Benjamin Bratton describes his current seminar at SCI-Arc as an exploration of the issues involved inartificial intelligence (AI) at urban scale. They investigate non-anthropocentric models of AI, attempting to model intelligence not in terms of human processes, but a wider array of what thinking may entail, as demonstrated in signaling, niche dynamics, non-anthropocentric human/AI interaction, machine vision, and other activies.
Bratton describes his concurrent work at the Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design, exploringhow emerging technologies define what urbanism is, in the specific context of contemporary Russia. In response to Jeffrey Kipnis, Bratton shares some impressions of present-day Moscow.
With input from the audience, Kipnis and Bratton discuss AI, touching on issues including sensation, cellular signaling, neo-Lamarkianism, protein epigenetics, humanist pushback against AI applications, Google’s Deep Dream, the limits of computability, and coevolution. Bratton argues that AI should not be applied to existing processes of architectural production, but human collaboration with AI has the potential to create new forms of production.
Benjamin H. Bratton argues that accidental megastructures could potentially be related to Utopian concepts. He concludes the lecture with excerpts from his forthcoming book, Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution.
Benjamin Bratton discusses speculative design as an alternative to mainstream design approaches, proposing setting systems up "so that the outcomes solve themselves." Bratton challenges designers to think outside of human-centered temporal and spatial categories, because, "the futures worth designing are probably those that exceed human phenomenology." Bratton proposes that the 21st century will see the preeminence of new design fields: the internet of things, robotics/AI, 3d printing, and biotechnology. He discusses the relevance of speculative realism/object-oriented ontology. Bratton argues that art and design as disciplines remain vital because they accommodate experimentation that wouldn't be permitted inside the institutions of science and technology.
Benjamin Bratton cites dozens of headlines from the news that touch on issues he has addressed in his new book, The Stack: on software and sovereignty. He argues that a disruptive "delamination of jurisdiction from geography" is underway, brought about by discrete networks and platforms of global computation that he calls The Stack. For Bratton, the Stack consists of Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, and User. He discusses each of these layers in detail, concluding with thoughts on the Stack of the future. While acknowledging that current ecological, sectarian and financial emergencies could lead to a regressive Cloud feudalism, he offers hope that robust, inhuman artificial intelligence may finally clear the air of self-destructive humanist daydreams.
Benjamin Bratton and Jeff Kipnis discuss Bratton’s ideas of terrorism and counter-terrorism as developed in his essay, “For a staging of Jean Genet’s The Balcony in 2007” (published in Dispute plan to prevent future luxury constitution, 2015). From this their talk touches on compromise and submission in architecture, terrorism, Donald Trump, fascism, Disney Hall, and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE:
A SYMPOSIUM ON AI, ARCHITECTURE AND VIRTUAL WORLDS
Popularly labeled as the 4th Industrial Revolution, the proliferation of artificial intelligence, robotics, automation and virtual reality is transforming the socioeconomic structure of our society and consequently revolutionizing the way we design and experience spaces. These emerging technological paradigms promise a heightened sense of interaction between humans and their environment. In these new scenarios, the software and hardware ecosystems are exceedingly gaining autonomy. Virtual worlds are no longer limited to be interfaces that merely enhance the physical environment but are becoming spaces in their own right; blurring the distinction between the physical and the digital in our constructed reality. The Symposium: Machines of Loving Grace expands the contemporary discussion on the evolution of human-machine society into the domain of architectural discourse.
Focusing on these new design ecosystems that shape our contemporary reality, the presenters will explore the particular themes of artificial intelligence, interaction design, and virtual/ augmented reality. Some of the main discussion points will include:
AI and intelligent environments
Interactive spaces and cyberphysical systems
Virtual worlds and architecture of interfaces
Robotics, autonomy, and automation
By engaging some of the greatest minds from the fields of art, architecture, philosophy, industrial design, literature and engineering, the symposium will theorize and situate a new agenda for the intersection of technology and the environments we occupy and socialize in; both digitally and physically.
Detailed schedule & presenters
Join us on Facebook Live on Saturday, March 11 at 1:30pm
1:00 PM-1:30 PM
Check in + Exhibition
1:30 PM- 1:55 PM
Welcome by Neil Denari, Interim Chair and Professor UCLA A.UD
Intro by Guvenc Ozel, Faculty UCLA Suprastudio
AI: Interfaces and Objects
1:55 PM- 2:20 PM
Nora Khan, Writer, Rhizome, Eyebeam
2:20 PM- 2:45 PM
Kenric McDowell, Senior UX Designer, Google Research, Art and Machine Intelligence
2:45 PM- 3:10 PM
Tim Wantland, Senior Interaction Designer, Google Research Machine Intelligence
3:10 PM- 3:30 PM
SESSION 1 PANEL DISCUSSION
Form, Data and Intelligence
3:30 PM- 3:55 PM
Jason Kelly Johnson, Design Principal, Future Cities Lab & Associate Professor, CCA San Francisco
3:55 PM- 4:20 PM
Casey Reas, Professor, UCLA Design Media Arts
4:20 PM- 4:45 PM
Nick Cote, Researcher, Applied Research & Innovation, Autodesk
SESSION 2 PANEL DISCUSSION
Cyberphysical Systems: The Virtual and the Physical
5:05 PM- 5:30 PM
Benjamin Bratton, Professor, University of California, San Diego, Program Director, Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow
5:30 PM- 5:55 PM
Jose Sanchez, Assistant Professor University of Southern California, School of Architecture, Director at Plethora Project llc.
5:55 PM- 6:20 PM
Rebecca Allen, Professor, UCLA Design Media Arts
6:20 PM- 6:40 PM
SESSION 3 PANEL DISCUSSION
6:40 PM- 7:00 PM
ALL SPEAKERS, Audience Q&A
The Symposium is hosted by Ozel SUPRASTUDIO.
ABOUT OZEL SUPRASTUDIO
Ozel SUPRASTUDIO at UCLA IDEAS is focused on investigating the intersection of the digital and the physical worlds, looking at the cusp of living in mixed realities where interactive environments challenge traditional fabrication techniques and spatial assemblies. Current research objectives include virtual and augmented reality, robotics, cyberphysical systems and smart space applications. Automation, interaction, autonomous transportation, space travel, robotic fabrication, virtual spaces and interface design are recurring themes of exploration, aiming to find meaningful design applications while navigating through the ever-changing world of technology. Some of the current and former industry collaborations include Autodesk and Microsoft, among others. Studio is led by Guvenc Ozel with the assistance of lecturers Benjamin Ennemoser and Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci.
Bruno Juricic moderates a symposium on the speculative directions for architecture in relation to contemporary digital culture with Lucy Redoglia, Devin Gharakhanian, Birgit Lohmann, Amelia Taylor-Hochberg, and Benjamin Bratton. Within Juricic’s framing axis of the issue of dissemination and the issue of attention, the panelists describe their projects, and debate how media are being used, and how does their use impact the message? Lucy Redoglia describes LACMA’s use of Snapchat. Devin Gharakhanian describes how SuperArchitects began as a platform for architecture students to show their work. Brigit Lohmann characterizes designboom as a design project—not journalism—that curates submissions. Amelia Taylor-Hochberg describes Archinect as a source for news and discussion of the whole range of issues of concern to architects. Benjamin Bratton proposes that rather than attention, the most significant aspect of new media is interoperability. The panelists discuss images in social media, the use of social media as an aesthetic end it itself, urban augmented reality, and how platforms can become unwitting research tools for businesses.
Benjamin Bratton characterizes the third and final presentation for the Architecture, Computation and Globalization seminar as an exploration of how the emergent planetary-scale computational infrastructure discussed in his previous talks relates to cities. He discusses the airport as the urban space of hard and soft control, and new digital gateways which control access without capturing bodies. Bratton discusses the physical organization of the crowd performed by the building envelope and virtual envelopes. He discusses generative design in the context of the new cities being built around the world like Masdar City and Songdo. Bratton responds to comments from the audience about surveillance, airports as sites in which the city is repeatedly miniaturized, and dis-enchantment as a call to arms.
Noted Architects, designers, and cultural leaders share their thoughts on the future of design through a series of short presentations during "L.A. Architecture Month," part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA.
Based out of UCLA A.UD's new satellite facility at the Hercules Campus in Playa Vista, Runway presenters include:
00:00 Hitoshi Abe (Runway Introductions; Chair, UCLA A.UD)
06:25 Frances Anderton (Runway emcee; Host, KCRW's DnA)
10:42 Kimberli Meyer (Director, MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House)
15:42 Paul Petrunia, Director of Archinect
21:31 Heather Roberge (Principal, Murmur; Asst. Professor and Associate Vice Chair, UCLA A.UD)
29:10 David Lai (CEO/Creative Director, Hello Design)
37:02 Bobbye Tigerman (Associate Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, LACMA)
40:30 Intermission with Frances Anderton and UCLA A.UD professor, Greg Lynn
48:40 Christian Moeller: letter read by Frances Anderton followed by film (Artist, Professor, UCLA Design Media Arts)
52:03 Benjamin Bratton (Theorist, Associate Professor of Visual Art at the University of California, San Diego)
57:16 Elena Manferdini (Principal, Atelier Manferdini; Design Faculty, SCI-Arc)
1:05:07 Andrew Zago (Principal, Zago Architecture; Design Faculty, SCI-Arc)
1:11:27 Valerie Leblond (Program Director, IDEAS, UCLA A.UD)
1:19:24 Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator, Architecture and Design, MoMA)