Thursday 03/30/23 6:30PM-8:30PM
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Conversations · Rhizome

Book Launch: Rhizome Presents “Air Age Blueprint” and “The Institute for Other Intelligences”

Cover Image:

From left to right: Courtesy: X Artists’ Books; Courtesy: Ignota Press

Artificial Intelligence (AI), consciousness, and human subjectivity will be explored in two new books launching at an event hosted by the Museum’s digital art affiliate Rhizome, featuring performative readings and a panel discussion moderated by writer Elvia Wilk.

Weaving together fiction, memoir, theory, and travelogue, K Allado-McDowell’s Air Age Blueprint (Ignota Press, 2023, cover art by Somnath Bhatt), was written with an AI writing partner, GPT-3, and human editorial input. A young filmmaker’s life is disrupted by a fated encounter with a Peruvian healer. Their travels lead them to meet K—a double agent working between art and technology—who invites them to test a secret program called Shaman.AI. Their human-machine experiment, rooted in magic, produces a key to rewriting reality—one in which entangled human and nonhuman intelligence will remake our technologies, identities, and deepest beliefs.

In The Institute for Other Intelligences (X Artists’ Books, 2022, eds. Ana Iwataki and Anuradha Vikram, design by Becca Lofchie, illustrations by Fernando Diaz), author Mashinka Firunts Hakopian fuses speculative fiction and media studies into an imagined future where machine intelligences gather annually, to discuss the inherent vices of their human-made code. Hakopian presents a series of speculative exchanges and documents from these imagined meetings to critically consider current approaches to nonhuman intelligence.

Books will be available for purchase at the event.

This program is organized by Michael Connor, Rhizome Co-Director, with Kayla Drzewicki, Rhizome Program Assistant.

A recording of this conversation can be found on our YouTube channel and below:

About the Speakers

K Allado-McDowell is a writer, speaker, musician. They are the author, with GPT-3, of the books Pharmako-AI, Amor Cringe, and Air Age Blueprint. Their sound healing neuroscience opera, Song of the Ambassadors, premiered at Lincoln Center, New York, in 2022. They record and release music under the name Qenric. Allado-McDowell established the Artists + Machine Intelligence program at Google AI. They are a conference speaker, educator, and consultant to think-tanks and institutions seeking to align their work with deeper traditions of human understanding.

Mashinka Firunts Hakopian is an Armenian writer, artist, and researcher born in Yerevan, Armenia who currently resides in Glendale, CA. She is an Associate Professor in Technology and Social Justice at ArtCenter College of Design, and holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania. With Avi Alpert and Danny Snelson, she makes up one-third of the collective, Research Service. Her writing and commentary appear in Performance Research Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Meghan Markle’s Archetypes, and elsewhere. Her current book project considers the role of ancestral intelligence and diasporic worldmaking in emerging technologies.

Elvia Wilk is the author of the novel Oval (Soft Skull, 2019) and the essay collection Death by Landscape (Soft Skull, 2022). Her essays, criticism, and fiction have appeared in publications including The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The Atlantic, n+1, The Paris Review online, Artforum, Bookforum, BOMB, Frieze, and The White Review. She is the recipient of a 2019 Andy Warhol Arts Writers Grant and a 2020 fellowship at the Berggruen Institute. Wilk is currently a contributing editor at e-flux Journal.


Rhizome’s public programs are supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York legislature.

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