John Gerrard. Neural Exchange. 
Artist Talk
Friday, 14 September, from 19.30 until 21.00, at Teatro Garibaldi di Palermo

John Gerrard, Irish artist and participant in Manifesta 12, introduces his project Neural Exchange, supported by a Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Art + Technology grant the artist researched neural networks, a type of machine intelligence that mimics networks of neurons in the brain. Gerrard set out to combine this new tool with something ancient and revisited an earlier work using a leaf-covered figure from European folklore, and ultimately the Green Man motif, a foliage-covered face that often appears carved into the edifices of medieval cathedrals. Gerrard and his team dressed an actor in branches of fresh spring leaves from oak, beech, ash, and sycamore and photographed him in the woods outside Vienna. The resulting images were developed and modeled into a 3D figure that performs ‘live’ in accordance to a choreographic generator driven by a neural network, itself trained by a ballet dancer. The performance can potentially run in perpetuity as long as the computer is running.
Gerrard will present these artistic experiments in lecture form alongside the performance of a generated simulation.

The talk, Neural Exchange, acts as a satellite event to the second chapter of Manifesta 12 Public Programme, Accountable Networks (28-30 September 2018)