Next Level:
Paolo Cirio AI Attacks

Press release | Amsterdam, May 2024

Foam proudly presents the solo exhibition AI Attacks by Paolo Cirio (Italy, 1979) which builds upon the thematic project Photography Through the Lens of AI. Cirio is renowned for his long-standing and critical attitude towards AI systems, with a particular focus on their social implications. Through his work, he encourages public engagement and critical reflection on the consequences of technology, prompting societal change. The exhibition will also include a new series, titled Resurrect, which will premiere at Foam.

blue background blurred face man, N1, from the series Obscurity, 2016

© Paolo Cirio.

Close ups of police

Capture, N2, from the series Capture, 2020

© Paolo Cirio.

Screenshot of Google Maps of a person walking dogs

Street Ghosts, Wibautstraat 7, Amsterdam, from the series Street Ghosts, 2012–ongoing, 2010

© Paolo Cirio.

Screenshot of Google Maps of a man walking

Street Ghosts, Cincinnati - 3032 Spring Grove Ave - Ohio U.S., from the series Street Ghosts, 2012–ongoing, 2011

© Paolo Cirio.

In AI Attacks, Paolo Cirio explores the shadows of technology, striving to challenge and rectify its misuse of power. He investigates the manipulation and ramifications of advanced AI systems across four immersive installations. Paolo Cirio's activistic practice extends beyond artmaking and has indirectly influenced government policy. The artist sees AI as a form of automated violence, expressed through surveillance, discrimination, and disinformation. With his work, he challenges institutions by using AI for his counter attacks. The exhibition showcases the projects Capture, Obscurity, Street Ghosts and the new work Resurrect.

It is due to Cirio's longstanding and critical attitude towards AI that Foam has invited him to create commissioned work for the exhibition series Next Level. The new piece, Resurrect, focuses on one of the most recent developments in AI: communicating with the dead. This work addresses the use of AI for cloning individuals and the subsequent ethical dilemmas.

About Paolo Cirio

Paolo Cirio intervenes in societal domains influenced by technology, media, politics, and economics, addressing human rights, economic inequality, social justice, and democracy. He is known for many actions, including defrauding Google in 2005, addressing the theft of e-books from Amazon in 2006 and 60,000 financial news articles in 2014; having exposed over 200,000 Cayman Islands offshore firms in 2013; the hacking of Facebook through publishing 1 million users on a dating website in 2011. In 2020, he pirated over 100,000 Sotheby’s auction records and he attempted to profile 4000 French police officers with facial recognition. His early works include his cyberattacks against NATO and reporting on its military operations since 2001. His artistic interventions and research projects are presented as installations, lectures, artefacts, photos, videos, and public art, both offline and online.  Cirio has written essays, promoted policy campaigns, and engaged with lawyers, journalists, and activists to achieve social justice Cirio’s work has exhibited internationally and won various awards.

About Next Level

Since 2015 Foam has presented the exhibition series Next Level, with the support of Ammodo. The series is aimed at introducing a wider public to innovative art by relatively young artists who are making radical new use of the medium of photography. Previous editions featured the work of Anne de Vries, Melanie Bonajo, Anouk Kruithof, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Dominic Hawgood and Jonathas de Andrade and Sara Cwynar. For Next Level, Foam invites artists to create new work that is premiered in the exhibition.

Next Level: Paolo Cirio – AI Attacks can be seen from 31 May 2024 – 25 August 2024 at Foam. Open daily 10 am – 6 pm, Thu/Fri 10 am – 9 pm.

Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS  Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+ 31 (0)20 5516500

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Next Level: Paolo Cirio – AI Attacks is made possible by Ammodo, Oschatz Visuelle Medien, RiwiColloType and Beamsystems. 

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