[ISEA2020] Panel: Edwige Armand, Sofian Audry, Frédéric Garcia & Maurizio Martinucci — Who is Speaking? Artscience Stagings of Nonhuman Sentience

Panel Statement

Keywords: Artscience, artificial intelligence, artificial life, autoencoders, cognition, enactivism, plant behaviour

This panel presents three experiments that stage nonhuman sentience within substrates where they are not usually expected, such as microalgaes, plants, artificial neural networks, and electrochemical reactions. We use these hybrid assemblages to challenge commonly accepted notions of sentience, perception, and cognition, in particular by highlighting the active and creative role of sensing. Finally, we self-reflect upon the implications of these works on modes of understanding through art and science entanglements.

  • Edwige Armand is a teacher-researcher in Art and Culture at the Institut National Polytechnique de Purpan (Toulouse, France). After completing her PhD in Arts at Université Toulouse 2, her theoretical and plastic research led her to work with various researchers, particularly close to genetics, artificial life and artificial intelligence. In 2015, she helped create the association Passerelle, art, science, technologie which she chairs. The organization aims to create art/ science/ technology projects and is committed to addressing issues arising from the porosity of these three fields of knowledge.
  • Sofian Audry is an artist, scholar, Professor of Interactive Media within the School of Media at UQAM in Montréal, Canada. Audry creates computational artistic works inspired from visual art, artificial intelligence, artificial life, biology and cognitive sciences. He studied computer science and mathematics at University of Montreal (BSc, 2001) where he completed a master in machine learning (MSc, 2003); following which he obtained a master in communication (interactive media) at UQÀM (MA, 2010). His PhD is in Humanities from Concordia University (2016). His work and research have been presented around the world.
  • Frédérick Garcia is Research director at INRA and a member of the Applied Mathematics and Informatics division in Toulouse. He holds a Ph.D degree in Artificial Intelligence from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace of Toulouse, France (Supaero, 1993) and an Engineer degree from the same school (1989). Following artificial intelligence approaches, his research aims at developing methods for modelling, simulating and optimizing intelligent agents. His current research focuses on plant behaviour and intelligence, and the effects of sound waves on plants.
  • Maurizio Martinucci (aka TeZ) is an Italian interdisciplinary artist and independent researcher, living and working in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He uses technology as a means to explore perceptual effects and the relationship between sound, light and space. He focuses primarily on generative compositions with spatialized sound for live performances and installations. In his works he adopts custom developed software and hardware, featuring original techniques of sonification and visualization to investigate and magnify subtle vibrational phenomena. In recent years his research has extended to the ideation and creation of specific architectural structures and unconventional sound and light propagation methods to enhance immersivity and multisensory perception.