Art and Technology Beyond Disruptive Innovation: The Catechistic Demands of Creative AI and Digital Ledger Technologies in the New Tech Economy

Although Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation largely defines the new tech economy, there has been little consideration of its direct relation to applications of emerging technologies in the arts sector. In this presentation, the role of disruptive innovation in the development of high technology for the arts will be explored through an investigation of artworks utilizing artificial intelligence and digital ledger technologies that convey significant aspects of their technological and socio-economic means of production. While the concept of technological disruption has fueled a cultural movement so powerful that the ethos of disruption may be observed to spur more entrepreneurial and artistic quests in innovation than demands brought about by the necessity of invention itself, scholarly exploration of the nature of this phenomenon and its influence on the arts remains in its infancy. Has ars gratia artis succumbed to the seemingly inescapable cultural impulse of technology for the sake of technology? Contemporary art including some examples of the art of generative AI and NFTs provide unexpected yet useful vehicles through which to steer attention to the complex and changing role of disruptive and sustaining innovation in today’s new tech economy. This presentation encompasses one aspect of the book Dr. Spratt is currently writing on art and AI.

Místo: Učebna N21, Filozofická fakulta Masarykovy univerzity, Janáčkovo nám. 2a, Brno

Přednáška je úvodem do blokově vyučovaného kurzu TIM_BM_018 Theories, Methods, and Experiments in Art & AI (jaro 2022)

Titulní obrázek: (Detail) Julie Mehretu, Mural, Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, NY, NY


Professor Emily L. Spratt is an art historian, technologist, and strategic advisor based in New York City, where she teaches at The Cooper Union. She received her doctorate in the history of art from Princeton University and completed her post-doctorate at Columbia University in the Data Science Institute. Known for her wide-ranging scholarship on art, the art market, Byzantium and the Venetian Renaissance, cultural heritage preservation, gastronomy, applied computer vision science, the ethics of emerging technology, and art tech, Dr. Spratt has been described as a multi-field pioneer and a leader in machine learning for the arts, the ethics of data science, and the creative-tech sector. Dr. Spratt served as an expert consultant for the AI-inspired film Fellini Forward that premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. In 2019, she was invited by the office of President Emmanuel Macron to curate Au-delà du Terroir, Beyond AI Art for the Global Forum on AI for Humanity. Also in Paris, she closely collaborated with the renowned Chef Alain Passard to create The Gastronomic Algorithms, the results of which she recently published with MIT Press. In Frankfurt and Los Angeles, she curated Unhuman: Art in the Age of AI (2017), which was the first exhibition of its kind to use deep learning techniques to produce art with the AICAN algorithm. In addition, Dr. Spratt is the former strategic advisor of the notable blockchain-based art market company, Artory, and has been an advisor to The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library. She also holds advisory roles with the Artificial Intelligence Finance Institute, Exponential Impact, Ethical Tech at Duke University, and Princeton, and has been the recipient of numerous awards. They include those from the Onassis Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Cini Foundation, the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, the American Research Center in Sofia, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Byzantine Museum of Athens, the Frick Collection, the Montreal AI Ethics Institute, Princeton, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Cornell University. Dr. Spratt’s insights on art, AI, ethics, and society have been sought by media outlets such as the Washington Post and CBS News. She is especially honored to be teaching on the subject of contemporary art and technology at Masaryk University this term!