2023 saw UKAI introduce a new website! And it’s weird!
UKAI worked with the good folks at Charlie Agency to develop a “polyphonic archive” of our work and the first iteration is now live at https://www.ukaiprojects.com.
Currently, the “disordered” view of our archive is only available on desktop but we will be investing and improving over time. Visitors can manipulate elements, form new combinations, and create their own objects in response which interact and interfere with the patterns of others. When you offer a response, our in-house AI replies.
We have drawn on the emerging field of ecological aesthetics (see "Bleak Joys" as an example) which documents the “modes of crises that constitute our present ecological and political condition and reckons with the means by which they are not simply aesthetically known but aesthetically manifest”.
In our work, we try to bring into relation different ways of knowing and being in the world. Audiences can then map out constellations of meaning and chart paths forward around issues that are immensely complex and often sad. What are the aesthetics of devastation? Of irresolvability? Of anguish? Our home page is now an effort to reflect these intentions and to invite audiences into different relationships with the work we produce and support.
Our current ecological and political condition will demand multiple points of view to make sense of what is happening. For example, climate change is not a singular issue but requires multiple viewpoints drawing on a range of lived experiences and forms of expertise. UKAI’s approach is consistently and explicitly polyphonic and we convene artists, community members, researchers, and others to participate in collective investigation of broad questions.
Who defines the future of community? What does AI mean for me and those I care about? How do we ensure no one is left behind?
The aesthetics and mechanics of digitally representing multiple interpretations of a singular issue are messy and uncertain. How might the voices and creations of artists, scientists, citizens, and others be held in relation to each other while inviting ever-new voices and interpretations into the mix?
We believe that art must continue to make meaningful contributions to issues of broad social concern. Artistic ways of knowing are often marginalized when discussing crises. We are advocating for artistic ways of knowing at the centre of the interpretive process, contributing both artistic responses AND a framework of representation that allows for audiences to see multiple viewpoints in relation to each other, rather than as distinct events participating in ideological battles.
This is our first effort at a mode of presentation that is participatory, polyphonic, and cross-disciplinary at its foundation.
Play around, leave a response and let us know what you think!
This project was made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.