Reimaging our environment through Machine Imagining

Published on 15 September 2023

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A new exhibition leveraging artificial intelligence to reimagine community member’s observations and drawings of the local environment into a fantastical hybrid of real and imaginary, launches this week at the Braybrook Community Hub.

Machine Imagining is a project led by artist Kate Geck, who worked with a dedicated group of Braybrook residents through all stages of the project over five months from January to June 2023 as part of Council’s Community-Engaged Artist Residency Program.

“Through a series of free workshops, community members were invited to draw creatures from the local area - plants and animals,” said Kate.

“These drawings and photos were then used to produce a community database of observations of the local, natural world. These datasets then trained machine learning models to generate new, machine imaginings of the Maribyrnong area”, she added.

These imaginings were arranged through collage into large hanging textiles, and finished with hand embroidery.

City of Maribyrnong Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter, said Machine Imagining was an inspiring example of how the Braybrook Community-Engaged Artist Residency Program is planting its roots deep in the community.

“It brings me great pleasure to see the community becoming involved in projects such as this, which harness each of our unique perspectives of our City and then using it to create a lasting statement the rest of the community can appreciate,” said Cr Carter.

The next artists to be embedded in the Braybrook Community Hub as part of the Community-Engaged Residency Program is Born in a Taxi, a multi-award-winning local performance company known for their highly physical and community-embedded practice. 

Born in a Taxi will be developing a new work called Prime Time about the relationship between age and power drawn from the local community’s stories.

“Maribyrnong has an abundance of talented artists and I look forward to seeing what Born in a Taxi creates with our community in next year’s residency,” Mayor Carter added.

Machine Imagining launches at Braybrook Community Centre on Wednesday 13 September with the exhibition on display until Friday 6 October. For more information, visit: Community-Engaged Artist in Residence.

About the Braybrook Community-Engaged Artist Residency Program

The program is open to artists of all genres and mediums wanting to build a deep connection to the community, working part-time over approximately a three-month period. There is no requirement to either live or work in the City of Maribyrnong, however connection to the local community, and strong demonstrated experience in community arts practice is viewed positively. Council encourages applications from First Nations, and culturally diverse artists.

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