A Fair New Idea?! #3: RECONNAISSANCE – a workshop series for decolonizing image datasets through healing contexts

A Fair New Idea?! oproep 3: Digitaal Werken in de Kunsten

A Fair New Idea?! is veel meer dan de ondersteuning van één project voor verdere ontwikkeling. Het is een reeks van vier open oproepen rond verschillende thema’s. Deze eerste, met als thema ‘Digitaal werken in de Kunsten’, hieronder vind je een van de ideeën die niet verder ontwikkeld zijn in het traject, maar daarom niet minder van waarde zijn.

Which challenges for working digitally in the arts carry your interest?

We are working on issues such as extractive capitalism, surveillance, invisible labor, AI bias and data colonialism that impact migrants disproportionately. The challenge for us is to disseminate new healing contexts through multi-modal frameworks: art, applied/media anthropology, expressive-arts therapy, user-interaction and code.

Why do you want to participate in this call?

The call is aligned with the context and aims of our project, and we are looking for support to turn RECONNAISSANCE into a continuing workshop series. Workshops are events of collective speculation, in which processes of collective data-making are posited as acts of “being” , “creating”, “decolonizing” and “healing” together. We will (1) explore common notions of “liminality” in migration, art-therapy methodology, and software theory; (2) Test new tools; (3) Build a community of collaborators and early users. “migr-ai-tion” is a movement towards sustainable, technological paradigms. The migr-ai-tion platform will allow users to collaborate on image datasets, as forms of participatory memory-making and futures-oriented action. Our vision is to transform exploitative AI practices into healing processes by re-designing computer vision image-annotation tools (ex: CVAT, COCO, YOLO) for art & activism, research and arts-therapeutic contexts. We explore possibilities for egalitarian expression of in the future media landscape.

How could your work on these challenges have an impact towards fairness and sustainability in the arts of Flanders and Brussels?

We would like to explore this project from the perspective of different countries. Certain aspects of migration experiences are universal. The shock of the pandemic has created a type of “rupture” or “liminality” in our routine lives. We would like work with artistic collaborator(s) in Flanders/Brussels to focus on multi-cultural contexts for “well-being”, as a two-way interchange of how multi-modal practices and digital art can be catalyzed into healing paradigms. In working with migrant “trauma”, practitioners are discovering that there are other ideas for well-being, from those imputed by Western (individualistic) pathology. Non-Western of “collective well-being”, can become salient approaches to dealing with mental health issues due to the pandemic, and the ecological and political breakdown of late capitalism. In “Collective Trauma, Collective Healing”, psychologist Jack Saul provides insights into treatment on the community level using artistic processes, an approach which parallels applied visual anthropology.

Contact details

Jie Liang Lin: jielianglin821@gmail.com