Isea 2022 - Possibles



June 13th

Short papers / Visualizing the Unpredictable Behavior of Wildfire Using an Artificially Intelligent Aesthetic

Authors: Dennis Del Favero, Susanne Thurow, Grant Stevens, Jason Sharples, Jane Davidson

Venue: CCCB

More information:

  • Abstract: The 21st century sees the rise of wildfires, which radically destabilize the anthropocentric paradigm that place the human at its centre, by manifesting what theorists like Bruno Latour term ‘terrestrial agency’. As a manifold process that encompasses Earth’s ecological systems, we have been co-evolving within these processes, harnessing them for our civilizational progress. Yet, our concomitant refusal to acknowledge nature as an independent agent in which we exist has exacerbated climate change, leading us into what scholar Rick McRae terms the ‘age of violent pyroconvection’ – an age in which life on Earth will be shaped by wildfires and their complex dynamics. It amplifies the autonomous nature of terrestrial agency whose behavior defies human assumptions. These evolving dynamics between the human and the planetary require new aesthetic contexts in which two autonomous yet interrelated agencies mutually transform and disrupt each other.

    Existing creative visualization paradigms have struggled to aesthetically engage this relationship, falling short of providing compelling sensorial points of engagement. The paper briefly analyzes exemplary artistic works and proposes a novel aesthetic framework premised on integrating immersive visualization systems and Artificial Intelligence programming. It experimentally explores this architecture in relation to the iFire research project currently in development at The University of New South Wales.
  • Biography: Prof. Dennis Del Favero is an ARC Laureate Fellow, Chair Professor of Digital Innovation, Executive Director of UNSW’s iCinema Research Centre (iCinema) and a research artist. He has directed numerous large-scale interdisciplinary art projects that explore the practical application of artificially intelligent aesthetics to interactive visualization – exhibited at numerous international galleries, festivals and museums.

    Dr Susanne Thurow is an ARC Laureate Postdoctoral Research Fellow, a Deputy Director of iCinema and Leader of its Experimental Aesthetics Research Program. Her interdisciplinary research encompasses Performance Studies and Digital Media, rethinking contemporary arts practice in the light of digital aesthetics.

    Dr Grant Stevens is UNSW’s Deputy Head of School for Art and Design and Co-Leader of iCinema’s Interactive Scenarios Research Program. He is an artist and academic whose practice focuses on the relationships between photography, moving images and emerging digital cultures.

    Prof. Jason Sharples is an iCinema Deputy Director, Leader of its Fire Simulation Research Program, a mathematician and internationally recognized expert in dynamic and extreme bushfire behavior. He has led several large-scale research initiatives and regularly cooperates on international wildfire projects.

    Jane Davidson is a Professor of Creative and Performing Arts at The University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, and Chair of the Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Initiative, which investigates what it means for people to achieve wellbeing and how creativity can be harnessed to achieve this aim.


  • CCCB

Montalegre, 5 - 08001 Barcelona

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