Latvia through the eyes of AI: Rīga Photomonth to begin

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On May 1, Rīga Photography Month will begin with the project “Latvia by Artificial Intelligence”. All artists this year will be AI image generators, the festival's organizers said.

In a specially designed gallery on Ģertrūdes Street, Riga Photomonth will offer a visual study of how three artificial-intelligence imaging generators “DALL-E”, “DeepAI” and “Stable Diffusion” see Latvia, its society, its environment, and culture. Festival curator Arnis Balčus asked the “artists” to generate images on various general topics such as Latvian sports, art, theater, politics, etc. The selection and grouping were carried out by the curator himself and, as a result, the topics comprise 31 exhibitions, a different one every day.

“At a time when artificial intelligence is gaining popularity and more and more artists tend to implement their fantasies through it, I am less interested in technological opportunities in this project, but in the ideas, stereotypes, prejudices, ideologies given by inventors,” said curator and festival director Arnis Balčus.

Exhibitions urge the public to think not only about artificial intelligence and its impact on the human, photographic and artistic environment in the very near future, but also looking critically at itself – the collective identity of Latvia, values, policies, and our place in the context of world development.

The festival will be opened on May 1 at 18:00 with the theme “Latvian Culture and Tradition”, and the next day there will be an exhibition “People of Latvia” in which, at 18:30, historian Toms Ķencis will host a tour, inviting Latvians to look at the nation and traditions in the digital era from a new perspective. The first week will also include exhibitions on Latvia's history, nature, cuisine, economy, and medicine. 

The exhibitions will be available every day from 14:00 to 20:00 at the Riga Photomonth Gallery on Ģertrūdes Street 64.

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