RDIF and The State Hermitage Museum to present the creative potential of Artificial Intelligence during SPIEF-2019

Press release, 13.05.2019

Moscow, May 13, 2019 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and The State Hermitage Museum will present an exhibition “Artificial Intelligence and Intercultural Dialogue” dedicated to the creative capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Exhibition will be launched during this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Russia’s first major international art exhibition exploring AI’s role in modern art will open in the Hermitage’s General Staff Building (Historical Archive Hall) on June 6th, the first day of SPIEF and will be a part of the forum’s cultural program.

RDIF and its international partners are already investing in AI technologies, which, according to experts, can add $13tn to the global economy by 2030, drastically transforming many sectors. Many countries are already developing their own AI programs.

AI technology is used to process large volumes of data, including images. In recent years, the use of AI has helped to achieve revolutionary results in cybersecurity, banking and marketing, as a result of facial recognition technology.

AI-based contemporary art has received global recognition, following the sale of “The portrait of Edmond Belami”, a painting created by the French art group Obvious, at Christie’s for $432,500 on October 25, 2018.

Artists and computer programmers from Obvious used generative-adversarial network (GAN) algorithms, designed in 2014 to create the painting. GAN is able to simultaneously run two algorithms. One algorithm constantly generates images, while the second one thoroughly processes them, filtering out the failed images.

The invention of generative-adversarial networks has enabled artificial intelligence systems to process information in a manner that is closer to that of the human brain. This enables it to use imagination and take a critical approach to the received information. The activity of both algorithms in GAN is balanced and excludes conflict, facilitating the best results.

Three artworks from Obvious “Series of portraits of fictious Belami family” as well as works of other AI-based art stars will be exhibited for the first time in Russia.

Most of the pieces in the exhibition are a result of creative processing by large AI algorithms. Lulwa Al-Homoud from Saudi Arabia has developed an abstract graphical form of language developed from the Arabic alphabet, which some predict could become a universal language.

The installation from Italian artist Davide Quayola represents the AI “view” of French impressionist paintings, while the work by Refik Anadol “Machine hallucinations” was created using the latest GAN algorithm which processed 100,000 photographs of Gothic and modern architecture.

Kostya Novoselov, who won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering ‘miracle material’ graphene, examines in his work the limits of machine learning, drawing parallels with artworks created by humans.

The exhibition at the Hermitage is RDIF’s new initiative, aimed at promoting dialogue between cultures. It builds on earlier successful cultural endeavors by the fund, including organizing concerts from the Mariinsky orchestra and a Russian avant-guard art exhibition in Saudi Arabia in 2019, in partnership with Saudi Aramco and the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Exhibition participants include:

Mario Klingemann (Germany), Davide Quayola (Italy), Lulwah Al Homoud (Saudi Arabia), Daniah Alsaleh (Saudi Arabia), Sun Xun (China), Aaajiao (China), ::Vtol:: (Russia), Kostya Novoselov (Russia) in Collaboration with Zhestkov Studio, Egor Kraft (Russia), Refik Anadol (Turkey), Obvious Art Collective (France), Team Void (South Korea), Jonathan Monaghan (USA), Norimichi Irakawa (Japan)

Dmitry Ozerkov and Victoria Kondrashova are the exhibition curators. The exhibition will be open until July 7, 2019.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), noted:
“The development of intercultural dialogue is RDIF’s important long-term mission. This exhibition is our new initiative aimed at promoting this dialogue and creating the trust needed for successful trade and investment. For this exhibition we brought together artists of different nationalities, all of whom are using AI technologies. We are able to witness a new form of art being created. We hope that people from different nations will find it easier to understand each other through this art of the future. We are very pleased that the exhibition of the world’s best AI art is taking place during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at the Hermitage, one of the most renowned museums in the world. This exhibition reiterates Russia’s cultural and technological leadership.”

Mikhail Piotrovsky, CEO of The State Hermitage, said:
“The Hermitage Museum always welcomes the experiments where art and science demonstrate their similarities and readiness to enrich each other. The artistic exploration of Artificial Intelligence continues the important process of humanization of science”.

The images of some of the works are available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zdO8eyqPa_FCPTbcqu8MXGCCMNSXfqjQ?usp=sharing

Please, use the copyright reference as noted.


Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 70 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB 1.5tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 700,000 people and generate revenues which equate to more than 5% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than $40bn. Further information can be found at rdif.ru

For additional information contact:
Arseniy Palagin
Russian Direct Investment Fund
Press Secretary
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru

Andrew Leach / Maria Shiryaevskaya
Hudson Sandler
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133

Gleb Bryanski
Russia-Saudi Investment Fund
Director for Special Projects
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
E-mail: Gleb.Bryanskiy@rdif.ru