Special issue on Decolonizing AI + The Art Ecosystem

Guest Editors

Amir Baradaran (Lead Guest Editor), (amir@amirbaradaran.com
Victoria Vesna (vesna@arts.ucla.edu)

The goal of this special edition is to propose and advance a critical framework for understanding artificial intelligence (AI) in its current & speculative relationship to the art ecosystem. The radical uniqueness of how we choose to conceive of and discuss AI resides in its capacity to offer a speculative space for examining our very sense of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’. Within this space, artists are well-placed to ask critical questions that are aware of but not constrained by the nature of AI. Indeed, AI may present an ideal opportunity for rethinking anthropocentrism and allowing for the emergence of those bodies (of knowledge) that stem from, or live through, the types of cosmologies that have been marginalised or erased through colonization but can be recentered through processes of decolonization.

The concept of decolonization offers the theoretical framework in which power can be challenged in the context of emerging AI and related technologies. For this special edition, we are seeking submissions in the form of critical reflections, research articles and opinion pieces from a diverse and interdisciplinary group of artists and other art professionals, scholars, policy makers, and technologists. Contributors are invited to grapple with questions of access, agency, and equity in relation to AI and its impact on the art ecosystem, including the encoding of bias and the (digital) marginalization of various social groups, including but not limited to people of color, immigrants, and women.

Special issue themes

Diverse interpretations of this special edition’s central theme - the decolonization of AI in and through the art ecosystem - are invited. Contributors may wish to examine, expand upon and illuminate sub-themes suggested here by drawing on their individual specialities and positions, but novel and divergent proposals are welcome.

  • Mapping AI’s impact on the overall art ecosystem. This could be in relation to the following key components of the system
    • Human agents: makers, laborers, practitioners, gate keepers, consumers, etc.
    • Processes: modes (and tools) of creation, dissemination, consumption, and administration
    • Products: Artworks and other bodies of work
    • Gates: Academia, funding agencies, market-related institutions, etc.
  • Decolonizing Intelligence
    • Teasing art out of the Artificial by examining creativity, critical thinking, logic, consciousness, self-awareness, agency, and autonomy?
    • Rethinking the role of the artist and artmaking pursuing AGI
    • Problematizing our human-centered ontologies
  • De-colonizing AI and the art ecosystem
    • Unpacking representation and access
    • Unthinking technological determinism
    • Reframing authorship, ownership, and aesthetics
  • Envisioning speculative and radically equitable futures

To discuss ideas for submissions, please contact Amir Baradaran (amir@amirbaradaran.com).

Important dates

- Abstract Submission:       July 9th, 2021
- Acceptance Notification:  August 20th, 2021
- Manuscript Submission:   September 24th, 2021
- Review Notification:         December 17th, 2021 
- Submission of final versions: January 21st, 2022
- Target publication date:   March-April 2022

Submission Formatting 

You can find more information about formatting under the section "Submission guidelines" https://www.springer.com/journal/146. For inquiries and to submit your abstract and manuscript, please contact amir@amirbaradaran.com with the subject "Decolonizing AI + The Art Ecosystem".