The National Film Board of Canada
In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), understanding its nuances and implications has become paramount. Created by Sandra Rodriguez and co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Germany’s Schnelle Bunte Bilder, this pioneering project not only delves into the world of AI but also invites participants to question its potential and limitations—exploring the immersive experience titled CHOM5KY vs CHOMSKY, taking place at the NFB Space in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles from September 6th to October 15th, 2023.
Sandra Rodriguez, the creator of CHOM5KY vs CHOMSKY, has designed a VR experience that explores AI’s potential and limitations. This project draws inspiration from the renowned linguist and cognitive scientist Professor Noam Chomsky, whose skepticism about AI aligns with the installation’s theme.
Recognizing the depth of her work, NFB sought to reimagine the visitor experience by seamlessly blending scenography and interactivity—a novel approach to art and technology. Bringing Rodriguez’s work to life and ready to tour, MASSIVart shaped and enhanced the exhibit across its three phases: onboarding, VR immersion, and offboarding.
Three Phases of the Exhibit
1. Onboarding: MASSIVart, under the mandate of scenography, had undertaken the mission of crafting an engaging yet low-tech onboarding experience. This initial encounter allows visitors to acquaint themselves with the world of virtual reality, setting the stage for the immersive journey ahead.
2. VR Immersion: As participants transition into the VR phase, MASSIVart’s creative and technological ability becomes central to the experience. Designing and constructing the central monolith that houses the four VR setups. This monolithic centrepiece not only replicates the VR experience within the headset but also serves as an aesthetically striking backdrop, seamlessly blending Rodriguez’s technology and art.
3. Offboarding: Beyond the VR experience, the MASSIVart team extended our expertise into the offboarding scenography, inviting visitors to delve deeper into the world of Noam Chomsky and gain insights into his life and contributions. This phase provides a thought-provoking conclusion to the immersive journey.
This immersive experience encourages visitors to contemplate what AI aims to replicate from human capabilities. CHOM5KY vs CHOMSKY represents an innovative collaboration between Sandra Rodriguez, the NFB, and MASSIVart, offering a unique opportunity to engage with AI and delve into Noam Chomsky’s legacy. It demonstrates how art and technology can foster critical thinking in the modern age.
Graphic Design/Art Direction of the installations: Sarah-Maude Caron
Created and Creative Direction: Sandra Rodriguez
Photos: Maryse Boyce and Matthieu Bichat