The festival WHEN MACHINES DREAM THE FUTURES is not just the conclusion of the Goethe-Institut’s project “Generation A=Algorithm”, it also marks the opening of the special exhibition “Machine – Learning – Human Dreams” at Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden.


The exhibition, curated by Yasemin Keskintepe, highlights specifically how the use of AI systems is likely to gradually alter our understanding of everyday life, mobility, work, health, and politics. On 800 m² of exhibition space, cultural-historical exhibits, scientific objects, and contributions as well as audiovisual media will offer all sorts of insights into the current state of AI development, but also how we approach AI. What’s more, the perspectives afforded by the works of international contemporary artists will provide just as many opportunities to reflect on the influence this technology has on our lives. The exhibition will not only look at the dreams of the past and the possibilities and impossibilities of our present but also consider the question of how we intend to use Artificial Intelligence for our own ends in the future.

The Exhibition Online

As part of the festival, we provide two online guided tours through the exhibition „Machine – Learning – Human Dreams“. If you are interested you just have to register for the festival. From November 10 to November 15 we present in addition some of the artworks from the exhibition exclusively.


Guided Tours

Exhibition www.infotext-berlin.de14. November 2021, 14:30 Uhr MEZ

Live guided tour of the exhibition (german)

unfortunately has to be canceled due to illness.

Cheng Guo (*1988)

The Net Wanderer, since 2019, 47 Photographs, Video, 8:59 Min.

Courtesy of the artist 

By regulating data flows, individual states are able to extend their sovereignty and control to the digital realm, too. China’s Great Firewall controls the country’s domestic and international data traffic, thereby censoring information. Increasingly, these processes are automated by AI. Chinese artist Guo Cheng uses network diagnostics tools to locate, document, and archive the Firewall’s potential geographical locations.

© Guo Cheng

About → Cheng Guo

Net Wanderer

Sofia Crespo (*1991)

Aspirations Aspirations | © Sofia Crespo

{aspiration_2323} from the series Neural Zoo, 2021, Direct plate print on aluminum

Courtesy of the artist Sofia Crespo

The Neural Zoo series of images was generated by an AI. Argentinian artist Sofia Crespo trained artificial neural networks using images of nature and various methodologies. The results created by the AI provide the viewer with new ways of seeing fauna and flora while highlighting the artificiality of the process by which they were made.

© Sofia Crespo

About → Sofia Crespo

Adam Harvey (*1981)

VFRAME, since 2018, 3D models, Video, 6 Min.

Courtesy of the artist 

VFRAME uses an AI-assisted system to analyse video footage shot in conflict regions. The tool is designed to find evidence of war crimes. It is trained to spot illegal cluster ammunition, warning signs, and wounded or injured persons, among other things. Due to the lack of training data, American artist and researcher Adam Harvey uses synthetic data created specifically for this purpose: 3D models and visualisation of ammunition.

Credits Photo/Videography: © Adam Harvey and Josh Evans, 2021

About → Adam Harvey

Adam Harvey

Memo Akten (*1975)

memo Akten

Learning to See, 2017,  Computer installation

Courtesy of the artist 

AI systems learn to deduce shapes and colours from sample data and then generate images by themselves. Turkish artist Memo Akten trained an AI system using only images of flowers, fire, water, clouds, and stars. The AI system therefore interprets each object detected by the camera as one of these motifs. This approach illustrates that AI systems can only generate new images based on the information they already know.

© Memo Akten

About → Memo Akten

Lauren Lee McCarthy (*1987) and David Leonard (*1977)

I.A. Suzie, 2019, Video, 9:03 Min.

Courtesy of the artists

In the home of 80-year-old American Mary Ann, a care system she calls ‘Suzie’ is installed. As part of a week-long performance, American artists Lauren Lee McCarthy and David Leonard slip into the role of this virtual assistance system. They observe Mary Ann literally 24/7 using 360-degree cameras and interact with her. The film not only documents the way emotional relationships between humans and AI evolve, but it also explores the question of whether AI systems can be caregivers.

© Lauren Lee McCarthy and David Leonard

About → Lauren Lee McCarthy & David Leonard


AI Residencies

More Works by the AI-Residents of the Goethe-Institute

With its AI-Residency Programme, and the project “GenerationA=Algorythm”, the Goethe-Institute enabled sixteen artists from all over Europe to work with companies and alongside entrepreneurs who have made AI and computer learning the focus of their work. 

Learn More