Polyxeni Kasda (D’72); merging art and artificial intelligence

Polyxeni Kasda, (D’72), is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and research-artist with diverse interests in the fields of poetry, myth, artificial intelligence, scientific research and critical theory. A native of Alexandria, Egypt, she is currently living and working in Athens, Greece.

Her work and life passion has been Project Myth/Network 1990-2017, a series of interconnected projects consisting of art installations, accompanied by academic papers and articles. Through this project, she contributed to the theory of “depth psychology”, the study of unconscious mental processes and motives.

Key to “Project Myth/Network” is the dialectic between consciousness and Artificial Intelligence. Ever since the field of AI started being developed, the artist has been captivated by it, aiming to utilize it to study the human thought process and behavior. By studying primal perception mechanisms and conceptual infrastructures, she attempts to understand the very foundations of human thought and mostly the meta-mental nature of consciousness.

This is where the study of myth comes into play. According to Mariana Ziku, an art historian who studied Ms. Kasda’s work, “Myth functioned as a universal expository device, more so before the democratization of the scientific method, able to encode cognitive, aesthetic and affective states in a symbolic, narrative form. In other words, myth offered a mode of conceiving and assimilating knowledge, setting its own exo-scientific world-view halfway between imagination and reality.”

Through Myth and Networks, Ms. Kasda attempts to render the functions of the human mind and consciousness in visual metaphors.

Project Myth/Network started at the Meeting of the Worlds PAND Conference, at the Museum of Modern Art of Joensuu, Finland, on June 6, 1990. From there on, it has been project after project, all culminating in the Lifetime Achievement Award she received almost 27 years later.

The ceremony took place in 2017, in Lecce, Italy, where her final installation was erected in the Temple of Isis. Polyxeni Kasda received the Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Visionary Art Show, “for her life spent in favor of research, contemporary art and cultural promotion of universal value whose art is culture and expression of our time. This Award is given to the most eminent personality who, in the course of their career, distinguished internationally for the excellence and uniqueness of their artistic production.”

Among other international awards, in 2007 she received a Silver Medal by the University of Lucian Blaga of Sibiu. In 2008, she was awarded the OFA Golden Medal, by the Olympic Committee of Beijing and in 2009, she was the recipient of a Silver Honorary Medal by the Greek Chamber of the Arts.

Her time at Deree was crucial to her work, because as a Psychology Major, she conducted several social experiments, which she considered as valuable work experience, as she gained a deeper understanding of human beings. This allowed her to better handle the community projects she would later take on in Crete, Boeotia and Samothraki.

To find out more about Polyxeni Kasda’s work visit her blog.