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Wiesław Bartkowski’s Exhibition Accepted to Ars Electronica Festival

Wiesław Bartkowski’s Exhibition Accepted to Ars Electronica Festival

We are very excited to announce that the “Hello! I know you – I am you” exhibition, co-authored and curated by Wiesław Bartkowski from SWPS University’s School of Form, has been accepted to Ars Electronica Festival, the oldest and one of the most significant festivals of electronic arts in the world. Currently, the exhibition can be viewed online, at Ars Electronica .ART Global Gallery. “For me, getting there is like having my article accepted to the most prestigious scientific journal,” says Wiesław Bartkowski. Congratulations!

About the Exhibition

For the very first time, the “Hello! I know you – I am you” exhibition was presented at the Gdynia Design Days 2020, in July. The exposition is an experiment, emploing algorithms and machine learning. The results are palpable, felt on one’s skin and especially on one’s face. Klementyna Jankiewicz and Karol Nowak, graduates of a postgraduate program Creative Coding, and lecturer Szymon Pepliński are co-authors of the project.

The main theme of the exhibition deals with contemporary corporations, which regard human experience as a free resource that can be mined without limits. As the result of the greedy exploitation, they degrade human nature, just as corporations of the early capitalism have degraded the environment. Technology divides people and distances them from each other. The social fabric disintegrates. This time the change may be radical and irreversible, because for the very first time our anti-human technologies have become autonomous.

“According to Professor Shoshana Zuboff from the Harvard Business School, we have entered a new era, called surveillance capitalism. As Professor Zuboff puts it: ‘Once we searched Google, now Google searches us’. Our exhibition provides an opportunity to show the characteristics of this new era. Is the surveillance capitalism taking away our freedom? Is it killing our creativity and dulls our imagination? How is it changing our culture?,” says Wiesław Bartkowski.

Not only has the exhibition been accepted to the Ars Electronica Festival and is currently available at the Ars Electronica .ART Global Gallery, but it was also appreciated by the organizers and listed as the first position in the article describing all projects, linked to the Global Gallery, and marked with the .art Digital Twin certificate.

“I am very happy that the exhibition has be noted. It touches upon important issues such as corporation abuse of power with respect to metadata processed by learning machines, in order to manipulate human behavior. Our exposition uses models of machine learning to expose practices employed in machine learning, in other words, here technology exposes itself,” explains Mr. Bartkowski.

The Ars Electronica Festival takes place between September 9th and 23rd. After that, between October 8th and 10th, the exhibition will be presented at the 10th “Przemiany” (Transformations) Festival, at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. It is also available online at, where you can experience the inhuman perception of THE NET. After all, you are a part of it, aren’t you? It is a world of algorithms and artificial neural networks of learning machines, where your face and metadata serve as an entry ticket.

Wiesław Bartkowski talked more about his project and the issues the exhibition touches upon, in an interview with the "Artificial Intelligence" portal.

About the Festival

The Ars Electronical Festival is one of the oldest and most significant festivals of electronic arts in the world. The first edition of the festival took place on September 18, 1979. Over the years, the Festival has been enjoying a lot of success thanks to its founders, including Herbert W. Franke – physicist, science fiction writer, and digital artist, Hubert Bognermayr – composer, pioneer of electronic music, Ulli A. Rützel – music producer, and Hannes Leopoldseder – Director of ORF Vienna, of the Austrian Broadcasting Company Upper Austria. The goal of the first pilot festival was to utilize the emerging digital revolution for the analysis of potential futures, through research projects that would integrate art, technology, and society. This philosophy remains the guiding principle of the Ars Electronica Festival.

More about the Ars Electronica Festival »

Photo by Wiesław Bartkowski
The main photo in the article, entitled “Ostatni krzyk” (The Final Cry), has been created by Wiesław Bartkowski, by using artificial neural networks that interpreted Rorschach test inkblots, in an attempt to create a human face. The choice of the photo is not random, because artificial neural networks are commonly used to create content in social media. In practice, this is a controversial experiment on a mass scale. The face on the photo symbolically emphasizes individual and social consequences of this experiment.

About the co-author of the exhibition

258 wiesław bartkowski

Wiesław Bartkowski – is an interaction designer and researcher of complex systems. He is Head of a professional certification and training program “Creative Coding”, offered by School of Form in Warsaw. Creator of a unique, on a Polish market, study program that combines computer studies, humanities, and creative applications of technology. Wiesław formulated his artistic and teaching philosophy in a manifesto “The Matter of Code”. He specializes in physical computing. He teaches artists and designers how to combine computer code with electronics and digital fabrication. In other words, he teaches how to shape mixture of bits and atoms. He received the 2018 DESIGN ALIVE AWARD, in the Animator category, for broadening the range of touch points between interactive technology and humanities, design, and art. More information »