Artful Intelligence Season

A forum to discuss and shape key questions at the intersection of AI and Creativity at Oxford and beyond. The season features two flagship events and a series of conversations. 

First, an exhibition with leading AR/VR artist Estella Tse will allow visitors to immerse themselves in new technologies. Estella is a Humanities Cultural Programme Visiting Fellow. Her exhibition uses tech to tell a story of overcoming internal darkness (Depression, PTSD, creative imposter syndrome) through the healing power of art. Symbolic and metaphorical elements of plant and other life forms are woven through the visitor journey creating a technologically enhanced nature-scape through which to explore the mind and the imagination. Estella is working with Oxford researchers to promote a mutual deepening of understanding and practice. The exhibition "In Bloom" will take place from 5 - 18 June 2023. See here for more information. 

On Saturday 10th June, Shaping Destiny presents an immersive, site-specific experience at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. 

Shaping Destiny is a multi-disciplinary public engagement project led by TORCH and members of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG). We bring together the fields of immersive technology, molecular biology, and creative performance, to explore the force of the key concepts of ‘destiny’ and ‘embodiment’.  

We work in collaboration not only across the divisions of the university but also with a range of partners from across Oxford, and indeed across the globe. Collectively, we invite audiences to an exploration of the power of the embodied imagination in an experiment combining scientific analysis and dance, cultural history and virtual reality.  Wrestling with key shared notions such as fate, determinism and culture in both cellular and creative domains, we investigate human ‘norms’, their histories, and their futures. 

Throughout May and June, the Humanities Cultural Programme and The Institute for Ethics in AI will hold a series of conversations with academics, industry experts and creative practitioners at the intersections of emerging technologies and music, art, dance, theatre, and film. Together we will explore the future possibilities and the ethical implications of recent technological advancements. 

The season will also include other related activities and events as advertised on the TORCH website. 

The Artful Intelligence season is brought to you by the Humanities Cultural Programme and The Institute for Ethics in AI and forms part of the celebrations to mark ten years of TORCH. 

Flagship events

In Bloom: Augmented Reality exhibition , 5-18 June 2023,  book your tickets here

Shaping Destiny, an immersive site-specific dance experience, 10 June 2023, book your tickets here


  1. ‘Ex Machina’: AI, Film and Movement A screening of ‘Ex Machina’ (2014), followed by a panel discussion. Find out what went into creating a humanoid robot with the film’s choreographer, Arthur Pita, actress Sonoya Mizuno (‘Ex Machina’, ‘Devs’ and ‘House of the Dragon’) and Dr Meindert Peters, whose research explores the intersections of dance, literature, and current theories of embodied cognition. Chaired by TORCH Director, Prof Wes Williams. 10 May, 6pm at the Ultimate Picture Palace.
  2. Ethics in AI Colloquium: Reflection on the Nature of (Artificial) Intelligence and Creativity? The Season’s AR/VR artist in residence, Estella Tse, in conversation with computer scientist, Prof Yejin Choi, discussing the ethical implications of AI for visual arts. Chaired by Paul Holdengräber an interviewer, curator and writer, formerly Director of the New York Public Library's public programming. Thursday 1 June,  5pm, Mary Ogilvie Theatre, St Anne’s College.
  3. Shattered Space: AI, Art and Gender The work Shattered Space, gifted to St John’s College by Aidan Meller and created with the Ai-Da Robot, (intentionally) poses many questions. This event will explore AI generated art, gender and ownership in partnership with St John’s College, speakers include Brenda Stevenson, Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair of Women's History and Estella Tse AR/VR artist, Wednesday 7 June, 5pm at St John’s College Auditorium.
  4. AI and Dance A workshop on using AI in Dance followed by a panel with Choreographer Alex Whitley (and company) and Prof Wes Williams in conversation about work at the intersection of AI and dance. Tuesday 20  June at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building.
  5. AI and Theatre A discussion of the current and future uses of AI and immersive technology in theatre and performance with Sarah Ellis, RSC Director of Digital, Alison Humphrey, PhD candidate in immersive storytelling, Ruthie Doyle, multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker and Dan Tucker, Immersive Producer & Curator. Chaired by TORCH Director, Prof Wes Williams. 26 June, 5pm, Old Fire Station.  

Related events

1. Creative Machine Oxford Symposium A prestigious showcase of the latest creative applications of artificial intelligence (AI) at the intersection of AI and creativity across the domains of digital art, neuroscience, scientific discovery and music is coming to the University of Oxford for the first time this year. Tuesday 30 May, Cheng Kar Shun Digital Hub, Jesus College, Oxford.

2. AI and Poetry: Ethics, Gender, and Creativity Join Marshall Scholars for a fireside chat to explore AI's incursions into poetry, from the ethical concerns to the artistic affordances. They will consider the ability for AI to produce gendered creations, the possibility of outsourcing creativity to machines, the productivity of failure, and AI's capacity to help cure writer's block. Friday 9 June, 5.30pm, St John's College

3. Conversations Across Time You are invited to join us for CAT—a Physics un-play and art-piece by Artist in Residence to Oxford Physics Pamela Davis Kivelson. Come to the Quantum Simulation located in the theatre in Oxford’s Beecroft Building (Department of Physics) (directions). If you are interested in portraiture, climate change, women in science and technology, this may be your chance to have a very unique experience in the Quantum future.

Dates: June 15th, 17:30-18:30 | June 16th, 17:30-18:30

June 17th, 14:30-15:30 | June 17th, 17:30-18:30.

Players:  Lola May, Jeremy Drakes, Maya Chaudhuri, and Giovanni De Felice.

Directors: PDK and Nina Jurkovic Composer: Cheryl Frances-Hoad 

We wish to thank Helen Smith, Ian Shipsey,  St Hilda’s College Oxford, TORCH, and Film Oxford.

4. Ruskin MFA Degree Show 2023 – The Five Lifetimes of Cicero and Jerome by India Bruckner

The Five Lifetimes of Cicero and Jerome is a multimedia project exploring the potential impacts of artificial intelligence on human creativity, and the ethics of using AI to reconstruct historical figures. In a video game with an AI-generated soundtrack, you play as alternate versions of Cicero and St Jerome as they come to terms with a world in which humans and AI have become inseparable in more ways than one.

The Five Lifetimes of Cicero and Jerome is premiering as part of the Ruskin School of Art’s annual Degree Show. The show takes place at 128 Bullingdon Road. The opening night is the 16th June, from 7pm to 10pm. The show is open thereafter from 12pm to 6pm each day until the 21st June inclusive. Further information can be found here.