Does AI Dream of Gender?
Does AI Dream of Gender?

Madina Mahomedova, Fredrik de Bleser
interactive installation, 2022

Exploration of the performative nature of gender in the digital realm and contemplation on how images shape gender identity in the digital present

The growing accessibility of AI algorithms has brought to light issues around copyright, authenticity, and image interpretation. When it comes to algorithms designed to generate images, many of them source information from publicly available online resources, creating a direct reflection of contemporary society. The installation takes inspiration from this notion of mirrors and mirroring in the digital realm and presents an audiovisual exploration of the performative nature of gender within it. The project draws upon the concepts of post- and trans-humanism, as introduced by Donna Haraway in her essay ‘A Cyborg Manifesto,’ and Jacques Lacan’s notion of the ‘mirror stage.’ The installation poses questions about the formation of gender and the role of images, both virtual and physical, in shaping our understanding of it. How does one come to comprehend and ultimately construct their own gender? What influence do the images that surround us have on this process? How will gender look in the future, if it will continue to exist at all? Through its interactive and immersive nature, the installation encourages viewers to engage with the complex relationship between images and gender identity in the digital age.

Madina Mahomedova and Frederik de Bleser, a Belgium-based artistic duo with a passion for digital arts and AI, have joined forces to create a work that explores the themes of intimacy and gender in digital spaces. The duo first met at ChampdAction. LAbO in 2021 while working on a project exploring intimacy in the digital realm. Following their collaboration, Madina invited Frederik to join her on her bachelor graduation project. Madina Mahomedova is a multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer from Lviv, Ukraine, currently residing in Brussels, Belgium. Her art projects primarily investigate the performative nature of gender, body, and intimacy within digital spaces, using AI and new media. Frederik de Bleser is an Antwerp-based designer, digital media researcher, and educator at Sint Lucas Antwerpen. His works explores the boundaries of human perception, visualizing the hidden layers of reality through bespoke digital instruments.