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Ginny Ruffner: Project Aurora Audio Guide

1440 500 PA

Ginny Ruffner: Project Aurora

Audio Guide

Listen as Project Aurora artist, Ginny Ruffner discusses the adoption of artificial intelligence to express her unfettered creative vision. As she says, “I’m not afraid of the unknown. Yet another thing to explore, yet another thing to be curious about.”

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I think many people perceive me as a glass artist. It's amusing to me because glass is perhaps maybe 25 percent of what I do. I do many other things, predominantly tech art, augmented reality, AI. It's really cool because two things: A) It doesn't break, and B) You can paint all day and never get dirty.

I was born in Atlanta, raised in South Carolina, so I'm pretty much Southern born and bred. I moved out here in ‘84. Well, I wanted to make art, public art, and still as a female, it's not really accepted in the South. Seattle had the first percent for arts ordinance in the country. So, I moved out here for art.

I could have been a scientist, but I got distracted. But you know, the great thing about being an artist as opposed to a scientist, I can make up stuff and I don't have to prove it. The scientists have to prove it; they are so jealous [Laughs]. They're just different sides of the same coin because they both are motivated by curiosity and the desire to figure something out.

I created Project Aurora because I wanted to try another form of tech art and I wanted to call attention to the wonderful phenomenon that is the Aurora Borealis. You cannot own it, you can't possess it, and hopefully you can't mess it up and it is an enigma. It's programmed with videos of the actual Aurora that are manipulated slightly to continue changing and the programmer was the brilliant Ed Fries.

I do love to try new stuff always and I love to “hack it”. Use it in a way it's not supposed to be used. How wonderful to have the opportunity. There's so very few new things in the world but all the tech stuff is such a great plaything. It's really amusing to me, all the fear over A.I. [Laughs]. One of the greatest things people are afraid of is the unknown because it's new, it's unknown. And I'm not afraid of the unknown. Yet another thing to explore, yet another thing to be curious about. I mean, many people are afraid of their own brain because it is unknown, but I find it a really friendly place and you never know what you'll find there (Laughs).