The Argentinian artist Sofia Crespo uses neural networks (artificial intelligence algorithms) to explore hypothetical forms of a speculative nature.
The synthetic images that make up Neural Zoo resemble certain animals and ecosystems. It is possible to recognise textures, colours and contours in them that human eyes and brains relate to certain elements of nature. However, these forms are not organised or structured following a natural layout, but instead use the logic of machine learning. To create each representation, Crespo first collects large numbers of images of a certain habitat, species or individual which she uses to train a generative algorithm. Next, an artificial neural network learns the characteristic features of each collection and generates a visual imaginary from each of them, from which the artist then collects the synthetic photographs.
The collaborative work between human vision and computational vision that Neural Zoo explores can help us to understand nature better, while offering new tools with which to imagine other possible realities.
Sofia Crespo is an artist working with a huge interest in biology-inspired technologies. Born in Argentina and based in Lisbon, her work focuses on artificial life and generative life forms as a digital art practice. One of her main points of interest is the way organic life uses artificial mechanisms to simulate itself and evolve. Crespo examines the similarities between the image-forming techniques of artificial intelligence and the way humans creatively express themselves and cognitively recognise the world. His projects include “Trauma Doll”, “Artificial Remnants”, “This Jellyfish does not exist”, “Beneath the Neural Waves” and “Critically Extant”. She has exhibited at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, the Art-Al Festival in Leicester, AI Everything Summit in Dubai, BOM in Birmingham, Tank Museum in Shanghai and Ars Santa Monica in Barcelona, among others. In 2021 she received the RE:HUMANISM Art Prize in Rome, the AI Newcomer Award from the German Informatics Society and the Next Nature Network, ECO Coin Award in Eindhoven. She is co-founder of Entangled Others Studio with Feileacan McCormick.
Promoted by the Begihandi collective, GETXOPHOTO is a festival dedicated to image that takes place in Getxo (Basque Country) for the last 15 years. It brings different proposals from photographers and visual storytellers from all over the world to the city, setting a contemporary conversation about the theme proposed each year.
GETXOPHOTO inhabits the public space and continues supporting the use of formats, stands and unconventional exhibition spaces to show the different images. This is a thematic festival that every three years works together with a different curator who understands the photography as a tool of knowledge, communication, and of course artistic enjoyment. Exhibitions, installations, projections, collaborations, experimental laboratories and many activities complete the program of the Festival.
Jon Uriarte is the curator of GETXOPHOTO 2022.