Print Screen Festival by Eran Hadas

We are proud to have helped support this year’s Print Screen Festival in Tel Aviv, which took place from October 31 – November 3, 2018. Eran Hadas talks about his experience participating in the Festival and describes some of his projects that were featured at the exhibition, Into the Deep.

Print Screen Festival may be a large international festival for digital art, but for me it also captures a contemporary screenshot of the relatively small scene of Tel Aviv based creative coders. This year it focused on artificial intelligence and how it generates a new, sometimes fake, reality. The festival featured conferences on museums in the internet age, and on AI and design, as well as films, workshops and performances.

However, the main event was, for the first time in the history of the festival, taking over the entire Holon Design Museum, and filling it with two large exhibitions, Fabrication, featuring work by Asylum alum Vita Eruhimovitz, as well as Into the Deep, which featured work by alum Shachar Kislev and myself. The exhibitions, co-curated by alum and Artistic Director of the festival, Dr. Lior Zalmanson, as well as with Shimrit Gil and Udi Edelman, enabled the visitors to see a collection of code-based and machine learning works in one place, whereas usually only one such work is put on display next to more “conventional” works.

Two collaborations of mine, supported by Asylum Arts, were part of Into the Deep. They were placed one in front of the other, which for me emphasizes the fact that one of them deals with a transition from text to images, while the other one turns an image into text.
Photogenesis 1 (2018) with Hagai Ulrich is an interactive work, where visitors key in a personal text (most people type their name), and an AI software, guided by Kabbalistic principles and examples, generates a sequence of spiritual talisman images, meant to reflect the text.
Photogenesis 1 (2018)
The Electronic Curator (2017) in collaboration with Eyal Gruss, starts when a visitor looks into a webcam and sees a vegetable portrait representing their face. Then, a curatorial statement is being generated to describe the portrait. It is a dialog between two competing neural networks, representing a painter and a curator. The painter-network learns to create vegetable-face portraits from face images, while the curator-network learns to evaluate the painter’s creation.
The Electronic Curator (2017) 
The festival had many exciting moments, but I had three personal favorites. The Yami-Ichi Internet-themed art/flea market, curated by Marina Posner, was a really wild party. Of its goods I loved the old bizarre bookmarks from the 90s, carefully curated, printed and placed inside physical books by artist Michal Makaresco.
Late Shift was my favorite movie, as it is an interactive experience. The members of the audience could watch the movie, but also to determine what the protagonist should do. Certain decision points prompted the audience to choose between several options, while a certain scene kept playing. Then, according to the majority of votes, a new scene started, following their decision. The use of mobile phones to vote made them a part of the experience, instead of being the usual distractor.

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