The nominating institution EPFL on the breakthrough:

Nora Al Badri’s unique work joining art, AI, and cultural heritage was advanced during her residency at the Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+) of the CDH, EPFL, and will culminate with an exhibition in Autumn 2020. A pre-trained neural network based on GAN technology (General Adversarial Networks) trained by the artist is generating new synthetic Babylonian objects based on ancestral ones thereby taking back and re-possessing cultural datasets from colonial Western museum collections.

Nora Al-Badri

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Nora Al-Badri is a multi-disciplinary and conceptual media artist with a German-Iraqi background. Her works are research-based as well as paradisciplinary and as much post-colonial as post-digital. She lives and works in Berlin. She graduated in political sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main and is currently the first artist-in-residence at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) and its Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+). Her practice focuses on the politics and the emancipatory potential of new technologies such as machine intelligence or data sculpting, non-human agency and transcendence. Al-Badri’s artistic material is a speculative archaeology from fossils to artefacts or performative interventions in museums and other public spaces, that respond to the inherent power structures.

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