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Exploring particular issue themes, articles will be created by contributors via invitation, commission and open submission from subscribers.

‘Machine folk’ music composed by AI shows technology’s creative side

Bob Sturm is a Lecturer in Digital Media at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London, specialising in audio and music signal processing, machine listening, and evaluation. Oded Ben-Tal is a composer with complementary research interests at the intersection of Music, Cognition, and Computing. His compositions range from instrumental works to interactive pieces combining live performers with electronics, and include multimedia collaborations with artist from other domains such as video, dance, and visual design.

AI and the idea of the human: myth, metaphor and agency

AI challenges fundamental concepts such as the human and the machine. Myth, metaphor, and generally the languages of art and literature as well as philosophy can be helpful in thinking through the challenges of AI when the languages of science, technology and commerce fail. The paper examines the enduring value of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in considering the questions of AI. The impact of AI upon human agency is also discussed. Without ways of thinking about, and grappling with a phenomenon as far reaching and transformative as AI, humans risk unintended, unforseen and perhaps unwelcome consequences of their technologies.

The Emerging Post-Materialist Paradigm: Toward the Next Great Scientific Revolution

“The materialist worldview, which has dominated science and academia over the last few centuries, has run its course. At last the tired old materialist paradigm has started to crumble, and a new paradigm has begun to emerge.”

Mario Beauregard, PhD., is a neuroscientist currently affiliated with the Department of Psychology, University of Arizona. He was the first neuroscientist to use neuroimaging to investigate the neural underpinnings of conscious and voluntary emotion regulation. Because of his research into the neuroscience of consciousness, he was selected (2000) by the World Media Net to be one of the “One Hundred Pioneers of the 21st Century.” In addition, his groundbreaking research on the neurobiology of spiritual experiences has received international media coverage, and a documentary film has been produced about his work (The Mystical Brain, 2007).

CRITICAL CONNECTIONS: Connecting Art, Design and STEM

The Critical Connections symposium was held at Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Creative Industries Precinct in March 2017. The symposium provided a platform for thinkers working across art, design and STEM to articulate key issues and share interdisciplinary strategies, via four panels: Research, Learning & Teaching, Ethics, and Cultural Engagement. This article provides an overview of each panellist’s key arguments and insight into current viewpoints that require further scrutiny. 

Nine-tenths of the iceberg: research as the unseen component of artists’ work

Since 2014, the writers of this article have been studying the relationship between Art and Science (A&S) practitioners as part of an AHRC Innovation Award, Metamorphoses.  Sarah Craske is an artist, while Charlotte Sleigh is a scholar in a field known as Science and Technology Studies (STS), a loose grouping of historians, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists and literary theorists, all of whom turn their critical humanist skills towards the sciences.

Parallax: Perspectives in Astronomy and Photography

“Over the past decade, I have been exploring the links between science, photography and philosophy. This body of research has involved collaborations between myself and a number of scientific institutions. In this article, I will share a number of collaborations with a number of scientific institutions that have led to developments in my own research, and further afield.”

Melanie King is an artist and curator with a specific focus on astronomy. She is co-Director of super/collider, Lumen Studios and the London Alternative Photography Collective. Melanie is currently studying towards a practice based PhD in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art.

The Tissue Culture & Art Project

The Tissue Culture & Art Project (TC&A), (an on-going research and development project initiated in 1996) was set to explore the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. We are investigating our relationships with the different gradients of life through the construction/growth of a new class of object/being – that of the Semi-Living. These are parts of complex organisms which are sustained alive outside of the body and coerced to grow in predetermined shapes. These evocative objects are a tangible example that brings into question deep rooted perceptions of life and identity, concept of self, and the position of the human in regard to other living beings and the environment. We are interested in the new discourses and new ethics/epistemologies that surround issues of partial life and the contestable future scenarios they are offering us.