Applied Imagination expanded on many of the topics presented in Re-Engineering Humanity – exploring artificial intelligence and its incorporation into society. Applied Imagination is a group exhibition organized in collaboration with YESUNIVERSE and curated by Lady PheOnix, a 2019 curatorial fellow at 836M. Artificial Intelligence will soon be present in all our lives, from the cradle to the grave. As our culture evolves, technological trends have given rise to what many contemporary thinkers call the imagination economy, “an economy where intuitive and creative thinking produces economic value.” Applied Imagination featured media artist Refik Anadol, Marjan Moghaddam, computational artist and interdisciplinary researcher Parag K. Mital, and creative technologist Jacqueline Assar.
This exhibition was curated by Lady PheOnix – a curator of contemporary art and a passionate producer of creative works at the intersection of visual art and technology. She elevates and amplifies artists’ work through curated group shows organized in her virtual Instagram gallery, YESUNIVERSE. She has organized exhibitions for the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, 836M in San Francisco, and HuffPost Arts.
Moghaddam uses digital technology such as computer animation, 3D modeling, and texture mapping in prints, videos, and installations. In her most well-known works, the Iranian-born, Brooklyn-based artist builds three-dimensional characters and environments that resemble the landscapes of video games or virtual reality—as a means to comment on the politics of innovation, communication, and warfare. Moghaddam’s more abstract compositions recall sound waves or energy fields and embody her artistic impetus “to achieve the sublime in art with computer-based tools,” as she says.
Refik Anadol, born in Istanbul, is an internationally renowned media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he owns and operates Refik Anadol Studio and RAS LAB, the Studio’s research practice centered around discovering and developing trailblazing approaches to data narratives. Anadol also teaches at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts, where he obtained his Master of Fine Arts.
Jacqueline Assar is an immersive technology creator with an academic background in cognitive psychology and computer science. Her work explores the relationship between humanity and emerging technologies such as augmented and virtual realities, and artificial intelligence. Her art has been featured at the Institute For Contemporary Art in Boston and 836M in San Francisco.