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Artist

Jana Vanecek | 2022 Studio Residency

Mainland China | Innovation & Society

2022 — Innovation & Society

Nationality: Switzerland
Residency location: TBD
Partner organization: TBD

Interdisciplinary artist and researcher. Jana Vanecek was born in the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and lives currently in Switzerland. She holds degrees in fine arts, critical theory and transdisciplinarity in the arts and works as a research associate at the Zurich University of Arts. Her projects operate at the interfaces between art, research, science and literature. Her main interests are language, collaborative writing practises, feminist technoscience and various forms of biopower and biopolitics. Vanecek often chooses her topics on the basis of personal experience, but the focus is not on her “individual person”. She sees herself rather as a “contact area” or “bioport” in which the prevailing discourses and practices are brought together. Inspired by Gloria Anzaldúa’s poetic auto-theory and Annie Ernaux’s auto-ethnographic literature, the writing “Self” is decentralized in her texts in order to reveal the cultural, political, economic and social entanglements that shape this “Self” – but also the social realities of many other lives. Vanecek illuminates her topics from different disciplinary perspectives and uses a combination of diverse voices as a structuring principle.

The project “The G.A.I.A.C. [Posthumanistic Forms of Authorship]” is an artistic research on writing with A.I. agents and nonhuman collaborators with the aim to understand the implications of such relationships. The foundation for researching the topic will be a science fiction story, which is to be written together with an artificial intelligence. The science fiction story examines the risks and opportunities of transhumanist issues such as human enhancement or the colonisation of space, but also technological-posthumanist issues such as mind uploading, singularity and artificial super-intelligence. But other socio-political issues such as authorship in the age of A.I., robots as subjects of legal responsibility, as well as justice and participation in the age of data monopolies that are already emerging, play a major role. Like my previous ones, this project is also a transdisciplinary entanglement between art, research, science and literature.

I am convinced that in the age of A.I. the topic of authorship will become increasingly relevant, not only in the art field. In addition, I believe that the opportunities and problems that arise with these technologies (A.I., deep learning, etc.) will change our relationship to the concept of authorship over the next twenty years. As a result, it is very important to me to deal artistically and critically with the risks, but also with the possibilities of digitalisation.

I would like to use the three months in Shanghai for the research on new technologies, artistic co-authorship with A.I. agents and nonhuman collaborators like robots, Chinese philosophy on the topic of authorship and Chinese science fiction history. Since for me this project is clearly related to visual arts, this research would also include first artistic experiments. I assume that Shanghai, as one of the leading cities in the field of A.I. and robotics can offer me new, especially “non-European” perspectives on the complex topics outlined above.

(Portrait of Jana Vanecek: Photograph by NIC)

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