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Act as if you are a curator: an AI-generated exhibition

Salvador Dalí The Mystery of Sleep
Salvador Dalí, The Mystery of Sleep (The Hermit) from the portfolio Visions Surrealiste, 1976. Lithograph on paper, artist’s proof, 29 3/8 x 21 1/4 inches (74.6 x 54 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Gift of Mr. Richard Goldstein, 1979.14.1.1. © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society. Photo by Brian Quinby.

Artificial intelligence is a nascent technology, but one that is here to stay. We hope this experiment will shed some light on its usefulness and limitations within museums, higher education, and the creative industries more broadly. —Chief Curator Marshall N. Price

With recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), now increasingly accessible to the world, our society is at another technological and ethical crossroads. Vast amounts of data can be synthesized into text and image generation and analytical interpretation, resulting in certain decision-making processes, once the exclusive domain of humans, now increasingly delegated to computers. This year the Nasher Museum embarked on an experiment to use AI to curate an exhibition from the museum’s collection. While museum professionals are far from relinquishing control of exhibition making and interpretation, this exercise is a powerful way to explore the applications of AI in the creative realm as related to curatorial authorship and expertise, the subjectivity of the selection process, and the future impact of technology on museums.

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Meet the new curator at the Duke art museum.It isn’t human.

The new curator at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art makes basic mistakes. …Yet at the same time, this curator has assembled a credible exhibit at a speed and in a manner no human could match. Related content:

view article on The News & Observer | Published September 19, 2023

Incubator Exhibition Proposals

Proposals for exhibitions in the Incubator Gallery will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis, but keep in mind that organizing an exhibition may take one year or longer and scheduling is dependent on the availability of the gallery.

Please contact Julia K. McHugh, Ph.D., Trent A. Carmichael Curator of Academic Initiatives, at as soon as you have a potential idea for an exhibition.

View all Past Exhibitions in the Incubator Gallery

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