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GENERATIVE AESTHETICS
FEMINIST METHODS IN DIGITAL SPACES
Gillian Smith
@gillianmsmith www.sokath.com
feminist perspectives on computing
➤ working outside disciplinary boundaries
➤ critiquing software through a feminist lens...
about me
➤ computer science
➤ artificial intelligence
➤ human-computer interaction
➤ beyond computer science
➤ fiber arts
...
computational creativity
designing software that (semi-)autonomously creates art
hoopla
collaboration
viv
procedural
politics
generative systems as
formal theory
computational creativity and formal modeling
➤ specification of desirable content, attained via:
➤ underlying data
➤ algor...
we escape culpability because software is “rational”
embedded biases
➤ generative systems produce a
specification of sample
artifacts
➤ explicit
➤ implicit
➤ what are the cons...
Courtney Toder, work-in-progress
software should support richer identity models
cultural knowledge
➤ human creatives act within
their own cultural context
➤ software alternatives
➤ crowdsourcing
➤ “expe...
content filtering is insufficient
computational
craft
computation as craft
craft as computation
threadsteading: strategy gaming for embroidery machines
generative design through gameplay
machine-constrained aesthetics
shared history of craft and computation
working outside disciplinary boundaries
GENERATIVE AESTHETICS
FEMINIST METHODS IN DIGITAL SPACES
Gillian Smith
@gillianmsmith www.sokath.com
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Generative Aesthetics: Feminist Methods in Digital Spaces

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In this talk for NULab's "Feminist Methods in Digital Spaces" panel, I cover three ways in which my work intersects with feminist practices.
1) Through its inherently interdisciplinary (or perhaps anti-disciplinary) nature breaking down historical barriers in academia.
2) Through critiquing computationally creative systems (algorithms and data) for their embedded politics.
3) Through highlighting the shared history and practices of computation and textile arts via new projects in computational craft.

Published in: Technology
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Generative Aesthetics: Feminist Methods in Digital Spaces

  1. 1. GENERATIVE AESTHETICS FEMINIST METHODS IN DIGITAL SPACES Gillian Smith @gillianmsmith www.sokath.com
  2. 2. feminist perspectives on computing ➤ working outside disciplinary boundaries ➤ critiquing software through a feminist lens ➤ creating computational systems that intersect traditionally feminine practices
  3. 3. about me ➤ computer science ➤ artificial intelligence ➤ human-computer interaction ➤ beyond computer science ➤ fiber arts ➤ jewelry ➤ history ➤ language ➤ play ➤ music
  4. 4. computational creativity designing software that (semi-)autonomously creates art hoopla collaboration viv
  5. 5. procedural politics generative systems as formal theory
  6. 6. computational creativity and formal modeling ➤ specification of desirable content, attained via: ➤ underlying data ➤ algorithmic structure ➤ notions of human creativity ➤ embedded meaning ➤ novelty and value ➤ historical, cultural context
  7. 7. we escape culpability because software is “rational”
  8. 8. embedded biases ➤ generative systems produce a specification of sample artifacts ➤ explicit ➤ implicit ➤ what are the constituent parts? ➤ what are the probabilities they’ll be chosen? seen? ➤ how is information organized? www.icongenerators.net
  9. 9. Courtney Toder, work-in-progress software should support richer identity models
  10. 10. cultural knowledge ➤ human creatives act within their own cultural context ➤ software alternatives ➤ crowdsourcing ➤ “expert” system ➤ what is ground truth? ➤ what is subjective truth? ➤ how is it contextualized?
  11. 11. content filtering is insufficient
  12. 12. computational craft computation as craft craft as computation
  13. 13. threadsteading: strategy gaming for embroidery machines
  14. 14. generative design through gameplay
  15. 15. machine-constrained aesthetics
  16. 16. shared history of craft and computation
  17. 17. working outside disciplinary boundaries
  18. 18. GENERATIVE AESTHETICS FEMINIST METHODS IN DIGITAL SPACES Gillian Smith @gillianmsmith www.sokath.com

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