CDCS Annual Lecture 2023: Mary Flanagan "How to See What's Missing"

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Mary Flanagan CDCS Annual Lecture

The fourth CDCS Annual Lecture will be How to See What’s Missing by Mary Flanagan.

Please note: this event will be held in person and live-streamed for attendees online. For those who attend in person, there will be festive refreshments and a chance to network after the event. 



In "How to See What's Missing", artist and scholar Mary Flanagan discusses the investigation of artificial intelligence and machine learning and a groundbreaking use-case scenario of an image-making feminist AI. The project draws critical attention not only to the aesthetics of AI but the thorny biases behind technological learning systems and artworks, and calls into question whose art is accessible after all. The talk will highlight human cognitive biases as well, and speculate as to the equivalencies in the systems we build. A key aspect in interrogating AI, underrepresentation, and the arts lies within art archives, and Flanagan’s journey creating training data and discussing the work with scientists deeply informs the project. 


Speaker Biography 

Mary Flanagan is a hyperdisciplinary researcher, designer and artist who uses games, algorithms, and play systems as tools for participation and discovery.  Her practice is speculative and engages with possibilities: political, sustainable, radical, and playful. She is the recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship, the Thoma Foundation 2018 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, and commissions with the British Arts Council, the National Academy of Sciences, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and Rice University. Flanagan has lectured widely including at Oxford, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, and the Sorbonne and has been a John Paul Getty Museum Scholar, a Senior Scholar in Residence at the Cornell Society for the Humanities, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto. In 2016 she received an Honoris Causa in Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, and in 2019 named a Distinguished Scholar by the Digital Games Research Association. Her work has also been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the British Arts Council, and the Tate. With six scholarly books, over fifty essays and chapters, arts books, and a collection of poetry to her credit, Flanagan is a thought leader sought for thinktanks such as the World Economic Forum at Davos and the Center for Future Design in Linz. She is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College and leads the design research laboratory


Booking Information 

When you register, please indicate if you will join in person or online. Online attendees will receive an email closer to the event which will provide the link to the webinar. Please use the same email for registering with Eventbrite and when logging into Zoom.


Event Information 

The online part of the event is a webinar, which means that attendees’ microphones and cameras will be off. There will be opportunities for participants to ask questions during the discussion. This event will have live captions. Please inform us of any access requirements by emailing Further details about how CDCS uses your information obtained from booking onto our events can be found at in our Events Privacy Statement. 

As of March 2022, the government formally removed all Covid restrictions in the UK. We ask that you continue to be considerate of others’ personal space, and please do not attend if you feel unwell or have any of Covid symptoms.

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