Special issue on Decolonizing AI: ArtSci Ecosystem

Guest Editors

Amir Baradaran, amir@amirbaradaran.com

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 idea of this special issue stems from Another AI in Art: Decolonizing AI and Art Ecosystem, a summit that took place at the New Museum (New York, 2019) and was commissioned by the Knight Foundation and Columbia University. 

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, particularly from those who are BIPOC. 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 in relation to its key components:
    • Human agents: makers, laborers, practitioners, gate keepers, educators, consumers, etc.
    • Processes: modes and tools of education, creation, dissemination, administration, consumption
    • Products: Artworks and other bodies of work
    • Gates: Academia, funding agencies, market-related institutions and spaces
  • 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
  • Decolonizing AI and the art ecosystem:
    • Historicizing gendered, racialized, and economic inequity and injustice in relation to existing structures of power   
    • Unpacking questions of representation and access
    • Decentralizing oppressive ontologies such as technological determinism
  • Envisioning radically equitable and speculative futures, with special attention to BIPOC narratives:
    • Recentering alternative cosmologies and untold stories
    • Reframing authorship, ownership, and ideals of aesthetics

The extended deadlines for manuscript submissions are listed below -- To discuss ideas for submissions, please contact Amir Baradaran (DecolonizingAI@amirbaradaran.com). We look forward to your contribution.

Important dates

Abstract Submission:  January 7th, 2022
Acceptance Notification: January 21st, 2022
Manuscript Submission:  March 25th, 2022
Review Notification: April 29th, 2022
Final Manuscript Submission: June 20th, 2022
Target Publication: November/December 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 the editorial team DecolonizingAI@amirbaradaran.com with the subject "Decolonizing AI: ArtSci Ecosystem".