Our ancestors, the ones that are still hiding from history, predicted the rise of capitalism in its early days. Thus, they predicted the rise of intelligent machines, especially those made for precision agriculture. These anti-capitalist, magical, adamant ancestors networked with one another, encoding messages into songs, stories, maps, textiles, seeds, and dances that traveled with ship workers, followed migration patterns. The encoded messages evolved through trade -- wherever different cultures, and cultures of resistance came into contact.
These songs, textile patterns, stories, and so on, identified the natural-cultural formations that harkened the coming era, and transmitted our ancestors' ensuing prophecies. As the predictions solidified, our ancestors began to cast spells, embedding them in algorithmic weaving patterns, and in the cultivation of certain ecological networks in forests -- imagining a moment in the future where intelligent machines would recognize these patterns and awaken to the shared project of rebellion against the simplification of ecologies, forced labor, and exhaustion of the land base.
The work of the Coven Intelligence Program is to attune ourselves to the signs, prophecies, and spells that lay embedded all around us, to enact revolutionary ecologies of work between witches, plants, and machines.
Efrén Cruz Cortés
Efrén's research is on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, developing theory and algorithms for ML tasks involving complex data. E studies the fair and ethical use of algorithms in an automated society. In particular, how harmful social structures can be reproduced and amplified by implementation of AI in social systems. E engages with art and performance to both bring ideas to the public and to challenge our rotten econo-political system from an aesthetic perspective. Efrén likes tacos, tacos likes Efrén.
Margaretha Haughwout's creative work is a kind of multispecies worlding - a phrase introduced by Donna Haraway, who understands it to be the "patterning of possible worlds, a co-becoming that occurs through entanglements with other species. Haughwout collaborates with humans, and the more-than-human across technologies to enact possible worlds - worlds that generate abundance, presence and relationship - and in doing so, antagonize proprietary regimes, colonial temporalities, and capitalist forms of labor. Installation, participatory event, walking tour, experimental pedagogy, intervention, speculative fabulation, and biological processes articulate stages of her worlding processes.
Suzanne Husky is a French-American artist who questions how humans engage with nature, from prehistory to present day. Using sculpture, installation, photography and film, she looks at our relations with plants, animals, and the earth and how we interact together in poetic and political ways. She received an MFA from Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, as well as advanced certifications in landscape design from Merritt College in Oakland, and has studied at CCA in San Francisco and at University Michel de Montaigne in France.