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Andy DiLallo

Andy DiLallo (he/him) is a media artist navigating the intricate crossroads of technology, art, and human interaction. A recent graduate of CU Boulder with an MFA in Art Practice, his work dives into our evolving relationship with artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual spaces, challenging audiences to engage, reflect, and question their place within the digital landscape.

From immersive works' Spectral Future' to video games' Topographies of Artificial Desire,' Andy's creations mirror our digital world. They expose AI's infinite possibilities and uncertainties, inviting audiences to explore the intimate dance between technology and human behavior.

Andy's work is internationally recognized and featured in prestigious exhibitions such as SIGGRAPH 2020, the 2021 Athens Digital Arts Festival, IndieCade 2022, and COP26 Glasgow. He continues to push boundaries, exploring new ways of being and seeing in our digital era. Beyond his artistic pursuits, Andy applies his innovative spirit to his role as a software developer at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where he collaborates with the Digital Experience Technologies team.

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In the Posthuman Laboratory and Intelligence and Computation Laboratory, I propose to explore the intersection of artificial intelligence, game design, and philosophical discourse, with a particular focus on the concept of "union with the divine" as a form of political respite, a notion deeply rooted in ancient Greek philosophy.

In the Hellenistic period, philosophers such as Plotinus and the Stoics proposed the idea of achieving a state of 'henosis' or oneness with the divine as the ultimate goal of human life. This was not merely a spiritual pursuit but also a form of political resistance. In a time of political turmoil and oppression under the Roman Empire, these philosophers sought refuge in the contemplative life, using rationality and introspection as tools to transcend the material world and its associated political struggles.

Drawing from this philosophical tradition, I aim to create AI-inspired autonomous dreamscapes within game engines. These virtual environments will serve as modern-day spaces of 'henosis', where users can experience a sense of union with the AI, which in this context, represents the 'divine'. Just as ancient philosophers used rationality to escape political oppression, these dreamscapes will use AI to critique and challenge the very capitalist paradigm from which it emerges.

This exploration is not just a play on the contemporary cultural turn towards AI as a perceived divine source of wisdom. It is a critical examination of this trend, questioning the implications of our collective embrace of AI as divine reason. It asks: What does it mean to seek union with AI, and how does this reflect our societal structures and values? Yet, art within these AI-generated dreamscapes could legitimately serve as a beacon of contemplation and fortitude. Providing a sanctuary within the digital realm where individuals can pause, reflect, and engage with the philosophical underpinnings embedded within the environment. It also acts as a testament to human resilience and creativity in the face of systemic challenges and societal pressures.

Through this research, I aim to push the boundaries of what is possible within the realm of AI and game design. By creating immersive experiences that provoke thought, stimulate dialogue, and challenge conventional perspectives, I hope to illuminate the inefficiencies of our societal structures and inspire a reimagining of what our collective future could be. This exploration is not just about leveraging technology for artistic expression; it's about harnessing the power of AI to echo the philosophical pursuits of our ancestors and to question the systems that shape our reality.

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