Installation view from Trust Territoires exhibition in Goethe Institute-Bulgaria; photo credit: Alben Baeva, Iliyan Ruzhin

Visit Exhibition One, the Trust Territories first online exhibition featuring works by Albena Baeva here:


In the Trust Territories project, Albena Baeva and Natalia Fuchs explore topics of trauma, trust, and alternative futures through the lens of machines. It employs artificial intelligence to create instructions for artworks based on original instruction paintings and performances from the 1960s supplemented by other instructions carefully selected by the artists. Human control and manipulation were among the main themes explored in art at that time. Nowadays we experience a new loss of trust in authorities, traditional media, science, and new surges of fear and anxiety. In the critical conditions of the pandemic, we had to partly give up control since our income, our communication with other humans, and our closest connections were dependent on the interaction with smart technologies only. Has a new collaborative state between machines and humans evolved? How trust in AI and machines, in general, became an important research area? Has our trust in machines and the digital space changed over time? Now is the right time to explore the borders of such new experiences with technology and our possible new trust in it. Trust Territories builds a proving ground where the spectator could beta test their level of trust towards the artificial intelligence.  

Albena Baeva and Natalia Fuchs as an artistic collective research the history of instruction artworks from the past century and recent works in order to train a GPT-2 language model that creates new instructions and scores for artworks. With every new exhibition or performance, the project evolves and becomes a repository of stories of the relationship of trust between human and machine.

Trust Territories premiered on June 10th in Goethe-Institut Bulgaria in Sofia featuring Albena Baeva where she executes the instructions generated by the algorithm. Albena interprets selected instructions in the form of drawings, a mural, and augmented reality sculptures. The works result in the dialogue between artistic autonomy and machine intelligence, where giving up control over the outcome and the ability to trust technology are central themes.

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