Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
20 MAR 2019 - 30 MAY 2019
Palácio Sinel de Cordes, Campo de Santa Clara, 145, 1100-474 Lisbon, Portugal
Free admission
Human Entities is a project conceived and organised by Sofia Oliveira and Jared Hawkey (CADA)
Additional info

Human Entities 2019

Culture in the age of artificial intelligence

Human Entities 2019, Culture in the age of artificial intelligence is a programme of talks focused on technological change and its impacts – the ways culture and technology shape and influence each other.

The third edition of this programme organised by CADA features four talks with free admission and takes place from March to May at Sinel de Cordes Palace, a cultural center driven by the Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

Few technologies capture the imagination like those that attempt to replicate human minds. From the Middle Ages to the science fiction of modern times people have fantasized about building living machines. And now in the form of artificial intelligence they’ve arrived, even if that’s in an entirely new projection: as software agents sitting invisibly behind a wide range of computational technologies woven into daily life.

Whereas only a few years ago the digital shift could be summarised by social media and videos of cats, there’s now a tangible and uneasy feeling that AI will redefine every facet of lived experience. At the same time, the deployment of these powerful systems is accompanied by rising inequality, industry scandals and a growing recognition that these technologies are undermining democracy with potential impacts on individual freedom. Whether or not this scenario will in the future benefit the elite or work for the public good depends on current political choices.

Over time, as pressure builds, today’s corporate vision of machine intelligence may improve to deal with the complexity of the real world. But unless we embrace the extent to which humans and machines think differently we will restrict our chances to capture AI’s full potential. Perhaps the real gain from artificial intelligence will be to help us move beyond the desire to replicate human minds and offer us new ways to think.


Wed. 20 March 2019
18:30 – 20:30

California Capture: How the West Coast turns Mystery into Infrastructure
Kenric McDowell, Lead at Artists + Machine Intelligence at Google Arts & Culture

Kenric McDowell will present Silicon Valleys’ history of countercultural engagement with the unknown to explore the implications of such encounters for identity, architecture, and global technological development. Kenric McDowell has worked at the intersection of culture and technology for over twenty years. Kenric leads the Artist + Machine Intelligence program at Google Arts & Culture, where he facilitates collaboration between artificial intelligence researchers, artists, and cultural institutions. Kenric is a regular conference speaker and consultant to Think Tanks and arts organisations, helping groups connect artistic practice and technology production with larger traditions of human understanding.


Wed. 20 March 2019
18:30 – 20:30

Other Intelligences
James Bridle, Artist and writer

Bridle will explore the questions and possibilities of artificial and other intelligences through his own work, and new discoveries in ecology, biology, and computation. With artworks commissioned by galleries and institutions and exhibited worldwide and on the internet, he has published in magazines and newspapers including Wired, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, the Guardian, the Observer and many others, In 2018, he launched "New Dark Age", his book about technology, knowledge, and the end of the future, was published by Verso (UK & US). 

Wed. 17 April 2019
18:30 – 20:30

Facing Up to Biometrics
Stephanie Hare, researcher and broadcaster

Our face, voice, DNA, fingerprints and other data about our bodies (also known as our biometrics) are increasingly being used by governments and companies to identify and monitor us, and to analyse, predict and control our behaviour. What role – if any – do we want biometrics technologies to play in our society? Stephanie Hare is a researcher focus on technology, politics and history. Selected for the BBC Expert Women programme, she shares insights on television and radio and has published in the Harvard Business Review, The Financial Times, Project Syndicate, The Herald, CNN and The Guardian.


The Artificial: Planetary and Programming
Benjamin H. Bratton

It is with regret that CADA has to inform that for reasons of force majeure on the part of the speaker, this talk has had to be postponed. We apologize for this inconvenience and will announce a new date as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to your presence in the future.

This talk will consider how ecological realism (including the specter of collapse) and the scope of planetary-scale computation together alter how we conceive of “the artificial.”
The Stack is an interdisciplinary design brief for a new geopolitics that works with and for planetary-scale computation. Interweaving the continental, urban, and perceptual scales, it shows how we can better build, dwell within, communicate with, and govern our worlds.