Better Memories with Artificial Intelligence

Prof. Christiane Kühl & Prof. Chris Kondek
Better Memories with Artificial Intelligence

Block seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Saturday/Sunday, 18./19.11. and 2./3.12.2023, 10-17 h, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 102

INFOSESSION: Friday, 20.10., 15:30 h:
Meeting-Kennnummer: 2783 535 8621, Passwort: v9cBxKXTJ32

Registration on Moodle starts 16.10.2023 / Anmeldung auf Moodle beginnt am 16.10.2023:
Moodle Enrollment Key / Einschreibeschlüssel: memories

The arrival of AI generated images will soon force us to look at every image and question if it really happened or is it only artificially produced.  This is the final step in images losing their reliability as markers of the real. Our memories are also notoriously unreliable. Images we have of our past may not faithfully reproduce that past. It has been said that memories are not intended to show us what happened, but images the mind fabricates to help us manage and predict the future. They are in every sense of the word artificial images. At the same time, we often remember the photo of a childhood event more than the event itself. This workshop will explore what happens when you mix AI image generators with personal memories as well as personal images.

We will start by prompting an AI text-to-image generator with descriptions of our own images in an attempt to re-create them. These AI generators are great at creating realistic images of moments that never happened, but what limits do we encounter with AI when we try to re-create images of events that actually happened? We will then upload our own photos to an AI Image-to-image generator to have more control over the output. Following that we will train our own AI model and attempt to recreate those memories we all carry with us which never got the chance to be photographed. Can we use AI to turn them into existing images? And what happens if we do?

This workshop has two goals: to introduce participants to basic, as well as advanced techniques of AI image generation, while at the same time, speculating on the possibilities and problems that result from the incorporation of AI in our lives.

Prerequisites for Participation: Participants are asked to bring in copies of childhood photos, if possible. Additionally participants should have access to a computer. The course does not require any special knowledge, however if possible it is recommended to download and install Automatic1111 for Stable Diffusion. Installation is slightly technical; if not possible we will do it during the workshop.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit points: Active participation in the class along with the creation of a small collection of AI generated memory-images.

Christiane Kühl und Chris Kondek entwickeln seit knapp 20 Jahren gemeinsam Theater-Performances und Videoinstallationen, seit 2017 unter dem Namen doublelucky productions. Fokus ihrer Arbeit ist die praktische, ästhetische und inhaltliche Auseinandersetzung mit dem Einfluss digitaler Infrastrukturen auf unsere Lebenswelt. Koproduziert vom HAU Berlin, Münchner Kammerspielen, Residenz Schauspiel Leipzig u.a. gastieren ihre mehrfach ausgezeichneten Arbeiten beim Kunstenfestival Brüssel, Festival Tokyo, Ob/Scene Seoul, Frascati Amsterdam, Brut Wien, NET Festival Moskau, Vaba Lava Tallinn, Teatre Lliure Barcelona, Tmuma Tel Aviv, The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, re:publica, Impulse, Politik im Freien Theater usf. Ab Herbst 2023 teilen sie die Gastprofessur für Interdisziplinäre künstlerische Praxis und Theorie an der UdK. Mehr Informationen unter

Christiane Kühl lebt als Theatermacherin, Autorin und Redakteurin in Berlin. Ihr Interesse gilt der Beobachtung, Analyse und Beschreibung gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhänge, in dokumentarischen wie künstlerischen Formaten. Nach dem Studium der Neueren Deutschen Literatur, Philosophie und Spanisch in Hamburg war sie Redakteurin der tageszeitung, des kulturSPIEGEL sowie bei Radio eins/RBB, danach freischaffend im Medien- und Kulturbereich. Kuration interdisziplinärer Symposien zwischen Kunst und Theorie fürs Goethe Institut, HAU Berlin und steirischer herbst (AT). 2011-2013 Referentin und Stellvertreterin des Intendanten der Berliner Festspiele. Seit 2018 Projektleitung/Redaktion bei, eine Plattform für Literatur aus Kriegs- und Krisengebieten. Neben der Entwicklung von Performances mit doublelucky productions Zusammenarbeit mit Interrobang, Ant Hampton, Quarantine (UK). Mehr Informationen unter

Chris Kondek, born in Boston in 1962, started as a video designer for theater in 1990 working with the New York Theater company The Wooster Group. In 1995 he began a multi-year collaboration with performance artist Laurie Anderson; in the late 90's he made video for productions by Robert Wilson, The Builder's Association and Michael Nyman. After moving to Berlin in 1999 Kondek established himself in the German Theater world, working with directors Stefan Pucher, Falk Richter, Jossi Wieler, Armin Petras among many others, as well as with choreographer Meg Stuart. In 2007 Kondek created video for the first of many opera productions with Sebastian Baumgarten. With director Lydia Styer he worked on Stockhausen's “Donnerstag aus Licht”, which was named production of the year 2016 by Opernwelt magazine. For his video work in theater Kondek received the OPUS/Deutscher Bühne Prize in 2008 and the Faust Theater Prize in 2012.