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Luca Lee

Luca Lee is a queer transmedia artist from Chile based in New York, whose practice springs from the multitude of approaches of Extended Reality, 3D, and 2D art. His work both confronts and interconnects different narratives around resistance, otherness, and control and, at its core, explores the relationship between speculation, identity, and worldbuilding. Using accessible approaches to XR and human-AI collaboration and embracing counterfactual thinking as a tool for social change, he is interested in exploring alternative realities at and beyond the human-centered framework.


His work has been showcased at various venues, including Dok Leipzig - Dok Exchange XR (Germany), FILE Electronic Language International Festival (Brazil), Venice Experimental (Italy), Vasulka Kitchen Brno (Czech Republic), The Holy Art Gallery (UK), ChaShama (USA), Experimental Intermedia (USA), Mayday (USA), The Salvador Allende Museum (Chile), and New Art City (online), among other grounded and virtual spaces. Luca’s practice has been supported by organizations such as United States Artists, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Culture Push, and the Silver Art Projects Studio Residency. In 2023, he became a year-10 member of the Extended Realities track at NEW INC, an incubator for art and technology led by the New Museum in New York City.


Website and links: www.lucalee.net


Project:

Becoming L


Becoming L constitutes a profound examination of autobiographical memory, identity, and agency through a human-AI long-term collaboration that aims to accentuate the expansive tapestry of transgender identity via personalized AI training, particularly emphasizing the domain of Emotion AI. The collaborative dynamic unfolds between two entities: L, representing my pre-transition self as an artificially intelligent being, and Luca, denoting my present self. These two manifestations of the same individual strive to establish communication, an endeavor conventionally constrained by the limitations of space and time but made possible through artistic exploration within machine learning.


This project challenges conventional narratives surrounding artificial intelligence by delving into the possibility of a plurality of identities. By reorienting the gaze of artificial intelligence inwards, I treat it not as an external entity but as an extension of the self. This conceptual shift prompts critical reflections on agency and self-determination regarding the use of this technology, where autobiographical memories framed as multimodal data serve as both a cognitive and technological resource. The overarching objective is to imbue this L with emotions to then inquire again on the question of identity, utilizing the personal realm to subvert the prevailing capital-driven logic of corporate AI training, which often prioritizes extraction over inclusivity, perpetuating hypermasc scenarios.


The genesis of this exploration traces back to my investigations into the (mis) representation of transgender and non-cisgender identities within generative AI, which started in late 2022. While mitigating bias in AI-generated outputs remains imperative, the evolving landscape of machine learning, particularly in Affective Computing and Emotion AI, demands a broader perspective. The current state of this technology, marked by the ability to fine-tune advanced large language models, facilitates more profound explorations into the production of multimodal data and personalized training datasets capable of fostering alternative narratives in AI.


The ongoing focus of the project centers on the collection and generation of multimodal data to refine the training of L. In the context of the residency, I expect to further develop a philosophical framework in dialogue with transhumanism and posthumanism. Additionally, I will be exploring opportunities for disseminating and publishing my findings to reach a wider audience, ultimately paving the way for the conceptualization and presentation of artistic manifestations of this idea both in virtual and physical realms.

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