The Art AI Festival continues to bring Leicester to life with a series of city centre installations and online and offline interactive content.
Ahead of the summer holidays, the second Art AI Playbook, which has been produced by SideFest, has now been released in 3 differently themed learning sections.
The Art AI Playbook is released in three sections, with the all books now available to download. Each section focusses on a different theme and allows children to get involved in the areas that are being covered more broadly within the Art AI Festival’s exhibitions and online events. Section 1 is about FACES; Section 2 is about PATTERNS and Section 3 is about WORDS.
For children aged between 8-10 years, it’s a perfect parent-led project to offer an educational but fun activity for weekends or when planning for the summer holidays. All your children will need is some pens, pencils and a great imagination.
The Art AI Playbook can be downloaded from the Art AI Festival website.
Art AI Festival also continues to bring immersive innovation to the city of Leicester with its latest art installation, Masked Reality, which is now in place in the Haymarket Shopping Centre. In this installation, by Indian artist Harshit Agrawal, artificial intelligence is used to merge your face with a Kerala folk dance-inspired Indian Mask, creating a ‘masked reality’.
What’s it like to change your identity? Harshit Agrawal uses artificial intelligence to explore the idea of faces, traditions and identity, especially its malleability in the age of technology. When visiting the installation at the Haymarket Shopping Centre, you will see yourself transformed into faces inspired from dance rituals of southern India in real-time, in both male and female form, inspired by traditional mask cultures.
To have Harshit Agrawal’s work on display in Leicester is a real coup for Art AI Festival. Harshit was the only Indian artist among 7 international AI art pioneers in one of the world’s first AI art shows in a contemporary art gallery (Gradient Descent at Nature Morte), and he is currently the only Indian to feature at Superrare – a premium crypto-art (NFTs) platform. His work has also been extensively covered in international media, including BBC, New York Times, often as one of the founding artists of the AI art movement.
Masked Reality is a wonderful example of Harshit’s style of work, where he invites people to reflect upon and re-evaluate their ever-evolving relationship with technology.
Harshit Agrawal commented, “Masked Reality is an interactive AI based artwork which transforms the audience’s faces with face painting rituals of Southern Indian dance forms, Theyyam and Kathakali simultaneously, with images visible on a screen they stand in front of. The work immerses the audience in a performance of identity exploration along the dimensions of tradition, gender (Theyyam is a male form, while Kathakali a female one) and caste (Theyyam was traditionally performed by lower strata of Indian society, while Kathakali was reserved for the upper strata or caste).”
Art AI Festival is a partnership between the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, Phoenix, Leicester City Council, Highcross and independent creative AI curator Luba Elliott with additional support from Arts Council England, and this year runs over an extended period from May to October.
NOTE: Masked Reality is now extended to 31 August!