Workshop: Exploring AI as a Creative Tool

The Sound of Contagion project, an artistic research collaboration between the University of Oxford and the University of the Arts, Berlin, is pleased to announce a workshop for artists and academics working in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Creativity taking place 20-22 May 2022, in Berlin, Germany. This call invites musicians, illustrators and other creatives who are working with and exploring the use of A.I. as a tool in their creative practice, or those who would like to explore this area, to work with the Sound of Contagion project.

20-22 May,
Universität der Künste, Berlin
An Oxford-Berlin partnership project
Application deadline: 4 April 2022

The three-day workshop offers space and opportunity to exchange ideas, reflect and to explore what it means to understand A.I. as an artform. We will particularly welcome proposals from early-career artists and students. Selected participants will develop their work in collaboration with one another, with resident Sound of Contagion performers, and with artists from other disciplines, towards a live performance and exhibition on the third day.

Topics of the Workshop

Currently the dialogue around artificial intelligence is dominated by extremes: it will exert a defining influence on the future through a singularity; it can never understand human emotions; it will develop its own consciousness; it is merely a fad that will fade in the next decade. But what about the artistic practice? What role does intelligent technology play in the art of today and tomorrow? This three-day workshop calls for artists and musicians to exchange ideas and experiences when working with AI as a collaborator, tool or agent to create art.

The workshop will follow two tracks run by two facilitators from visual arts and music.

Sara Laubscher is a digital artist specializing in concept art for narrative based video games. She will be facilitating the visual aspect of the workshop by collaborating with participants to develop a storyboard, comic panel or art piece inspired by The Sound of Contagion narrative text. We will explore what it means to use AI as a practical tool in the creative process; synthesizing emotion, capturing storytelling elements or conveying a message through visual media.

Robert Laidlow is a composer and researcher whose work focusses on the relationship between classical music and advanced technology. He will be facilitating the audio track of the workshop, in which participants will write new music to share and adapt with one another in Berlin and collaborate with the visual track participants towards the final exhibition.

To Participate

Please submit your application to: by the 4th of April 2022
The application should include:

  • a short description of your intended contribution or an idea that you would like to workshop further (± 300 words)
  • a short bio of the artist or the collective (100 words)
  • please state your preferred workshop track (visual or audio) in your application

Participants will be asked to bring a small amount of material ready to be workshopped over two days towards an exhibition on the 22nd of May. Audio track participants will have the option to write music for violin/viola and/or electronics. There is some limited funding available for transport and/or accommodation for participants. In your application, please describe what you may need funding assistance for in order to attend the workshops, all applications will be considered. Students, artists and practitioners from all levels are encouraged to submit applications and to share their projects and practices of working with A.I. as a tool in the creative process.

Before the Symposium Selected artists will be asked to devise a short sketch (a performance, a piece of music, an illustration or a text) of their attendance in Berlin based on the work done by the text created by the Sound of Contagion project (you’ll find the text here: WEBSITE). There is no time limit for these works, including no minimum time limit. The sole requirement is that the sketches explore A.I. in some way – practically or aesthetically. The sketches will be developed further over the three-day workshop in Berlin through collaboration with artists from other disciplines and rehearsal before being showcased as part of the audio-visual final event. The Sound of Contagion team will provide technical guidance and help towards artists who’d like to experiment with A.I. technology in their work, but do not know the best way of doing so. It will also provide a limited amount of computational resources towards projects that require it.


This workshop is the result of the ongoing artistic research project “Sound of Contagion”, a collaboration between the University of Oxford and the University of the Arts, Berlin, and supported by both institutions. The Oxford/Berlin Creative Collaborations showcase ideas and research across the arts and humanities. They combine established methodologies from the Humanities with new and exciting forms of artistic expression.

This new exchange of methodologies, modes of representation, language and other qualities will lead to innovative contributions in the arts and sciences alike. The embrace of a worldview that purposely goes beyond preconceived disciplinary borders and integrates speculative, subjective and positivistic approaches to problem-solving and creation. The encounters are intended to provide a novel emphatic perspective on how we can work, think and communicate.

The Sound of Contagion takes these ideals as a starting point, and expands on them in the areas of music composition, narrative theory, and Artificial Intelligence. For more information, please contact us at info(at), and you can find each of the Co-leads on Twitter: @chelsea_haith, @Robert_Laidlow, and @WenzelMehnert.