BCNM Around the Web March 2020

10 Mar, 2020

BCNM Around the Web March 2020

Here's the recap of what our amazing BCNM community has been up to from the web this past month!

New Media Designated Emphasis student Kevin CK Lo and alex cruse created and showcased a multimedia experiment called "DROUGHT SPA" with the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies Users Group in February.

From the experiment description:

DROUGHT SPA (electronics, text, visuals)is the multimedia experiment of Oakland-based artists alex cruse and Kevin CK Lo. Using text, computer vision, stochastic synthesis, movement, and generative visuals, their work explores subjectivation within networked life.

Read the rest of the description here.

BCNM Professor Ken Goldberg recently spoke at Re•Work's Deep Learning Summit held in San Francisco. At the summit, Goldberg gave a talk titled "The New Wave in Robot Grasping."

From the talk descrption:

Despite 50 years of research, robots remain remarkably clumsy, limiting their reliability for warehouse order fulfillment, robot-assisted surgery, and home decluttering. The First Wave of grasping research is purely analytical, applying variations of screw theory to exact knowledge of pose, shape, and contact mechanics. The Second Wave is purely empirical: end-to-end hyperparametric function approximation (aka Deep Learning) based on human demonstrations or time-consuming self-exploration. A "New Wave" of research considers hybrid methods that combine analytic models with stochastic sampling and Deep Learning models. I'll present this history with new results from our lab on grasping diverse and previously-unknown objects.

Read more about the Deep Learning Summit and Goldberg's talk here here.

Professor Goldberg will also be giving a keynote speech in July at the 2020 RSS Pioneers workshop in July.

From the website:

RSS Pioneers is a workshop for senior Ph.D. students and postdocs, held in conjunction with the main Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) Conference. The goal of RSS Pioneers is to bring together a cohort of the world’s top early career researchers to foster creativity and collaborations surrounding challenges in all areas of robotics, as well as to help young researchers navigate their next career stages.

Learn more about the workshop here.

Alum Trevor Paglen was recently featured in an Art in America article about AI and Art. The article discussed how AI can impact Art and discussed Paglen's “Adversarially Evolved Hallucination” series.

From the article:

For his series “Adversarially Evolved Hallucination” (2017) Trevor Paglen trained a generator-discriminator AI to produce visual representations of allegories and concepts, ranging from symbols from Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams to monsters like vampires and zombies that have been historical emblems of capitalism. As is the case with much AI art, the “Hallucinations” were produced through extensive human labor, with Paglen gathering tens of thousands of images for the AI to assimilate. Paglen’s use of these technologies is less about the prospect of facing our mechanized doppelgangers in art school than about coming to terms with the power and volume of rather specific applications.

Read more about Paglen and the rest of the article here.

Paglen was also recently featured in a New City Art article for his work in the Museum of Contemporary Photography exhibition titled "In Real Life."

From the article:

A new three-level exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography considers artificial intelligence and our understanding of visual experience. “In Real Life” ponders the ethics of data collection and facial recognition technology, including the race and gender biases that pertain to our daily lives.

Read the rest of the article and learn more about pieces at the exhibition here.

Paglen's work is also on display at the Nevada Museum of Art for an exhibition titled "Where Art and Tech Collide" through June 2020.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

Additionally, Paglen was featured for his work in the CNET article "What it means to be human in the age of AI." The article discusses the effects and future of artificial intelligence, highlighting a number of Paglen's projects including "They Took the Faces From the Accused and the Dead" at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Read more about Paglen's work and its discussion of artificial intelligence here.

Alum Bo Ruberg recently spoke at the annual Carsey-Wolf Center Annual Conference at UC Santa Barbara in February. At the conference, they gave a talk titled "Video Game Live Streaming and/as Webcam Modeling: The Parallel Labor of Professional Play and Digital Sex Work" within the Labor/Representation panel.

Learn more about Ruberg's work and the Carsey-Wolf Center Conference here.

Ruberg's work was also recently featured in the Bay Area Reporter article titled "Games people play: short excerpts." The article praises a number of snippets from books including Ruberg's "The Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers Are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games."

The quote from Ruberg's book prasied by the Bay Area Reporter:

"When a pair of players sits down to play 'Consenticle,' they embark on a sexual encounter between a human (Kit) and a large, blue-skinned, tentacle alien (Dup). The players' goal is to reach mutual sexual satisfaction. To do this, they attempt to interact with each other in complementary ways — such as by licking, touching, penetrating, or enveloping one another at the right moments — without complete knowledge of the other's desires."

Read the rest of the recommended book excerpts here.

Alum Jen Schradie has been embarking on a book tour for her book The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives. Learn more about the book tour and where Schradie is heading here.