Trust territories

Albena Baeva pursues intersection of art, technology and science in her exhibition at Goethe-Institut in Sofia

Photo: Rene Beekman Albena Baeva

The exhibition Trust Territories by Albena Baeva includes paintings, frescoes and augmented reality. The author is one of the leading Bulgarian contemporary artists working at the intersection of art, technology and science. Being part of the Artificial Intelligence Programme of Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, the exhibition explores the themes of trauma, trust and alternative futures through the focus on machines.

Do we trust machines and digital technologies more after the past pandemic year, in which our closest connections with the outside world were dependent primarily on the interaction with smart technologies? Can we say that a new collaborative state between machines and humans has evolved? These are some of the questions posed in Albena Baeva's exposition. It will be opened on 10 June in the gallery and courtyard of the Goethe-Institut in Sofia and will run until 2 July 2021.

The exhibition is part of Baeva's joint project Trust Territories with the Russian curator and art critic Natalia Fuchs. The artworks in the exposition follow a style known from the conceptual art from the middle of the last century, in which the authors create instructions for the realisation of their art. Here, however, the instructions are created by artificial intelligence, trained with the original artworks-instructions from the 1960s to the present day. The works shown present the result of the clash between artistic autonomy and machine intelligence, and the central themes embrace the control over the right result and the readiness to trust technology. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the exhibition not only in the gallery, but also to access it from the courtyard of the institute through their mobile devices.

In addition to her solo exhibition, Albena Baeva is involved in a series of artificial intelligence projects at the Goethe-Institut as a participant in the international laboratory EthicAI=Labs, which examines the ethical issues related to AI. The 2021 programme also includes the local residency Generation A=Algorithm, which is run in collaboration with Sofia Tech Park.

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