Institut Ramon LLull

Mario Santamaría's 'Internet Tour: Invisible Infrastructures and AI Hallucinations' at University of California - Berkeley

Arts.  Berkeley, CA, 28/09/2023

Like any other digital technology, or the Internet itself, the current explosion of AI research and applications relies on their conceptualization as immaterial technologies. The idea of clean, ethereal networks whose data is stored in a bodiless Cloud is nothing but a fallacy that hides thousands of miles of fiber optic cables, innumerable data centers, and increasing global energy consumption. The Internet that feeds and fuels AI is made up of a series of materials, constructions, and interventions that are hidden from the naked eye; from inconspicuous buildings in the centers of our cities, to urban beaches where the undersea cables that connect countries and continents are buried under the sand.

Internet Tour: Invisible Infrastructures and AI Hallucinations is an initiative by Barcelona-based artist Mario Santamaría, whose successful bus tours have explored the hidden digital infrastructures of many European cities. Now in Berkeley, in collaboration with Alex Saum-Pascual, and together with the Berkeley Center for New Media and the Arts Research Center, we’ll embark on a collective exploration of the world’s preeminent technology hub, the San Francisco Bay Area, as we unearth its Internet infrastructure. Traveling by bus and on foot across Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland, this guided tour will also feature poetic and artistic experiences. We’ll visit the places through which our voices, images, cryptocurrencies, and future intelligences circulate as cursed matter that flows from the same wound. Where to go from there?

Internet Tour: Invisible Infrastructures and AI Hallucinations is an Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium special event, presented with the Arts Research Center and as part of BCNM's Critical Infrastructures and Cultural Analytics program. Co-sponsored by the Institute Ramon Llull and the Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study.

Mario Santamaría

Mario Santamaría(link is external) (Burgos, 1985) is a Barcelona-based visual artist who works with a wide range of media, frequently using photography, video, performance, websites, and online interventions. He graduated in Fine Arts and in the Master Degree in Visual Arts and Multimedia by the Polytechnic University of Valencia. He is the co-founder of the space Trama34 (2016) in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) and lecturer at Elisava University in Barcelona. For several years he was a collaborator of The Influencers Festival and curator of the Internet Yami-Ichi (Internet Black Market) at CCCB (Barcelona) and Matadero (Madrid).

Santamaría has been an artist in residence at Hangar (Barcelona), HISK (Ghent), and Sarai (New Delhi), and a finalist of the prestigious Post-Photography Prototyping award of Fotomuseum Winterthur. His work is part of the anthology Watched! by the Hasselblad Foundation (Sweden). His work has been exhibited in institutions such as MACBA (Barcelona), ZKM (Karlsruhe), WKV (Stuttgart), C/O and Or Gallery (Berlin), La Casa Encendida (Madrid), CENART (Mexico), Arebyte (London), and Aksioma (Ljubljana), among others.

In recent years Santamaría's work seeks to embody protocols and processes of information distribution, performing actions such as physically travelling to his website by repeating the path of data; going for beers around the city as a Google algorithm or creating a tour operator based on the infrastructure of the Internet. His work has been exhibited in institutions such as: MACBA Barcelona, ZKM Karlsruhe, WKV Stuttgart, Edith-Russ-Haus Oldenburg, La Casa Encendida Madrid, CENART Mexico, Or Gallery Berlin, Arebyte London, Aksioma Ljubljana and in the Biennials of Thessaloniki, Havana and Lyon.

Other events at Berkeley featuring Mario Santamaría:

Embodying Infrastructures: Artist Talk by Mario Santamaría.

More Than Meets AI, exhibition

More than Meets AI conducts an artistic investigation of artificial intelligence and its role in creativity, narrative and artistic innovation. It does so from a critically engaged perspective, one that both engages with the new creative potentialities of AI for the arts and literature, while also considering some of the significant challenges AI poses for our culture and society, and the place of contemporary AI art in relation to historical work in electronic literature.

More Than Meets AI, exhibition

Monday, October 2, 2023 - Saturday, October 14, 2023

Embodying Infrastructures: Artist Talk by Mario Santamaría

Wednesday, October 11, 12:00pm

Internet Tour: Invisible Infrastructures and AI Hallucinations

Thursday, October 12, 9:00am - 1:00pm

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