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ISEA2015: The 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art
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Valencia James

Freelance performing artist
Budapest, Hungary
Born in Barbados, Valencia James is a freelance performing artist based in Budapest, Hungary. She graduated with a BA in Modern Dance from the Hungarian Dance Academy in 2010. For three years she was a soloist in the Yvette Bozsik Company, and has worked in projects with Kata Juhasz, Rita Gobi, The Symptoms and Nina Kov. In 2012 Valencia was invited by Wim Vandekeybus to participate in his research program at the world-renown Ultima Vez Dance Company in Brussels. Valencia won the 2014 Viktor Fulop and danceWEB Scholarships, with which she was able to study at the ImpulsTanz Festival for Contemporary Dance in Vienna that year. She is a 2015 resident artist of the L1 Association in Hungary. Since 2013 Valencia has been researching how artificial intelligence can be applied to dance and performing arts, and co-founded the AI_am project. She has presented the project at TEDxDanubia in May 2015 and at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Buenos Aires, in July 2015.

AI_am is an interdisciplinary project brings together experts from the fields of dance, cognitive science, graphics and coding. The project aims towards creating an improvised duet between an AI and a human dancer. Over the past two years the team has advanced towards this aim by developing an algorithm that enables an avatar to move in new and surprising ways. By applying sophisticated machine learning techniques in the context of dance and by staging a unique meeting between art and science, the project seeks to rethink what performing art is or could be. At the same time, more general questions about AI and its place in the world are raised.

The AI_am team consists of Valencia James, Alexander Berman (AI research and development), Gábor Papp (Creative coding, rendering), Gáspár Hajdu (Motion capture, rendering, architectural design), Botond Bognár (Concept and research).