‘What Models Make Worlds: Critical Imaginaries of AI’ at The Ford Foundation Gallery




Morehshin Allahyari, ماه طلعت / Moon-Faced (detail), 2022, monitor, mirror frame, video. Courtesy of the artist.

The Ford Foundation Gallery is pleased to present What Models Make Worlds: Critical Imaginaries of AI, curated by Mashinka Firunts Hakopian and Meldia Yesayan, on view September 7 – December 9, 2023. Please join The Ford Foundation Gallery for opening week events: a celebration with the artists on Thursday, September 7, 6 – 8pm featuring a special performance by artist Lauren Lee McCarthy and a curator-led exhibition tour on Friday, September 8, at 12pm. Events are free and open to the public. Please note, there is limited capacity for the curator-led tour.

In computer science, algorithmic models are used to forecast and visualize prospective futures. Beyond recent large language models (ChatGPT) and image generators (DALL-E, Midjourney), modeling is also used in predictive policing, judicial risk assessment, automated hiring, and elsewhere. These models structure our present, projecting worlds marked by radically asymmetrical power distributions. Invoking the various meanings of “modeling,” the exhibition assembles the work of artists who map the limits of our current algorithmic imaginaries and move beyond them in acts of critical world building.

What Models Make Worlds was originally presented as Encoding Futures at OXY ARTS, the public art space and cultural platform of Occidental College, from September-November 2021. The exhibition is curated by Mashinka Firunts Hakopian, associate professor of technology and social justice at ArtCenter College of Design and Meldia Yesayan, director of OXY ARTS.

‘What Models Make Worlds: Critical Imaginaries of AI’ will be on view from September 7 to December 9, 2023 at Ford Foundation Gallery, 320 East 43rd Street, NYC. An Opening Reception will be held on September 7th from 6-8pm with RSVP.

A curator-led exhibition tour will be held on Friday, September 8th at Noon, however there is a limited capacity. RSVP Here.