerilya explore Holly Herndon’s Expanded Self I through their own exploratory lens here.
Collective Futures: In the final gallery, human-machine interactions and societal developments portray humanity’s collective future. Two captivating artworks by Memo Akten, who also engages visitors in conversations about AI during an artist talk, emphasise the interconnectedness.
Finally, Chaos & AI Research, a collaboration between akaSwap, TZ APAC and ArtScience Museum, allows visitors to leave their mark on digital art. Upload any photo you like, and AI will convert it into art on the Tezos blockchain. You’ll also get to take home a little piece of the exhibition when you choose to mint your artwork as an NFT.
Notes From The Ether: From NFTs To AI runs from Aug19 to Sep 24 at ArtScience Museum. Visitors are advised to pre-purchase tickets online in advance due to limited capacity and timed entry to the exhibition. For more information, click here.
All photos courtesy of the respective artists.