VCUarts Qatar to Host Lecture on Artificial Intelligence and Art


Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) in Education City, a Qatar Foundation partner university, will be hosting a lecture by Dr. James She from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), titled, “AI and Smartphone Technologies for New Artwork Creation, Interaction and Definition.”

The lecture will take place at 12:30pm on Tuesday, February 18 at the Atrium at VCUarts Qatar. All are welcome to attend.

Emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smartphone technologies are making disruptive changes and new possibilities for people in business, manufacturing, travel, education and even art.

In this talk, examples of AI and smartphone technologies will be selected to show how recent developments in those technologies could facilitate the creation of, and interaction with, artworks. Dr. James She will also share the story of how his artworks are evolving due to the related technologies invented by himself and others.

Through these artworks, Dr. James She, a new media artist and university professor who is interested in merging traditional and new media techniques, will explore trends in artwork creation, new forms of artwork, and novel interaction modalities. He will discuss a few key moments in art history, and rethink definitions of art, craftsmanship, ownership and other related matters which may affect how we evaluate artwork produced by AI and smartphone technologies.

At the same time, the Gallery at VCUarts Qatar is hosting an exhibition that combines augmented reality, art, and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach from an album by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, to give visitors a unique and immersive audio-visual gallery experience. The exhibition, titled, “Into the Light” will run until February 22.

The exhibition opened on January 15 with a well-attended panel discussion titled, “Art + Technology: How do artists use it to shape their craft and the way their audiences experience it?”

Amir Berbić, the Dean of VCUarts Qatar, explained that the lectures and exhibition highlight how the University is increasingly combining art, design, and AI and VR technologies, and is bringing them into the classroom and to new audiences with lectures and exhibitions by renowned experts. “Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are increasingly being used in our programs, such as Art Foundation, Interior Design, and Graphic Design, and they have enormous benefits for our graduating students who are entering industries in Qatar and around the world where these skills are much in demand,” he said.

Dr. James She, who is the founding director of HKUST-NIE Social Media Lab, is currently a Visiting Professor at the College of Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar, and launched the first AI and Art event in Qatar in 2019.

His recent interests explore the use of smartphone and AI technologies which have been developed by him and others to create visual or interactive artworks. In the last six years, he has been exhibiting his interactive artworks in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Brisbane, etc. His scientific research includes AI for Art, Design and Media, Data Science in Social Media and Multimedia, and Green IoT technologies for future social and interactive media.

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