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Visual Culture Seminar

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
Avian AI
Maya Livio, Lecturer in Visual Culture and Spring 2023 Artist in Residence, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Caltech,
  • Public Event

In this talk, Maya Livio will present her research and creative practice on the eco-technical interface—where ecosystems and technological systems come into contact. In particular, Livio's work centers on the recent proliferation of digital technologies for conservation, from camera traps to bioacoustic monitoring to AI. Introducing her multimodal project in progress, Salvaging Birds, she will open up questions on the logics of avian computation. The work investigates bird datafication and queer ecology by weaving together critical and creative uses of machine learning, including custom-generated birdsong and animation, to produce imaginary birds. In doing so, it complicates technology-led approaches to conserving what and who is left of our shared world.

Livio is the spring 2023 artist-in-residence in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences' Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture and an Assistant Professor of Climate, Environmental Justice, Media, and Communication at American University. Her interdisciplinary, justice-oriented research and practice probe at the interfaces of ecosystems and computational systems. Her work has been supported and presented by organizations such as the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, Redline Contemporary Art Center, and Labocine by Imagine Science Films, and has been featured and published in venues such as The Washington Post, the Institute of Network Cultures, and NPR. Livio has commissioned and programmed new media as Curator of MediaLive, an annual international festival at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) and old media as Curator of the Media Archaeology Lab, a collecting institution for historical technologies. She holds a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder and MA from the University of Amsterdam.

The Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture, which is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), features new undergraduate course offerings, guest lecturers, and other programming to foster conversations between humanists and scientists. Its activities are organized by HSS and other Caltech faculty in collaboration with scholars at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

For more information, please contact Mary Martin by phone at 626-395-4571 or by email at [email protected].