Machined Influencers

April 5, 2020

A new class for summer 2020 will be launched by Jenny Rodenhouse, Director of ArtCenter’s Immersion Lab, and Carolina Trigo, Graphics professor, artist and researcher;  Machined Influencers: interactive brands and avatars, designing performative identities and representations.

Virtual avatars, designed based on social media analytics, are now hired as models, singers, brand designers, and overall ambassadors to an emerging genre known as interactive “Synthetic Media”. Pop stars and their music can now be algorithmically manufactured in entirety from an executive’s office. In the course students and faculty will critically examine the historical and future role of these new culture influencers, both real and imagined, from popstars, to youtube stars, to Washington DC. Using machine learning as a design medium, the class will explore the future of graphic and interaction design through avatars, generative representations, AI behaviors, and neural networked systems.

Students will design new machined autonomies to generate online “performances”. How can design learn from influencers as a vehicle to embed and refute ideals, scale a point of view, and foster change? How will these machined influencers change how we see ourselves, our desires, our communities, our borders, our countries, and our world?

Software used to research the topic and craft  design work:

Runway ML, Blender, Cinema 4D, Unity, Daz, Mixamo, RadicalAI, Vocaloid, Musi-co, Magenta, Aiva, Musenet, Melodrive, Jukedeck, Nsythn, Resemble, Synthesia.