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Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery Presents Creative Work as Adversary: The AI and Machine Art by Roboticist and Artist Alexander Reben

On Thursday, February 14,  Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery presents a new, cutting-edge exhibit examining the connections between the worlds of artificial intelligence, robotics, and art. Curated by George Fifield, director of Boston Cyberarts, the exhibit features the work of Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained roboticist and artist Alexander Reben, who explores humanity through the lens of art and technology.

Reben defines his work as “art as experiment,” using tools such as artificial philosophy, synthetic psychology, perceptual manipulation, and technological magic. The exhibit includes oil paintings created when AI combines words to generate a new image; thought-rendered prints created when the artist’s thoughts on specific phrases are interpreted by an art-generating algorithm; AI misfortunes or prints chosen by the artist that represent AI-learned philosophy creation from fortune cookies; as well as videos, images of AI-generated handwriting, and a sculpture that speaks in AI-generated languages.

 “Viewers will have many opportunities to discover the interconnectivity of art and artificial intelligence. This work helps us not only understand who we are, but also to consider who we will become,” said artist Alexander Reben. “I am thrilled to share these works with the Emerson community, Boston, and beyond.”

The exhibit opens Thursday, February 14, with a reception from 5-7 p.m., and runs through Sunday, April 14 at the Emerson Urban Arts Gallery, which is free and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. Reben will host a gallery walkthrough on Sunday, March 3, at 4 p.m. The gallery is located at 25 Avery Street in Boston.

“Reben’s work probes the inherently human nature of artificial intelligence and our inevitable co-development with artificial creations,” said curator George Fifield.

Reben’s artwork and research have been shown and published internationally, including The Vitra Design Museum and the MAK Museum Vienna, and he is a consultant for major companies guiding innovation for the social machine future. Reben has built robots for NASA, and is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab, where he studied human-robot symbiosis and art. He has lectured at TED, SXSW, Google, University of California Berkeley, School of the Museum of Fine Arts Tufts, and MIT, among others. He is a 2016-2017 WIRED innovation fellow, a Stochastic Labs Resident, and a recent visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley Psychology department.

A complete image bank of all Creative Work as Adversary works on paper can he found here:



About Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery                                                                     
Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery, which opened in 2016, offers four to six exhibitions per year, featuring the work of outstanding national and international visual and media artists as well as Emerson’s advancements in the fields of emergent digital media, projection mapping, augmented reality, data visualization, and performance art. It will serve as the locus of Emerson College’s School of the Arts’ Urban Arts Program that has brought public art events to the City of Boston. Funding for the Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery has been provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaboration between Mass Development and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Additional funding has been provided by the George I. Alden Trust and individual contributors to the Emerson Urban Arts. For more information, visit

About Emerson College                                                                                                             
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic. The College has an active network of 39,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit


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