Francis Ruyter: Hurricane / Time / Image, 2019

Prognostics lecture: Mohammad Salemy: AN A FOR AN A: Art as Algorithm

Torstai, marraskuu 21, 2019 - 18:00
Exhibition Laboratory

We are surrounded by an ongoing discussion about algorithms and the emergence of artificial intelligence. However, there aren’t many in the arts today who are seriously contemplating the real and tangible implications of these latest stages of cybernetic revolution for their field. Even less is being done in the art world to direct the epistemic consequences of this recently acquired knowledge toward constructing new forms of self-understanding and self-reflection. It is in this cultural atmosphere that we would pose the question: Can the work of an artist be considered an algorithm or at least be compared to algorithmic processes? What kinds of methodologies are needed to erase the seemingly authentic and human-oriented self-image of contemporary art to examine its affinities with algorithmic logic? Can we go even further and re-ontologize the figure of the artist as a living algorithm, both in terms of their work as well as the social aspect of their lives contesting for resources and visibility in a highly competitive milieu? Since artistic practice and its performance are only visible in their final form in the public sphere, the invisibility of clues leading to the visible part produces both faith and doubts about the sincerity and genuineness of artists and their works. These positive and negative false impressions, however, should not discourage us from comparing our knowledge of algorithms to break down the being and function of the artist in the twenty-first century.

Mohammad Salemy is an independent Berlin-based artist, critic and curator from Canada. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and an MA in Critical Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. He has shown his works in Ashkal Alwan's Home Works 7 (Beirut, 2015), Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2015) and Robot Love (Eindhoven, 2018). His writings have been published in e-flux, Flash Art, Third Rail, Brooklyn Rail, Ocula, Arts of the Working Class and Spike. Salemy's curatorial experiment For Machine Use Only was included in the 11th edition of Gwangju Biennale (2016). Together with Patrick Schabus, he forms the artist collective Alphabet Collection. Salemy is the Organizer at The New Centre for Research & Practice.


Prognostics lectures map new areas of art, which challenge established forms of art, exhibition methods, and shake up societal norms and political thinking. Prognostics lecture series is supported by Saastamoinen Foundation.

Prognostics lecture series Autumn

1.10. Nomaduma Rosa Masilela

8.10. Maria Kapajeva

23.10. Nisrine Boukhari

4.11. Théo Mercier & Steven Michel

21.11. Mohammad Salemy