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For several years we have talked about the increasing presence of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) in our lives. Its influence has suddenly exploded into the public's awareness, so let's begin with some recent articles that I think will illuminate what is happening:

1. One of the most glaring misuses of A.I. occurred just recently and was in fact withdrawn from the Internet in 2 days. It was called Galactica and made public by Meta, the arm of Facebook. It claimed to include 48 milliion scientific and research sites. Its Meta team boasted that Galactica could "summarize academic papers, solve math problems, generate Wiki articles, write scientific code, annotate molecules and proteins, and more.” In fact its site was so filled with misinformation and false research that the scientific community forced it to be taken down. (More about this in our Electronic Quill article this month.)

2. New Scientist magazine explains how A.I. uses A.I. sleep to learn new things without forgetting what it has already learned.

3. At the World Cup in Qatar, A.I. is being used as video assistance for referees, to determine if a player was offsides before scoring a goal.

4. Another form of A. I., called Generative A.I., is about to upend the world of gaming, offering almost instantaneous creation of images with an unlimited number of choices.

5. Perhaps the most intelligent and useful discussion of A.I. comes from, of course, M.I.T.(Massachesetts Institute of Technology) in an article titled, "Trust Large Language Models at your own Peril".

6. As seems inevitable, a lawsuit has been filed against Microsoft claiming that its A.I. generated code is illegal. The issue seems to center on the fact that Microsoft's A.I. code can generate A.I. code automatically. Not only is this action immoral, according to the suit, but it draws information from the Internet without attribution. Read the article for more details.

An exhibition at MOMA New York titled, "Unsupervised", is part of Refik Anadol Studio's Machine Hallucinations ongoing project. The studio utilizes a type of Generative A.I., as mentioned above, to teach a neural network to learn from a set of images, in this case examining more than 200 years of art from MOMA's collection.

The Metropolitan Museum in New York is presenting "Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art", showing relief stoneworks and painted ceramics excavated from abandoned cities. This exhibition is an extraordinary opportunity to see both large and small Mayan masterpieces, and includes a video titled, "Dance of the Macaws", which can be seen on the Met's YouTube channel.

Artist Wang Shui uses A. I. by combining various types of generative algorithms onto large screens based on his own artworks, a process he calls recursive feedback loop, or post-human cave paintings.

Introduce yourself to Skullmapping, an artistic collective that experiments with projections and imaginative visual adventures combining art, technology, and a sense of the poetic. Antoon Verbeeck and Filip Sterckx have been working together in Belgium for over 15 years on projection mapping. The results will confront you with imaginative visuals that interrupt your comfortable sense of space and proportions.

Fans of sculptor Giacometti will be happy to know that a Museum dedicated to his work will open in Paris in 2026. Included will not only be his sculptures but drawings, paintings, and decorative objects, many of which have never been shown to the public before. Born in Switzerland in 1901, Giacometti moved to Paris in 1922 and became one of the foremost Surrealist sculptors. A reconstruction of his studio will also be part of the new Museum.

Andreas Senoner presents us with sometimes painful always poignant sculptures of people painted, feathered, spiked and thorned. The artist likes to combine associations that these materials evoke, often referring to art history and the passage of time. They challenge the viewer with their provoctive exteriors and references to painful events in human history.

The world's oldest known sentence written in what is claimed to be the earliest known alphabet has been discovered on a comb for head lice in Lichish, a Canaanite city-state in the Kingdom of Judah. The inscription reads "May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard.” The comb was found in south-central Israel in 2017 with a script that was invented about 3,800 years ago. The comb was apparently designed to remove hair tangles on one side and lice and eggs on the other.

A menagerie both seductive and disturbing has been created by artist Mila Zemliakova by applying textiles and nature. The haunting creatures reflect her Belarusian heritage, here shown oversized and sometimes perilously perched on chairs. There is something both fragile and evocative about these creatures, as though they are begging for something unuttered but profoundly missing, or about to face some cataclysmic event.

One final look at artists reflecting the distortions in how humans see themselves is worth your time. David Altmejd uses a wide array of materials to confront us with a disturbing and powerful set of sculptures and installations that vividly challenge who we really are beneath the pretense and posturing. These are not easy pieces to view, but they offer a non-botoxed, unprettified reminder of what lies beneath the pretend images of ourselves that we cling to.

In the midst of the chaos and cacophony that seem to haunt so much of our time today, I want to bring to you the beauty and spirituality of the choral music of Morten Lauridsen. Titled "A Man, An Island, and Music that Moves the World", this series of podcasts and recordings will let you touch a mind that is both deeply wise and profoundly human. I am honored to count him as one of my friends.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2022