Nettrice Gaskins: “Theory, Content & Style in the AI Revolution”

Community Room, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Digital artist and educator Nettrice Gaskins, a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence in artmaking, will give a talk titled “Theory, Content and Style for the AI Revolution” for the Alberini Family Speaker Series in Design in the UC Davis Department of Design. Her free talk takes place Nov. 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.

In her presentation Gaskins will explain her methods, motivations and cultural critiques through her art. Her work centers on African Americans, Afrofuturism, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education for historically marginalized communities.

“Where traditional artists would wield a paint brush, or camera, the 21st century affords artists tools from artificial intelligence to 2D imaging and 3D modeling to virtual reality, enabling them to create in innovative and novel ways,” said Gaskins. “Advancing technologies have dared artists to take new risks and art has responded in kind. My work explores human imagination and software algorithms to produce visuals that open new possibilities for creative expression.”

Christina Cogdell, professor in the design department at UC Davis, commented on the timeliness of the topic:

“The use of AI in many domains is the hot technological debate right now, with academics split on its threats to student learning versus its immense usefulness for research,” Cogdell said. “Gaskins offers a wealth of experience and years of experimentation demonstrating ethical uses of AI in artmaking.”

Gaskins received a doctorate in digital media from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.F.A. in art and technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is assistant director of the Lesley University STEAM Learning Lab in Boston, Massachusetts, where she uses her “techno-vernacular creativity” approach. In her book, “Techno-Vernacular Creativity and Innovation,” she details her methods of STEAM learning that engages students from historically marginalized communities in culturally relevant and inclusive maker education.

Her work has been exhibited at a Leoni Art Project group show in Genoa, Italy, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, New York, and the Smithsonian’s “FUTURES” exhibition at its Arts and Industries Building.

Supported through an endowment provided by the Carlos and Andrea Alberini Family Foundation, the speaker series brings renowned innovators and thinkers in design to campus to inspire students and encourage community engagement and learning. The talk is organized by the UC Davis Department of Design and co-sponsored by the Manetti Shrem Museum.

The Department of Design is part of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science.

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Davis, CA

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