"She": how we come up with images of artificial intelligence

    Habr, hello!

    I work in the marketing team of the Inventive Retail Group . We are in the LANIT group. One of our assets is a network of mono-brand stores re: Store . I will tell you about how an online photography contest has grown into a full-fledged offline exhibition. In this article, you will learn how the shots of a professional photographer shot on the iPhone look like, what kind of music is being listened to by artificial intelligence, where Moscow is the best place for an advertising banner.

    “Apple gadgets are created not only for utilitarian purposes, they allow you to create” - with this idea in 2014 in St. Petersburg, and later in Moscow, we launched the “ Academy re: Store ” project - regular lectures from professionals of creative professions. Speakers of the Academy tell us how to make bright photos and videos, create music and draw using “apple” devices.

    In 2016, the re: Store digital art project started. He passed the ball to the side of iPhone and iPad users. We wanted to enable users to share their creative ideas, in the implementation of which they use Apple technology. As part of the project, together with the AdMe portal, we organized a competition re: Store Mobile Awards. Participants sent 12,000 photos, illustrations and videos. The only condition was - the content must be made and processed on Apple gadgets. The works were so good that we decided to show them not only online, but also to arrange offline exhibitions in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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    experiment was successful, but we wanted a larger scale. Therefore, we realized that next time we cannot do without a professional approach, both in the organization and in creating content.

    In 2017, we held a new competition with similar conditions as in 2016. However, this time only photos were taken. At the same time, my colleagues and I thought about how to increase the scale of the future exhibition and attract more visitors. It was necessary to determine the theme of the exhibition, its central image. “What else ten years ago was perceived as a miracle, but now it's a familiar part of life?” - a question was sounded during a brainstorming session. Answered almost in chorus: "Artificial Intelligence."

    Almost every modern person today has a smartphone in his pocket, so if we talk about artificial intelligence, then most often users encounter a voice assistant in their private life. In addition to performing the main function, helping users, conditional Siri or Alice learned to joke, sing, tell tales, anecdotes, and even argue. Basically, they speak in pleasant female voices. So we determine the image, and later, the name of the exhibition.

    The search for the curator of the exhibition took six months. We stopped at Anastasia Polykarpova. She lives in Berlin, but still works with the Russian market - organizes surveys, for example, for GQ and L'officiel.

    Then we searched for a photographer. There were several foreign candidates (there were five names on the short list), but we didn’t agree on the schedules or the views on the project’s implementation. As a result, we were approached by a photographer proposed by Anastasia, Nikolai Biryukov - a specialist in fashion photography, who shot for Vogue, Interview, Harper's Bazaar. Nicholas was interested in the experiment - to conduct a full-fledged shooting only on the iPhone 7 Plus. Why him? It was in the summer of 2017, the premiere of the eight and the iPhone X has not yet taken place.

    In order to proceed to the shooting, it was necessary to find the very one who would try on the image of artificial intelligence. The curator and photographer suggested the Russian model Ursula Kim, whose career began in New York when she was 16 years old. Prior to that, Ursula had already starred for Pop Magazine, Teen Vogue, Numero, Elle.

    In total, 19 works were selected from the photography of Nikolay Biryukov for the exhibition. Each frame is an independent image and the answer to the question: “How can a voice from a favorite gadget, which is always ready to help, look like?”

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    Frames turned out to be unique, special. The same should have been the music that sounds at the exhibition. We chose between several composers in Russia, but the curator of the exhibition advised the bass guitarist, the ambient composer from Hamburg, John Eckhardt . His music perfectly matched the image of artificial intelligence. For six weeks, John wrote 19 sets (one for each photo), and then personally presented them at the opening of the exhibition.

    The best sites of Moscow are booked for the year ahead, but we were lucky. Time for the exhibition was found in the Central House of Artists on Krymsky Val. CHA fit on all counts. It is located next to Gorky Park and Museon - locations where many free time photo enthusiasts and owners of this or that Apple gadget spend their free time. Another plus is the space above the main entrance to the House of Artists. This is the perfect place to place a banner. It can be seen when a person drives along the Crimean Bridge, when he leaves the Gorky Park, even when he walks along the Frunze Embankment, on the other side of the Moscow River. One such poster replaces billboards in the city, although we still did not refuse them.

    The exhibition "She. Images of Artificial Intelligence ”was held from November 15 to 26, 2017. The exhibition was divided into two rooms, by type of content: professional and amateur.

    In the room where the work of Nikolai Biryukov was shown, the light was muffled. Photos hung on black stands, each of which illuminated the spotlight.

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    On the back of the stand in large print with light highlighted the development of artificial intelligence.

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    The amateur part, as well as the year before, consisted of the works that were sent by the participants of the re: Store Mobile Awards competition. Out of 10 thousand frames, our team and the creators of the exhibition selected 100 photos. Pictures were exhibited in the next room. However, we did not print the photos, we decided to show them on the iPad, which were built into the special runways.

    At the official opening of the exhibition were invited partners, media representatives, celebrities and bloggers.

    But in the next two weeks everyone could get to the exhibition for free. During this time, the exposition was watched by four thousand people.

    Any large project gives a unique experience. Especially if your team is fully involved in it, and does not give most of the work to outsource. This case taught us to build relationships with content producers, and we learned how much time it takes to create creative material.

    Project re: Store digital art will continue to evolve. This year a new exhibition will be held in Moscow, all photos of which are also made only on the iPhone. While we do not want to immerse you in the details, so as not to spoil the surprise. We note only that the famous British photographer worked for us. Works permeated with a sense of grace, weightlessness and constant questions: "How does she do it?"

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