Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project


To what extent is creative ownership in contemporary (graphic) design practices changing now that we are co-creating with machines? And can machines have copyrights, too?

Roosje Klap

'Post_signature' looks at the landscape of creative digital ownership within (graphic) design and wants to explore and learn new ways of creating together with autonomous digital machines that can create literary and artistic productions. This project adds to an understanding of a new territory, where designers are redesigning themselves, and are seeking to find common grounds for their expanding relationships with machines.

The objective of this research project is to position collective authorship in which creative practices involve machine learning, against individual authorship, particularly in relation to the romantic ideas around the autonomous and self-creating artificial intelligence author.

The attribution of authorship and copyright belongs to existing anthropomorphic, individualistic, and predominantly Western capitalist frameworks. This research project seeks to reinvent such frameworks for co-creating with machines, hoping to avoid an immediate connection between machine authorship and capitalist systems.

The study will partly be conducted through the creation of an intelligent algorithm that mimics the practice of a human autonomous designer. This A.I. will be trained by Roosje Klap, and a group of Mechanical Turkers to process a very large amount of texts and images, which, in turn, allows the A.I. to create a written and visual language.  

With this construction, the research will investigate the components of these activities and tools of the graphic design process, and reassemble these to avoid assigning specific roles and tasks to either the human or the machine. As such this project hopes to complicate and expand the idea of the single human author in today‚Äôs multifaceted collaborative making scenarios.

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