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ARTH 60 — Contemporary Asian Art: Creativity in the Age of AI

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Gerui Wang
Duration: 6 weeks
Format/Location: Live Online
Date(s): Jul 11—Aug 15
Class Recording Available: Yes
Class Meeting Day: Thursdays
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Class Meeting Time: 5:00—6:30 pm (PT)
Tuition: $360
   
Refund Deadline: Jul 13
 
Unit(s): 0
   
Status: Open
 
Quarter: Summer
Day: Thursdays
Duration: 6 weeks
Time: 5:00—6:30 pm (PT)
Date(s): Jul 11—Aug 15
Unit(s): 0
Format/Location: Live Online
 
Tuition: $360
 
Refund Deadline: Jul 13
 
Instructor(s): Gerui Wang
 
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Open
 
In the era of artificial intelligence, artists in contemporary Asia, from China and Japan to South Korea and Singapore, are leveraging AI's potential to reimagine artistic expression, engage with traditional aesthetics, and probe the boundaries between human creativity and machine learning. This course explores the integration of AI into the creative processes of these artists, examining its influence on historical artistic media and aesthetics as well as its multidimensional impact on both human society and identity.

Through an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates immersive case studies, hands-on experiments, and active discussions, students will explore how contemporary Asian artists confront fundamental aspects of human existence in a landscape where machines are increasingly capable of replicating human cognition. Our exploration will include analysis of noteworthy works such as Anicka Yi’s ethereal machines that fuse technology and biology through floating “aerobes”; Cai Guo-Qiang’s explosive events orchestrated with drones; and Sougwen Chung's robotic replication of hand-drawn gestures. Students will engage art, literature, and media theories from W.J.T. Mitchell, Katharine Hayles, and Joana Zylinska, as well as classical Daoist philosophy texts. Students will learn to appreciate the ingenuity of these artists as they contemplate the broader philosophical implications of a world where artificial and human intelligence intertwine, reshaping the fabric of society, culture, and personal experience.

GERUI WANG
Lecturer, Stanford Center for East Asian Studies

Gerui Wang’s research interests span arts, public policy, environment, and technologies. Her first book, From Painting to Pillow: Landscape, Governance and Ecology in China 1000–1400, is forthcoming. It traces the global and preindustrial origin of the notion of sustainability. Wang has published in peer-reviewed journals, and her current project examines AI and contemporary art. It delves into issues such as human-machine collaborations, algorithms as creative processes, reality/virtuality, and cultural traditions mediated through AI. She has published opinion pieces on topics such as AI and urban economy and AI’s applications in the cultural industry. Wang received a PhD in art history from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.