lab for

by Miche O’higgins

Useless L(AI)bour

work, machine learning, movement 

The rationale of our minds is so often prioritized as we attempt to make sense of the dizzying digital world. This workshop was an experiment in how we might activate the involved knowledge of our body and touch based thinking in our journey towards more holistic and transparent relationships with technology, especially artificial intelligence.

Through movement, sound and drawing exercises we aimed to reproduce lo-tech and analogue experiences of how machines learn, attempting to simulate with our bodies the rapid and repetitive temporality of neural networks. We created feedback loops with our voices, iterative training models with dance and generated hand-drawn datasets on which we trained a new artificially intelligent entity on, now imbued with the temporalities of our collective body of work.

An imperative of efficiency and optimisation is often hardwired into our technologies, but this workshop imagined how we might co-create a technological timescape that is generative, non-linear, open and interactive.

In collaboration with Chris Wood, Klara Kofen and James Oldham 

Hosted at Limehouse Town Hall, October 2019 

“We understand a thing only when we understand it with all four aspects of our being: mind, body, emotion and spirit.”

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass  

Model trained on  
Hand drawn data sets from the workshop were used to generate similar images

Sounds from various voice exercises were fed into a model to generated new sound. Created by Chris Wood.