A New Award Aims to Raise the Level of A.I. Art, Offering $100,000 and a Residency in Mexico

The call for artist applications for the first-ever SFER IK Artist Award is open through November 17, 2023.

Sfer Ik, Uh May. Courtesy of Azulik City of Arts.

Exploration of artificial intelligence and its uses and applications within the art world has become an increasingly prevalent part of contemporary discourse, with a new generation of artists experimenting with the ever-evolving new technology. SFER IK Museion, the interdisciplinary creative domain of AZULIK—a multifaceted brand situated at the crossroads of architecture, hospitality, fashion, and more—has set out to foster and promote innovation and advancement within the field of A.I. in art with the announcement of a new artist award and residency.

Sfer Ik, Uh May. Courtesy of Azulik City of Arts.

The awardee will undertake a two-month residency at AZULIK Uh May’s sprawling creative campus, situated within the jungle in Mexico with roots in the Mayan empire, and have access to all the resources available on site, which include a suite of cutting edge digital facilities named FabLab, multiple workshops, as well as access to local artisans. The artist will also be awarded $100,000 with the aim of developing and executing new A.I.-integrated artwork. Second and third place winners of the open call, which is open to applicants through November 17, 2023, will also be offered art residences.

The debut of this comprehensive artist award is exceptionally timely, as the presence of A.I. becomes more pervasive—and its announcement also comes at an exciting moment for the organization itself. Azulik Founder and CEO Roth has also announced a new SFER IK Museion project set on 29.6 acres in Tulum. The open-air, multidisciplinary art space is a new aspect of AZULIK Basin, comprised of hospitality, art, and real estate elements, and will open in 2024 and feature the winning artwork of the inaugural SFER IK Award 2023 artwork.

Founder and CEO of AZULIK, Roth. Courtesy or Azulik City of Arts.

Speaking on the impetus behind creating the award and the institution of a new Tulum-based space, Roth said:

“There is a new algorithm beginning to manifest on earth. Na’at (intelligence in Mayan language). Nature, Ancestral Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence: Nat+AI+AI. An Algorithm that learns from inorganic to biological forms, from animal species to us, human beings. Everything that was learned ancestrally begins to interact with AI, in a collaborative and non-linear way.

This intelligence, Na’at, is the one we honor in our upcoming open-air SFER IK Museion in Tulum. This award is a first step to create the conditions to make us aware of the wonderful change that is happening in our museums and the world. From a holistic perspective: homo sapiens and the new ‘homo colaborativus’ are milestones of the development of an intelligence without a subject and an object, all the parts collaborating: inorganic, organic, human, and artificial, Na’at.As the Nahuatls of the interior of Mexico say: the Ilhuelmecatl is being woven, the rope of light that unites everything. The network that, like the Mycellium, connects everything.

Templo. Courtesy of AZULIK City of Arts.

Together, the Artist Award 2023 and opening of SFER IK Tulum offer a creative horizon for innovation and revolution across sectors—from art to architecture, technology to hospitality—and promises to be a leader in A.I. advancement.

Learn more about the SFER IK Museion open call here.

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