Artist talk

Ellen Pearlman: Language Is Leaving Me  

  • Conference Centre, level 1  
  • 7 October, 6.00 p.m. – 7.30 p.m. 
  • Hosted by: Łukasz Kamieński  

Meeting with Ellen Pearlman, PhD – researcher and artist working in new media art. 

Ellen Pearlman is the winner of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award, as part of which she conducts research on artificial intelligence and computer vision at the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Warsaw. 

The artist will present a working version of an interactive multimedia installation prepared with Polish and Ukrainian artists and constructors. The project "Language Is Leaving Me – An AI Opera Of the Skin" explores the relations between artificial intelligence, memory, power, trauma, and war. As the author stated: 

The information age gave rise to the artificial intelligence age. We entrust more and more of humanity’s memories to AI, which organises them using seemingly objective tools. During this process, our subjective emotions are removed, and we obtain an average picture of the most popular beliefs and opinions. 

The installation consists of a film, sound materials, and a portable electromyograph – a device allowing a particular person to influence the soundtrack using muscle signals.  

Note! The installation contains drastic images related to war and the Holocaust. We invite people over 18 years of age who are emotionally resilient.

Ellen Pearlman, PhD – new media artist, curator, critic, and educator who obtained her PhD from the School of Creative Media at the Hong Kong City University. She holds the Fulbright scholarship, works at the University of Warsaw, and previously worked at MIT. She is the winner of Vertigo STARTS and the artist of Zero1 American Arts Incubator. She founded and managed ThinkWorks Arts (a high-end artistic and technological research lab) and Art-A-Hack (a rapid prototyping workshop).  

She is an author of numerous publications in IEEE, ACM, and ICCC and a contributing editor in the Performance Arts Journal (PAJ) MIT Press. She created "Noor – A Brainwave Opera" – the world’s first immersive, interactive opera at the 360-Degree Theatre in Hong Kong, and "AIBO – An Emotionally Intelligent Artificial Intelligence Brainwave Opera" in Tallinn in Estonia. Her latest project, "Language Is Leaving Me – An AI Opera Of the Skin" explores the relationship between AI cinema and the epigenetic or inherited traumatic memories of the diaspora cultures.

Elvin Flamingo: Plant Animals. Symbiosity of Creation 

  • Conference Centre, level 1  
  • 8 October, 2.00 p.m. – 3.00 p.m. 
  • Hosted by: Marta Fikus-Kryńska, PhD 

Meeting with Elvin Flamingo – an artist executing intermedia projects at the intersection of art, biology, and technology, who presents a work entitled "Plant Animals. Symbiosity of Creation" at the festival exhibition. The installation prepared by the Gdańsk-based artist reveals to us a world of unique plant animals, Symsagittifera roscoffensis. They constitute an example of a symbiosis of certain invertebrates (Xenacoelomorpha) with microalgae (Tetraselmis convolutae) living on their bodies. 

Thanks to the photosynthesis of algae, the invertebrates obtain all the necessary nutrients and do not have to eat in the way typical of animals. The organisms live in colonies in the seas and prefer sandy ground low in organic matter.  

While trying to imitate the natural environment, Elvin Flamingo created two incubators, the appearance of which was inspired by Marc Augé’s theory of “non-places” and Lars von Trier’s films "Dogville" and "Manderlay". They can host 27 separate colonies of organisms and provide optimal living conditions.   

The artist analyses the phenomenon of symbiosis from various perspectives. In nature, it involves the close coexistence of two organisms from which at least one benefits. Psychologists define symbioticity as a relationship based on addiction. Artistic activity can also be interpreted similarly. Additionally, the behaviour of Symsagittifera roscoffensis resembles the dynamics of “human” social movements, which is the key that binds the entire project together. 

Elvin Flamingo – artist and associate professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. In 2016–2019, he was the vice-dean for intermedia at this university's Faculty of Sculpture and Intermedia. In his projects, he combines art, biology and technology. He describes them as biomedia art.  

One of Flamingo’s most important projects is "Symbioticity of Creation". He started the project in 2012 and plans to continue it until 2034. The starting point of this work is breeding farmer ants that grow mushrooms. From 2021, this work is part of the permanent collection of the Copernicus Science Centre.