Artificial Atmospheres and Unexpected Media: Exploring Media Art and Machine Learning
Extended deadline: 30 June 2024

International Conference
Artificial Atmospheres and Unexpected Media: Exploring Media Art and Machine Learning

Date: 16–17 October 2024
Extended deadline: proposals will be accepted until June 30, 2024
Location: NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal

Technology shapes our sensory experiences and extends our cognitive and bodily capabilities. Its pervasive influence coupled with the ever-expanding reach of artificial intelligence across diverse facets of society underscores the urgent need for comprehensive exploration, experimentation, and discussion. Machine learning advancements, while offering unprecedented tools and opportunities, also raises profound ethical dilemmas, blurring the boundaries between reality and artificiality. It is urgent that this technology be explored and experimented with and discussed from various angles.

This conference seeks to explore the intricate relationship between artistic expression and emerging media technologies, particularly focusing on machine learning and virtual environments. By scrutinizing this alliance, our aim is to unpack the myriad challenges and novel responses it presents to contemporary issues spanning ethical, social, political, and economic domains. The rapid evolution of Artificial Intelligence elicits a spectrum of reactions, ranging from utopian optimism to dystopian apprehension. Generative AI programs can be a useful tool for the artist, and simultaneously a threat to creative careers. Algorithmic technologies have the potential for AI models to generate creative content, or for creative users to generate “collaborations” with machines, such as transhumanist art, reflecting the ideas of Marshall McLuhan that technology is extending human bodies, reflecting a proactive vision of the future while attempting to address both the positive and negative impacts on society. We aim to delve into the creative intersections of media art, immersive technologies and virtual environments, and machine learning through the creative lens of the artist.

What virtues might survive or thrive in our art worlds through these changes?
What virtues may be retained and strengthened through artistic interventions and explorations of these changes?

We invite submissions of abstracts for 20-minute presentations and practice-based projects on diverse topics encapsulated by our overarching theme of “Artificial Atmospheres and Unexpected Media”. Potential areas of exploration include:

  • Collaborating with machines and the nature of consciousness
  • AI, Art, and Archives
  • Transhumanism and creativity
  • AI as a creator and disrupter
  • Ethics of AI usage, potentials to help or harm, transparency, bias, and fairness
  • AI aesthetics and the uncanny
  • Interactive and Immersive Art and Technology
  • Robotics and Kinetic Art with AI
  • Data driven and sonification
  • Technology and the future of human agency in creativity
  • Creative technology and utopia/dystopia
  • Cyborg theories and science fiction predictions
  • Weaponization and creation with machine learning
  • Poetics and Prompting
  • Unexpected Media
  • Machine collaboration

We welcome submissions from academics, researchers, and artists. Creative practitioners are encouraged to submit works using machine learning and new media, as well as those involved in AI production or utilization. Selected works will be showcased, along with papers, at the conference.

Extended deadline: proposals will be accepted until June 30, 2024.

Please send us a 250-word abstract, along with a 150-word bio and 5 keywords, to the following email:

Registration fee: 50 euros (standard rate).

The primary conference languages are Portuguese and English, but other languages can be possible; please contact us about this. Sliding scale registration fees can be possible, please contact explaining your situation (ex: student, etc.).

Keynote Speaker

DANIEL CHÁVEZ HERAS is a lecturer in Digital Culture and Creative Computing in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. He specialises in the computational production and analysis of visual culture. His research combines critical frameworks in the history and theories of cinema, television, and photography, with advanced technical practice in creative and scientific computing, including applied machine learning technologies. Daniel has worked extensively in interdisciplinary design and creative industries, in Mexico and in the UK, with cultural institutions such as the British Council and the BBC. He is an affiliate of King’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence, part of the Computational Humanities Group, and a member of the Creative AI Lab, in partnership with the Serpentine Galleries in London. His newest book is Cinema and Machine Vision, Artificial Intelligence, Aesthetics and Spectatorship, from Edinburgh University Press.

Invited Speakers/Artists

LAURA FOCARAZZO is an experimental filmmaker and independent curator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds an MA in Curatorship of Visual Art, and researches in the field of Electronic Arts. As a curator, she has worked in projects for the Ribalta Experimental Film Festival, Italy; TENT, Festival for experimental films and new media, India; Strangloscope – Mostra International de audio, video/filme & performance experimental, Brazil; the [.BOX] Videoart project space, Italy; The Wrong Biennale, online; Galería del Museo Marítimo y del Presidio, Argentina; MUNTREF, Museo de Artes Visuales, Argentina, among others. As an artist, she has had exhibitions at ICA, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; ZKM, Germany; FILE — Electronic Language International Festival, Brazil; BienalSur, Argentina; Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles; MACBA, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Festival Les Instants vidéo: 50 Years of Video Art, France; BAFICI — International Independent Film Festival of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rencontres Traverse Vidéo at La Cinémathèque Toulouse, France; Incubarte, International Independent Art Festival, Spain; Festival Punto y Raya, Reykjavík; Copenhagen Art Festival, Denmark, among others. Her work has been included at, a platform that commissions original digital artworks by established and emerging artists for selling.

She will present So Far So Near, a curatorial project displayed at the last edition of The Wrong Biennale 2023-24. The exhibition explores a series of pieces made with AI that inquire about certain hegemonic narratives linked not only to the artistic canon but also to our worldview. Using different raw materials as a source of inspiration, the corpus gathers collages, digital and analogue photographs, videos, illustrations and sounds. The featured artists are Santiago Vitale, Case Western, Ulises Estudio, Sebastian Tedesco, Bruno Mesz, Sofia Crespo, Polina Kostanda, Jeff Zorrilla, Eryk Salvaggio, Lucio Arese, Julien Pacaud and Diana Millan.

PABLO NÚÑEZ PALMA is an experimental filmmaker and independent researcher whose work investigates the intersection of new technologies with audiovisual archives. His latest projects seek to harness generative AI to support creative processes and explore ethical forms of human-machine co-authorship.

JAN BOT is a filmmaking bot that combines archival footage and algorithms to generate experimental videos based on two ingredients: found footage and today’s trending topics. Jan Bot was an artificial intelligence programme created by artists Bram Loogman and Pablo Núñez Palma in collaboration with Eye Filmmuseum and support from the Netherlands Creative Industries Fund. Using some of the latest A.I. of its time, Jan Bot worked day and night producing poetic films inspired by current news and images from early cinema.

REBECCA BARON is a Los Angeles-based media artist known for her lyrical essay films which explore the construction of history, with a particular interest in still photography and its relationship to the moving image. Her work has screened widely at international film festivals and media venues including documenta 12, International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive, Toronto Film Festival, London Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, Flaherty Film Seminar, Viennale and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her films have received awards at the San Francisco, Black Maria, Montreal, Leipzig, Athens, Onion City, KIN, Sinking Creek and Ann Arbor Film Festivals. She is the recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2007 Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has taught documentary and experimental film at Massachusetts College of Art, Harvard University, and since 2000 at California Institute of the Arts. Early adopter. Web pioneer. Connoisseur of emerging technologies. Appreciator of systems. Collector of analog devices. Teacher of technology, high and low.

DOUGLAS GOODWIN is a technologist investigating the mechanisms by which language and other technologies mediate our perception of reality. Goodwin’s work has shown at many venues including the Toronto International Film Festival, Harvard Film Archive, Ambulante, London Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, Frankfurt Film Museum, SIGGRAPH, REDCAT, the Orphans Film Symposium, the Courtisane Festival, Eyebeam, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. “Lossless”, a collaboration with Rebeca Baron, was the first digital work to enter the collection of the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. He currently serves as the first Fletcher Jones Foundation Scholar in Computation and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Scripps College.

BUDHADITYA CHATTOPADHYAY is an artist, media practitioner, researcher, and writer. Incorporating diverse media, creative technologies and research, Chattopadhyay produces works for large-scale installation and live performance addressing contemporary issues of environment and ecology, migration, race and decoloniality. Chattopadhyay has received numerous residencies, fellowships, and international awards, e.g. PRIX Ars Electronica 2011, Computer Space Festival 2014, Confluence 2021. His works have been widely exhibited, performed or presented across the globe, and released by Gruenrekorder (DE) and Touch (UK). Chattopadhyay has an expansive body of scholarly publications in the areas of media art history, theory and aesthetics, cinema and sound studies in leading peer-reviewed journals. He is the author of four books including The Nomadic Listener (2020), The Auditory Setting (2021), and Between the Headphones (2021). Chattopadhyay holds a PhD in Artistic Research and Sound Studies from Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, and an MA in New Media from the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University.

Conference organisers: Patrícia Castello Branco (CineLab — IFILNOVA); Maile Colbert (CineLab — IFILNOVA).

About IFILNOVA/CineLab’s working group in Art and Technology:
The Art and Technology working group focuses on exploring the relationships between artistic practices and the development of new technologies. Its main aim is to critically analyze, assess and discuss the ways the alliance between art and technology poses new challenges and offers new ways to respond to contemporary issues related to social, political, and economic paradigms, such as social justice, ecological sustainability, and economic development.