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Anika Meier & Manuel Rossner

»If technology is the answer, what was the question?«

In October 2018, Christie’s New York auctioned off a work of art by the automated painting devices of the Generational Adversarial Network (GAN). The "Portrait of Edmond Belamy", in whose creation no human was involved, was auctioned for over 400,000 US dollars. Another algorithm is said to complete Ludwig van Beethoven's 10th Symphony in 2020 at the time of the composer's 250th anniversary. And by the end of September 2019, in the Berlin Schinkelpavillon exhibition space, as part of the video installation “Ground Zero” by Christopher Kulendran Thomas and Annika Kuhlmann, a deep fake Taylor Swift was critically commenting on the politics of US President Donald Trump .

“If technology is the answer, what was the question?” asked architect Cedric Price back in the 1960s. Media artist Hito Steyerl recently called for an expanded dialogue on the same topic: "Everybody talks about Artificial Intelligence, we should also talk about Artificial Stupidity."

The discussion about artificial intelligence in design and art raises central questions about the future viability of an entire professional sector. The parameters of room for maneuver and theoretical meta-level shift fundamentally. Does AI make a whole profession obsolete or does it show new ways of a “Personalized User Experience” and limitless possibilities of variants based on customer and consumer wishes? How is democratic participation in AI and its use possible?

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Manuel Rossner studied art at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, the École des Arts-Décoratifs Paris, and the Tongji College for Design and Innovation in Shanghai. In 2012 Rossner founded the virtual Float Gallery, an Internet platform for digital art. In April 2020 König Galerie Berlin opened Manuel Rossner’s digital solo exhibition “Surprisingly this rather works”, curated by Anika Meier and Johann König. In 2017 he designed a digital extension for the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and curated together with Alain Bieber the VR exhibition “Unreal,” which included works by Tabita Rezaire, Banz & Bowinkel, and Theo Triantafyllidis, among others. In 2019 he designed the virtual gallery building “CUBE” for Roehrs & Boetsch in Zurich. In this space, he showed his piece “Malibu” as part of the exhibition “Virtual Natives – Sculpture,” which also included works by Martina Menegon and Chiara Passa. In October 2019, his solo exhibition “There’s no feeling where there’s no pain” was on view at the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig. Works of art by Rossner were exhibited in “Perception is Reality” in the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2017), in “Artificial Paradise?” in KM—Künstlerhaus Graz (2018), and in the 1822-Forum Frankfurt (2017). Rossner is a member of Kollektiv Internet TBD, which investigates the effects of the Internet on society. In 2018, he co-organized the conference “The Post-Binary” on artificial intelligence in art and design at the Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt/M.

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Anika Meier studied art history and German literature in Heidelberg and Paris. She is an independent writer and curator. She writes a column on art and social media for the magazine Monopol, and her texts have appeared in Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt, Spiegel Online, Kunstforum, Numéro Berlin, der Freitag, Tagesspiegel, Mindstate Malibu, among others. Her most recent exhibitions include ”Link in Bio. Art after Social Media“ (2019/2020) and ”Virtual Normality. Women Net Artists 2.0” (2018) at the Museum of Applied Arts in Leipzig, “On the Internet Nobody Knows You Are a Performance Artist. Andy Kassier & Signe Pierce live” at the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf (2018), and “Signe Pierce. Reflexxxions” (2019) at the Eigen + Art Lab in Berlin. The exhibition catalog “Virtual Normality: The Female Gaze in the Age of the Internet”, which she co-edited with Alfred Weidinger, appeared with the Verlag für moderne Kunst. She is the founder of the collective This Ain’t Art School.

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