Mark your calendars: Exploring the intersection between art and technology at Oolite Arts

By Riley Kaminer

We all know about Art Week, when thousands descend upon Art Basel and the other international art fairs and galleries dotted around the county. But really, every week in Miami is art week – with a wide range of year-round activities to satiate the appetite of even the choosiest connoisseur.

The latest case in point: a series of conversations exploring the intersection of art and technology at Oolite Arts. Kelani Nichole is Oolite Arts’ first Digital Arts Fellow and oversees Oolite Arts’ new Media Art Lab. She explained that there is more need for this multidisciplinary exploration than ever.

“We’re in a real cultural crisis moment where certain technologies have accelerated so fast that culture at large can’t really understand and parse them,” Nichole told Refresh Miami. “That’s what great art does: it helps us understand our current moment, and parse all of the complexities of our life.”

The tech-art fun kicks off with AI and the Arts: A Masterclass on August 23rd, presented by artists Fabiola Larios and Moises Sanabria. The two-hour session, to be conducted in both English and Spanish, will explore the rapidly-evolving landscape of AI and what it means for the future of art and artists. 

On top of taking a whistle-stop tour through the latest and greatest AI tools (Midjourney, anyone?), Larios and Sanabria will also discuss the technology’s history and provide insights on how to navigate the ethical questions AI often brings up.

Shortly after that, on September 13th, Oolite will kick off its Media Art Salon Series. What exactly does Oolite mean by salon? “It’s about conversation, about dialogue, and about bringing people together,” Nichole explained. “Hopefully that’s a space where people who are maybe not so comfortable thinking about technology, they would come into those conversations and find a way to start to engage with some of the issues of this technology.”

“How are artists using new technologies to innovate in their work – and how can we share that knowledge? This new salon series will dig into what artists are doing in their practices so that others can learn from it,” Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts, shared in a statement.

The first salon’s theme is “Generative Generosity.” There, participants will explore the ways artists are increasingly inspired by open-source technologies. It also will feature an interactive installation created with a new open-source, robotics toolkit. Future sessions include one exploring technology-mediated identity, avatars, and online performance of the self – plus another on unstable ecologies in South Florida and beyond.

While Oolite Arts’ main facility is in Miami Beach, these events will take place in their Little River satellite location. They are free and open to the public. 

“I’m excited to see more collaborations between the art world and tech industry,” Nichole shared. “We’re looking to partner with technology companies in Miami and to develop a healthier exchange between the tech industry and the studios in Miami who are working with these technologies.”

Learn more and register by visiting Oolite’s website.

Digital Art Fellow Kelani Nichole discusses an artist’s work at a salon. Image by Andres Gimenez
Participants discuss digital art at spring salon. Image by Andres Gimenez

Photo at the top of this post: Oolite Arts Digital Arts Fellow Kelani Nichole. Photo by Carina Mask for Oolite Arts.


Riley Kaminer