Agnieszka Kurant

Creating art through emergence and collective intelligence

Conceptual interdisciplinary artist, Agnieszka Kurant explores how complex social, economic and cultural systems can operate in ways that confuse distinctions between fiction and reality or nature and culture. She investigates “the economy of the invisible,” in which immaterial and imaginary entities, fictions, phantoms and emergent processes influence political and economic systems. As the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at CAST Kurant will collaborate with Boris Katz, Principal Research Scientist at MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and head of the InfoLab Group, to explore the crossover between collective intelligence and artificial intelligence. Kurant and Katz analyze how collective intelligence and emergence—in nature and culture—could be applied to creativity and art production. Their research will be used to develop crowd-sourced artworks that will be shaped and animated by a new working class—workers of online crowdsourcing marketplace platforms.

 

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST).

Born in Poland and based in New York City, Kurant probes the “unknown unknowns” of knowledge and the speculations and exploits of capitalism by integrating elements of science and philosophy, and analyzing certain phenomena—collective intelligence, emergence, virtual capital, immaterial and digital labor, evolution of memes, civilizations and social movements, artificial societies, energy circuits and the editing process—as political acts. She explores the hybrid and shifting status of objects in relation to value, aura, authorship, production and circulation. Many of her works emulate nature and behave like living organisms, self-organized complex systems or bachelor machines.

Kurant studied in Lodz, Warsaw and London, and was awarded residencies at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, ISCP in New York, Paul Klee Center in Bern, Location One in New York and Iaspis in Stockholm. She represented Poland at the Venice Biennale 12th International Architecture Exhibition (in collaboration with the architect Aleksandra Wasilkowska) with a pavilion presentation entitled Emergency Exit, and her artwork has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA PS1, Sculpture Center, The Kitchen, Witte de With in Rotterdam, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Moderna Museet, Tate Modern, MAMCO in Geneva, MUMOK, and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2015). Other key exhibitions include Performa Biennial in New York (2013 & 2009), Moscow Biennale (2007), Bucharest Biennale (2008) and 2nd Ural Biennial (2012). Her films have been featured at film festivals including Kino der Kunst in Munich and CPH Docs in Copenhagen.

 

More on the artist’s website: Agnieszka Kurant

New York Times: Agnieszka Kurant: ‘Variables’

BOMB Magazine: Artist Interview: Agnieszka Kurant by Sabine Russ

 

Boris Katz, Principal Research Scientist, Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

Agnieszka Kurant. Photo: Janek Zamoyski.
Agnieszka Kurant. Photo: Janek Zamoyski.

More about the Residency

Selected Past Projects