Yvonne Fang Prototyping Novel AI Interfaces

Imaging Reality: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Picture

Presented by Gray Area

Date & Time:

Saturday, April 27, 2024
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM


San Francisco Art Fair Theater

Advances in artificial intelligence tools for image-making have left the realm of novelty and entered the everyday workflows of creators across industries. From creative software plug-ins to online text-to-image generators, the tech sector now offers tools to augment the human hand at every step of the artistic process. As a result, art is changing; and so are the thousands of images that we are exposed to every day. In this panel discussion at the San Francisco Art Fair, Gray Area invites speakers Yvonne Fang (artist and UI/UX designer), Miguel Novelo (artist), and Nicole Fitzgerald (Co-Founder, Alpaca) moderated by Hannah Scott (Research Manager, Gray Area) to consider how these new tools impact creative practice and visual culture.  
What makes new AI tools different from previous creative technologies? How are images changing, and why is it important? What role does the artist now play in the creative production process? And what kinds of shifts in global visual culture should we expect? Join us to hear from a group of makers who are using, teaching, and building the technologies that are changing the nature of the picture forever. 


About the Speakers: 

Yvonne Fang is an artist, designer, and developer. She is interested in creativity and AI, and topics around climate change, technology, and human society. Her recent work focuses on creativity support tools and experimental human-AI co-creative systems, games, and interactive installations. She holds a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BA from Bowdoin College where she studied international relations, computer science, and visual art. She is currently a resident at Gray Area’s Cultural Incubator, working on an interactive installation with real-time image generation. 

Experimental media artist, filmmaker, and cultural event creator, Miguel Novelo was born in December 1992 in the peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico.  In 2011 he got a scholarship from Fundacion Pablo Garcia to study for an associate degree from Escuela TAI in Madrid, Spain. In 2013, he moved back to Campeche, where he made several short films and initiated a filmmaking movement with the co-creation of the first competitive film festival in his hometown, the Campeche Film Festival. In 2015 he is awarded the Premio a la Juventud en Artes in Campeche. 

After the festival’s second edition, he was again awarded the scholarship from Fundacion Pablo Garcia and a portfolio merit scholarship from SFAI to study a BFA starting in the fall of 2015. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in filmmaking and a minor in art and technology there. He was awarded recognitions such as the “Outstanding Film Student Award” for two consecutive years and “Best in Show” in his final thesis exhibition. During this time, Miguel’s practice evolved into a more immersive and expanded form of media making under the mentorship and working with artists like JD Beltran, IF/THEN collective, Cristobal Martinez, Rhonda Holberton, Mads Lynnerup, Toiz Rodriguez, Tin Dirdamal and Christopher Coppola. In 2018 he co-founded the collective Futuro Sureste with Andrea Boettiger and Alejandro Coba.  

After a short but much-appreciated spell working at SFMOMA, he got into the Stanford MFA program, where he initiated his research in live streaming and media sculptures. 

Miguel has exhibited pieces and short films in cities such as Paris (Mex-Parismental 2015), Madrid (VIDEOTALENTOS, 2014), Mexico City (Mención Honorífica en el Concurso Universitario Nacional 2015, Shorts Mexico 2019), Tijuana (Concurso Nacional de Video Experimental 2014-2016 ), Morelia (FICM 2018), San Francisco (If so, what? 2018), Oakland (Pro Arts 2019), Sheffield (Sheffield Doc Fest 2019) and more. Currently, he is researching and teaching in the Bay Area or might be in Campeche working with family and friends. 

Since 2022, Nicole Fitzgerald has been building Alpaca, a personalized AI toolkit designed to help artists explore further, iterate faster, and amplify their creative potential — right where they work. Until recently, Fitzgerald was a graduate student at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (Universite de Montreal) under the supervision of Laurent Charlin, where she was broadly interested in the empirical study of deep neural networks. In particular, her work studied the dynamics of learning at scale, with a focus on large language models. Previously, Fitzgerald has collaborated with Jonathan Frankle at MosaicML, Benjamin Bratton and Nicolay Boyadjiev at The Terraforming at the Strelka Institute, and a talented group of researchers at Microsoft Research Montreal.