MILAN MACHINIMA FESTIVAL MMXXIII
Neither Artificial Nor Intelligent
March 19 - 26 2023, Milan and online
Special screening on March 25 2023 at the
Viale Fulvio Testi 121 20162 Milano
Curated by Matteo Bittanti
The sixth edition of the MILAN MACHINIMA FESTIVAL features a diverse selection of 19 machinima and game videos from 23 artists representing 12 countries.
“Neither Artificial Nor Intelligent” (NANI) is how Kate Crawford— research professor of communication and science and technology studies at the University of Southern California and a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research — describes artificial intelligence in her award-winning book Atlas of AI (2021). According to Crawford, “AI is neither artificial nor intelligent. It is made from natural resources and it is people who are performing the tasks to make the systems appear autonomous.”
Likewise, the new edition of the Milan Machinima Festival will address the growing influence of artificial intelligence on storytelling and visual narrative, but also the rhetoric surrounding this technique
This year the festival features two distinct sections: NEITHER INTELLIGENT NOR ARTIFICIAL (March 25 2023, in-person) and MACHINIMA IN THE AGE OF AI (March 19-26 2023, online), featuring 9 programs overall.
Experience the best of machinima and game videos through our curated programs:
NEITHER INTELLIGENT NOR ARTIFICIAL (Museum of Interactive Cinema, Milan, March 25 2023): NEITHER INTELLIGENT NOR ARTIFICIAL, THE POLITICS OF GAMING, DYSTOPIA and a selection of works from MADE IN ITALY and THE NEO AVANT-GARDE which will be presented exclusively on site, specifically
LUCAS AZEMAR, LIFE ON EARTH, 2019
SOREN THILO FUNDER, GAME ENGINES (Orange Bulletproof Kids) (2021)
TOTAL REFUSAL, HARDLY WORKING, 2022
BEN NICHOLSON, THE TONIC OF BATTERSEA PARK, 2023
ANDREA GATOPOLOUS, HAPPY NEW YEAR, JIM, 2022
KENT SHEELY, WELCOME BACK, 2022
CHRISTIAN WRIGHT, BODY LANGUAGE, 2022
STANISLAW PETRUK, THE REMNANTS, 2022
MACHINIMA IN THE AGE OF AI (March 19-26 2023, online): MADE IN ITALY, THE NEO AVANT-GARDE, COUNTER-NARRATIVES, and UTOPIA.
Featured artists: Babak Ahteshamipour, Lucas Azémar, Martin Bell, Marc Coverdale, Iain Douglas, Søren Thilo Funder, Andrea Gatopoulos, Nicholas Gebbe, Luca Giacomelli, Manuel Ghidini, Kara Güt, Ben Nicholson, Stanislaw Petruk, Kent Sheely, Brenton Alexander Smith, Colin Stagner, Nanut Thanapornrapee, Total Refusal, Rhett Tsai, and Christian Wright.
The festival’s poster was designed by Jordy Veenstra, one of the most talented artists working with machinima today. “The initial keywords given to me were NPC and AI”, said the Dutch artist and filmmaker. “In tandem with this year’s theme, my first thoughts were: pseudo-intelligence, digitization, dehumanization, empty shells, algorithms, compulsory movement and/or execution — as in NPC speech and movement —, the contrast between real/fabricated and the visualization of code.“
Consistently with this premise, Veenstra used AI-based tools to generate the artwork. As he explains: “The work was created with the Dall-E AI provided by OpenAI and in my eyes ideally captures this idea. White experimental, dehumanized masses looking like NPCs, with truly absurd poses; just standing there, surrounded by experimental ‘white’ code blobs; simply looking around restlessly and waiting for someone, anyone, to give a quest to, to be useful and to have their code finally executed. To have their own quest completed.”
In Androids Dream (2022), Blandy deconstructs the cyberpunk aesthetic first prototyped by Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984) and Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and which has continued to be repeated and become ever more ossified. Formed of multiple simulacra, the work involves Unreal Engine assets, uses Kojima’s Snatcher - itself a replay of Blade Runner in videogame form - and even deploys an algorithmic mimesis of the artist's own voice. Breaking down the aesthetic form, the film in turn breaks down, repeats, refracts, and goes into reverse.
Commissioned by Petra Szemán for On Animatics for Saturday Morning Animation Club
LINK: Alternate Presence at Seventeen
LINK: Petra Széman
LINK: David Blandy