Current Residencies



A visual inquiry into the nature of a computational system drawing on observation, psychology and imagination

(Kate Aspinall is Theo)

Artist, writer and academic, I practice art in the headspace and name of Theo. My practice revolves around large works on paper playing with drawn fragility and bodily alteration. My formal education has been in art history, including a fully funded PhD in the history and philosophy of drawing. I have exhibited since 2005 in Scotland, Colorado, and London, including as the most junior fellow in the history of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, a member of the Pirate Art Collective and recently received a grant from the Royal Drawing School in London.

Blueprints For An Emergent Personality

Blueprints For An Emergent Personality responds to the process of the AMORE project: Theo is interested in the ways to conceive personality as an inevitable by-product of the linguistic learning process – how personality emerges from actions. Her project asks: (1) What could be learnt if one treated a computational system that can learn its own representations from data as we would a developing infant mind? (2) How can we represent non-human personality and how can this representation best combine objective analysis with subjective interpretation? She approaches the AMORE computational system as an infant consciousness developing its cognitive abilities – inferring the body (or the embodiment), which emerges from the way the model-as-a-mind displays idiosyncrasies akin to a personality. She will translate the responses of the system into data points and emotive sketches suggested by these slippages. She will then present this data to child psychology and development specialists in order to build a picture of the personality behind them. Theo will then construct images of a mature and embodied self from that of this early stage of its personality – essentially constructing images of non-human selves in a presentation-quality series of large graphite and acrylic figure/machine studies.

About this residency

  • Blueprints For An Emergent Personality
    Barcelona, Spain
    A visual inquiry into the nature of a computational system drawing on observation, psychology and imagination
From March 1, 2017 to Dec. 1, 2018

Producer: None
Localization: Barcelona, ES


    Imagine your GPS could see. To answer the question "Do I turn there where that big tree is?", a camera is not enough; the GPS needs to connect what you say to the portion of reality that surrounds your car. AMORE builds machines that connect language to reality, and seeks an understanding of how people do it. The main challenges are: 1) identifying which entities ("that big tree") are being talked about, both on the visual and on the linguistic camps; 2) tracking the entities as they appear again, adding new information about them as needed; 3) learning these two abilities directly from examples. We face the machine with different tasks that require using language to talk about the world, and the machine progressively learns to represent both the entities and the language that we use to refer to them.

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