In the framework of the Tuesday Meetings, a lecture by Professor Anthony Downey, entitled ‘Decolonising Artificial Intelligence: Visual Strategies and Digital Methodologies in a Post-Digital Age‘ will take place on Tuesday, 7.3.2023, at 11:00, in the library of the Institute of Criminology. The lecture will be held in English.

How do we (re)think the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through practice-based research? What is the “value”, speculative or otherwise, of the knowledge produced through creative practices? Can strategic models of visualisation engender modalities of collaborative and critical engagement? To pose such questions is to engage a prevailing concern in contemporary debates about cultural production: What is meant by artistic research and how does it question, reframe, and produce knowledge systems? Drawing on recent and ongoing research, Professor Anthony Downey will explore how visual cultures can refine, if not potentially redefine, how we engage with the algorithmic rationalisations and epistemic apparatuses that support Artificial Intelligence. Given the focus on normative and non-normative forms of social, racial, and historical categories, the concern with unaccountable dominion and unchecked taxonomic bias has long been a central issue in post-colonial and decolonising art practices. This research seminar will examine a number of these  visual strategies and how, through digital and other methods, they challenge the operative logic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its apparently proliferating command in our post-digital age.

Anthony Downey is a Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He sits on the editorial boards of Third Text, Digital War and Memory, Mind & Media, respectively, and is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press, 2020–ongoing). Recent and upcoming publications include Post-Digital Futures and Algorithmic Anxieties (MIT Press, 2024); Trevor Paglen: Adversarially Evolved Hallucinations (Sternberg Press & MIT, 2024); Nida Sinnokrot: Palestine is Not a Garden (Sternberg Press & MIT, 2023); Khalil Rabah: Falling Forward – Works, 1995–2025 (Sharjah Art Foundation and Hatje Cantz, 2022); Topologies of Air: Shona Illingworth (Sternberg Press & The Power Plant, 2022), and Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork (Sternberg Press & MIT Press, 2021). He is the Cultural and Commissioning Lead on a four-year multi-disciplinary AHRC Network Plus award, where his research focuses on supporting cultural practices, digital methodologies and educational provision for children with disabilities in Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan (2020–2024).

Keywords: AI, Visual strategies, artistic research

Further Reading:

Illingworth, Shona, and Downey, A. (2022) “Topologies of Air and the Airspace Tribunal”, Philosophy of Photography Journal, vol. 12, no. 3: 6-24.

Downey, A. (2021) “The Algorithmic Apparatus of Neocolonialism”, The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, Vol.30, No.61-62 (78-82)

Amin, Heba Y. and Downey, A. (2020)  “Contesting Post-digital Futures: Drone Warfare and the Geo-politics of Aerial Surveillance in the Middle East”, Journal of Digital War Vol. No. 1-3: 65-73.

Downey, A. (2020)‘”Where Is The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information”: Speculative Research and Digital Methodologies’, in Balaskas and Rito, eds., Institution as Praxis: New Curatorial Directions for Collaborative Research (Sternberg Press, 2020)

Paglen, Trevor, and Downey, A. (2019) “Algorithmic Anxieties” Digital War, Vol. 1, No. 1-3:18-28.