Conference “Artistic Originality in the Age of AI”


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The conference “Artistic Originality in the Age of AI” will take place at the Estonian Academy of Arts on June 15, from 9.30am till 4.30pm.

The conference discusses historical and contemporary issues of originality and artistic innovation in the age of artificial intelligence. The main topic is to explore originality and novelty in art in a situation where creators are surrounded by a visually oversaturated environment; where creators have technology at their disposal that allows them to easily copy, modify and distribute their art; where professional (art-educated) creators have to compete with visually untrained creators; where digital technology participates not only as an aid and instrument of creation, but with the example of artificial intelligence programs tend to question the author’s visual ability. 

Since digital technology has been involved in artistic creation and visual design for the past twenty or more years and has penetrated various creative fields, it is interesting to explore the influence of technology in art innovation in both traditional and new art forms: visual arts, design, architecture, ceramics, media art, art research.


Conference will be held in English and live streamed in EKA TV – For registration please fill this FORM.

The event is part of the Transform4Europe Week program.



09.30 – 10.00 Welcome and Opening Remarks: Kirke Kangro, Dean of Fine Arts, Professor

10:00 – 10.45  Keynote presentation by Pau Waelder “Art in the Latent Space. Machine Learning as a Tool, a Co-Author and an Other”

10.45 – 11.00 Paco Ulman Accidental Projections”

11.00 – 11.15  Zeynep Aksoez  “Artificial Narratives”

11.15 – 11.30 Hasso Krull   “Creative Ritual and Ritual Creativity”

11.30 – 11.45  Taavi Piibemann “Don’t be afraid, HAL.”

11:45 – 12:45  conversation, moderated by prof. Kirke Kangro

12:45 – 13:45 lunch

13.45 – 14.00 Andres Karjus “The human-technology continuum in text and image”

14.00 – 14.15  Oliver Laas “Norms in AI Systems”

14.15 – 14.30  Taavi Suisalu “AI in the mirror”

14.30 – 14.45  Varvara Guljajeva “AI-aided Ceramic Sculptures: Bridging Deep Learning with Materiality”

14.45 – 15.30 Keynote presentation by Lev Manovich “Artificial Aesthetics? Looking at AI Media Through the Lens of Art History”

15.30 – 16.30  – conversation, moderated by dr Raivo Kelomees




Pau Waelder “Art in the Latent Space. Machine Learning as a Tool, a Co-Author and an Other”

Senior Curator at Niio. Writer and researcher specialized in art and digital media. PhD in Information and Knowledge Society from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Adjunct lecturer at the UOC, as well as in postgraduate courses. Editor and advisor at DAM Digital Art Museum. His work explores the different aspects of the interaction between art, technology and society, as well as the relationship between digital art and the art market. He is the author of the book on contemporary and digital art collecting You Can Be A Wealthy/ Cash-Strapped Art Collector In The Digital Age (Printer Fault Press, 2020).


Since the dawn of algorithmic art, computers have entered the creative process as an active agent, engaging in a somewhat dialogical relationship with the artist. Machine learning programs have enabled computers to produce more sophisticated outputs, to the point of surpassing artists’ expectations. The precise instructions inscribed in a few lines of code have become prompts in natural language, with the final outcome emerging from an inscrutable latent space. As a field of uncharted possibilities, the latent space expands artists’ creativity and enables the perception of the program as an Other, an entity that is felt as alien while also deeply embedded in the artist’s self. This talk will address the latent space in connection with the notion of an Other and its implications in artistic creativity and originality.


Paco Ulman “Accidental Projections”

Since 2001 has worked as an architect in various offices (Ars Projekt, AB Kosmos, Arhitektuuriagentuur, Alianss Arhitektid). In 2013 he co-founded Mudel Architects studio. 2018-2020 worked at Tallinn Urban Planning Department and since 2021 works as an architect at the Tallinn Strategic Management Office.

Selection of projects in which he participated as co-author: Hotel Lydia in Tartu (2016), Hotel Lydia (2014), Pärnu Mud Baths hotel Hedon spa, Niine tn 11 office building extension project in Tallinn (2012).

In his artistic practice he is mainly focused on spatial issues and its representations using various different mediums. He has made exhibition and installation works, designed graphics, directed short films and animations, graphic novels, etc. Selection of solo exhibitions:„Heitmaa“ 2018a, „Tallinnas“ 2009a ja „Mememe“ 2014a. Since 2011 he has supervised various studios at Estonian Art Academy. From 2021 he is a PhD student in Architecture and Art at EKA Architecture and Urban Planning department.


Zeynep Aksöz Artificial Narratives”

Zeynep Aksöz is an architect and a creative coder. She is one of two partners of Vienna-based design and research collective Open Fields. Currently she is a Research Associate and a lecturer at University of AppliedArtsVienna, an Assistant Professor at TU Vienna in Department for Structural Design, Faculty in IAACBarcelona.Through her ongoing research, teaching, and practice Zeynep explores generative design and the implementation of AI based processes into design, architecture, and urbanism. Her focus lies in developing emergent design approaches through the collaboration of human and artificial intelligence.

Zeynep is the recipient ofResearch Prize for Architecture from the National Chamber of Architects, Austria and a former Marie Curie fellow. Together with Mark Balzar, BernhardSommer,and Galo Moncayo she is the recipient of FWF PEEK funding for their Project Vibrant Fields.In collaboration with Nicolaj Kirisits she received INTRA funding for the project titled Morphology of Sound. Her creative and scientific work has been published in books such as Fabricate, Design Transactions, in conference proceedings including Design Modeling Symposium, Acadia as well as in the architecture magazineManege. Zeynep has exhibited her work at the Vienna Design Week, Bratislava Design Week, inKADKCopenhagen, Salona di Mobile in Milan, London Design Festival, Daniels School of Architecture in Toronto, andArchitecture Biennale die Venezia. Zeynep received her Doctoral degree from the University of Applied Arts Vienna at the Institute of Architecture under the supervision of Klaus Bollinger. She was a Marie Curie Fellow and an early-stage researcher in the international training network Innochain. She holds a MArch degree from the Architectural Association of London’s Emergent Technologies and Design Program and an MSc degree from TU Wien.


Hasso Krull “Creative Ritual and Ritual Creativity”

Hasso Krull (b. 1964) is an Estonian poet who has published sixteen books of poetry and nine collections of essays that include literary criticism as well as writings concerning art, cinema and society. During 1990-2017 he was teaching cultural theory at the Estonian Institute of Humanities (special courses on creation myths, oral tradition, continental philosophy and psychoanalysis). In 2001 Krull founded a poetry translation review Ninniku with Kalju Kruusa (, in 2003 there followed a book series Ninniku Raamatukogu. Lately Krull has been concerned with ecological issues and the ongoing devastation of the Estonian forests.


Taavi Piibemann “Don’t be afraid, HAL.”

Taavi Piibemann started his stint as a carpenter,  taught art at the Estonian Academy of Arts and Pallas in Tartu. Choose to do that after three years of copywriting, what back then seemed like a logical application of his study of photography at Tartu Art College and English language and literature at Tartu University. Beyond that there’s idyllic rural childhood in Viinistu, a small seaside village at the Gulf of Finland.


Andres Karjus “The human-technology continuum in text and image”

Andres Karjus is a research fellow in cultural data analytics at Tallinn University, and also operates in the private sector as an instructor on digital skills and AI. He has a background in the humanities (PhD in linguistics) and computer science (MSc in AI), and regularly engages with both in his teaching and research practice.


Oliver Laas “Norms in AI Systems”

Oliver Laas is a philosopher whose work focuses on philosophy of technology, philosophy of language, logic and metaphysics. He has written about artificial intelligence, arguments from analogy, definitions, truthlikeness in history, video games, and virtual reality.


Taavi Suisalu “AI in the mirror”

Taavi Suisalu is an artist who blends traditional and contemporary sensibilities and activates peripheral spaces for imaginative encounters. He has recorded volcanoes and malfunctioning satellites, composed for lawnmowers, intertwined living and digital ecosystems, explored datafictions and how developments in technologies shape our environments and influence behavior, perception and thinking of social beings. Suisalu has studied sociology and computer science in University of Tartu, contemporary art practices in Geneva University of Art and Design and earned his MA degree from Estonian Academy of Arts. He has participated in residency programmes in Nida Art Colony, WRO Art Center and International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) amongst others.


Varvara Guljajeva “AI-aided Ceramic Sculptures: Bridging Deep Learning with Materiality”

Dr Varvara Guljajeva is an Assistant Professor in Computational Media and Arts at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou). Previously, she held positions at the Estonian Academy of Arts and Elisava Design School in Barcelona. Her PhD thesis “From Interaction to Post-Participation: The Disappearing Role of the Active Participant” was selected as the highest-ranking abstracts by Leonardo Labs in 2020. As an artist, she works together with Mar Canet forming an artist duo Varvara & Mar. Often the duo’s work is inspired by the information age. Their works were shown at MAD, Barbican, Ars Electronica, ZKM, etc.


Lev Manovich “Artificial Aesthetics? Looking at AI Media Through the Lens of Art History”

Lev Manovich is a visual artist, writer, and one of the world’s most influential digital culture theorists. He was included in the lists of “25 People Shaping the Future of Design” (Complex, 2013) and “50 Most Interesting People Building the Future” (Verge, 2014). Manovich is a Presidential Professor at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and a Director of the Cultural Analytics Lab. He has published 180 articles and 15 books that include AI Aesthetics, Cultural Analytics, Instagram and Contemporary Image, and The Language of New Media described as “the most suggestive and broad-ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” His digital art projects were shown in eight personal and 120 international groups exhibitions in Centre Pompidou, ICA London, ZKM, KIASMA, and other leading venues.

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Posted by Kati Saarits

Faculty of Fine Arts Open Lectures