reading interiors

computer-generated text, images from Het Nieuwe Instituut's archive

image credits: Johannes Schwartz, HNI

Commissioned by Rotterdam's New Institute for Architecture, Design, and Digital Culture, Tivon Rice trained five artificial intelligences (AIs) to read images of interiors from the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut. The AIs learned to write by reading works by authors from anthropology, philosophy, economics, literary fiction and children's literature, in order to make a speculative comparison between different forms of language surrounding our private spaces. Each voice suggests a different perception of what is meaningful about an interior.

The voices of the child, the home, the space, the worker, and the other examine how Covid has changed our relationship with our home. How has our domestic experience been affected as private spaces have also become a place for education, work and our virtual social life? How does language function in this digital guise, when it communicates between virtually linked spaces? What opportunities are there to work creatively through these channels?

During the exhibition, a second archive of interior images will gradually be created that the public can send in themselves. Blank video call backgrounds, COVID caves, pet's rooms and other interiors will be read by the five voices of the artificial intelligence. In doing so, they create additional windows to look at our 'private' spaces – where ideas about 'privacy' have become increasingly obscure as our living rooms have evolved into places for virtual and social activities.

Visit the Reading Interiors archive:

Reading Interiors was commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut for the exhibition Tijdelijk Huis van Thuis (The Temporary House of the Home)

Read Twan Eikelenboom's Working with AI in Artistic Practice – In Conversation with Tivon Rice: