PlayShop: Latent Spaces & Permissionless Dreams (CAA Summer 2024)

byBotao Amber Hu, Egor Kraft

Course Description

What’s that Reality in the Future?

The philosophical and artistic part of the course is a blend of visually rich lecture-seminars that delve into the intersection of intermedia art, philosophy of technology and speculative design research. The explored narratives are based on recent discourse within the field of philosophy of technology and acknowledgement of fundamental challenges that life on earth faces in the era of the so-called, fourth industrial revolution. We’re going to explore AI as a technology of automation and algorithmic cognition, peer-to-peer computation systems, new networked infrastructures and mixed realities. We will address some topics in purely technical terms, while others through the lens of socio-humanitarian studies, derivative aesthetics, epistemic challenges posed by synthetic forms of knowledge production and, of course, design questions that these technological projections pose in both near and far futures. It is important to recognise the scale of impact of the current state of computational advancements not only on every aspect of how the world is built, but also on how it is studied. We will be exercising recognition and prediction of the trends and challenges to come, that will be central to artistic & design research. Students will be invited to look at AI, Web3 & MR both through the lenses of speculative design and practical knowledge in order to learn work with these technologies within their individual, group, commissioned or self-initiated practices.

Finally, your speculative design will be showcased as an academic pictorial with artwork. While there are no strict rules for the artwork form, it's better to focus more on speculative practice rather than investing too much effort into exhibition production. Consider using mediums like novels, AIGC, or mixed reality devices (like Vision Pro) to depict future mixed realities.


Speculative Design, Philosophy of Technology (AI, XR, Web3), Technological Pluralisms, Mixed Realities

Course Objectives

  • Gain knowledge about core research topics addressing ongoing and future technological conditions.
  • Learning to approach any computationally specific project in critically reflexive ways is a skill that directly correlates with the quality and sustainability of any related design or artistic project.

Teaching Team

Course Dates

  • June 17 - July 5, 2024


  • Lecture 1. The Work of Art in the Age of Automation

  • Lecture 2. Designing towards organological

    • (tech as organ rather then tech as the other)
  • Lecture 3. New materiality. Silicon. The next Intelligence.

    • (an opposite approach to the above)
  • Lecture 4. Human centric design & Beyond human Centrism.

    • (where we don't make tech to be like us, but instead we try and learn from it to see beyond what were able to normally see)
  • Lecture 5. Aesthetics of AI: Latent Spaces. Aethetics of Robotics: Uncanny Valley. Aethetics of Web3: Memecoinomy

  • Lecture 6. Systemic Biases. Avoidable Dystopias.

  • Lecture 7. Algorithmic Generator vs Discriminator. Art & Design Ecosytem.

  • Lecture 8. Feedback Loops & Cybernetics. Feedback Loops & Conceptual Epistemics

  • Lecture 9. Cellular Automata

  • Lecture 10. Corrupt Ontologies, Resolution Reality Degradation, Echo Chambers & Data Cannibalism

  • Lecture 11. Topology of Ai & Computing Systems, Infrastructure & Logistics

  • Lecture 12. Intelligent Planet. Solaris. Planetary Scale Computation

  • Lecture 13. Automation as Ecology. Automation Automates Autonomy

  • Lecture 14. Cosmotechnics. Technological Pluralisms

  • Lecture 15. Web3 Ecologies. Consensus. Incentivisation.

  • Workshop 1: Black Mirror Writing Room

  • Workshop 2: What’s Mixed Reality? How to Paper Prototype a New Reality?

  • Workshop 3: Merging Mixed Realities

  • Workshop 4: How to write a Pictorial / Paper for your artwork?

Reading List