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The Role of Embodiment in the Perception of Human & Artificial Creativity


The role of embodiment in creativity has not been addressed in depth in the literature, and has been considered even less so in connection with AI, with a few exceptions. Still, the perception of the embodiment of the creator is generally deemed a key aspect of the observer's response to an artwork. If true, this poses interesting challenges for AI systems attempting to generate creative art, as they are inherently disembodied. There are two ways that artificial art may approach embodiment, should that be necessary to achieve audience appreciation. First, a physical machine may carry out the AI system's artistic intent. Alternately, the physicality of the humans interacting with the AI system can be highlighted, for instance by calling the attention to the embodied experience of coding the underlying algorithms, of selecting algorithmic outputs from the latent space, and so on. 

In this one-and-a-half-day workshop, we will explore the impact of embodiment on the perception of creativity through a combination of performances by digital illustrators and artists working with generative methods and contributions from researchers interested in the role of embodiment in the judgment of the aesthetic value of an artefact and in the evaluation of the creativity of the process behind its creation. We will consider the philosophical underpinnings of embodiment, humanity, and artistry, welcoming perspectives from disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, visual art, and computer science. 


Image Credit: Daniel Berio

Important Dates

Workshop dates: June 27-28, 2022 Kolping Haus, Grosser Saal (Largo Adolph Kolping, 3 Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)



Proceedings of the workshop are now available open access at this link on

Artists & Panelists


Daniel Berio is a researcher and artist working between computer graphics, robotics, and graffiti art. He recently completed a PhD (Computing) at Goldsmiths, where he developed methods for the computer aided design and procedural generation of graffiti and calligraphy, with applications in robotics. As an artist with a background in graffiti writing, Daniel explores the intersections of this art form with techniques from computer graphics, robotics and computational motor control. 


Daniel's website.


Renaud Chabrier works on the relationship between drawing and movement, as an artist and as a researcher. By means of methods such as morphing or real-time animation, he develops both technical and philosophical approaches of drawing. After having recently completed a PhD on drawing and life sciences at Institut Curie, he now works at Ecole Polytechnique - IP Paris to associate low-tech and high-tech drawing methods. He also creates scientific illustrations, multimedia installations for science museums, movies and children's books.


Renaud's website


Christian Guckelsberger is Assistant Professor in Creative Technologies at Aalto University close to Helsinki, Finland. Informed by his degrees in Computer Science and Art History, he employs computational models of intrinsic motivation to engineer artificial systems that are creative in their own right and in interaction with people. His simulation studies leverage virtually embodied agents in videogame environments, and he has presented several fundamental theoretical claims on the relationship of embodiment and creative agency. More recently, Christian has co-authored the first survey on embodied computational creativity. He regularly engages in international academic and industry collaborations and has won several best paper awards.

Christian's website


Aaron Hertzmann is a Principal Scientist at Adobe, Inc., and Affiliate Faculty at University of Washington. He received a BA in computer science and art and art history from Rice University in 1996, and a PhD in computer science from New York University in 2001. He was a Professor at University of Toronto for 10 years, and has also worked at Pixar Animation Studios and Microsoft Research. He has published over 100 papers in computer graphics, computer vision, machine learning, robotics, human-computer interaction, and art. He is an ACM Fellow and an IEEE Fellow. 

Aaron's website

Day 1 (June 27)

14:15 - 15:45

Artists' Performances (Parallel sessions)

15:45 - 16:30

Coffee break + survey completion

16:30 - 17:30

Artists' Performances (Parallel sessions)


Survey completion

Day 2 (June 28)

09:00-09:15 Welcome

09:15-09:45 Simo Linkola, Christian Guckelsberger, Tomi Männistö, and Anna Kantosalo, ‘How Does Embodiment Affect the Human Perception of Computational Creativity? An Experimental Study Framework’

09:45-10:00 Discussion

10:00-10:30 Coffee break


10:30-11:00 Philipp Wicke, ‘The Role of Gestures and Movement in Computational, Embodied Storytelling’


11:00-11:30 Ellen Pearlman, ‘AIBO: An Embodied Emotionally Intelligent Artificial Intelligent Brainwave Opera’

11:30-11:45 Discussion

11:45-12:15 Tom McClelland, ‘Misembodied Experiences of Artificial Art’


12:15-12:45 Joanna Rivera-Carlisle, ‘The Body Creative’

12:45-13:00 Discussion

13:00-14:15 Lunch break

14:15-14:45 Ben Baker, ‘Creativity in AI-Dance Art’

14:45-15:00 Discussion

15:00-16:00 Presentation of survey results and Panel


16:00-16:30 Coffee break

16:30-16:45 Closing

17:15-18:15 Keynote: Aaron Hertzmann (at MUSEION), ‘Can Computers Create Art?’ 




Laura M. Herman is a Senior Research Lead for Creative Cloud & Emerging Products at Adobe, where her team examines creative use cases for emerging technologies (such as AI), and a PhD student at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute. Her research at both institutions aims to unpack how technology-based design affordances influence artistic output and creative access across the globe. Her PhD research, in particular, examines the role of algorithms in artistic curation, perception, and creation. Previously, Laura studied cognitive neuropsychology at Princeton University, where her research on artistic perception was awarded the George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Science, and she has also held positions at Intel and Harvard University, where she researched topics ranging from ubiquitous computing to afrofeminist technologies. She has also collaborated directly with artists on projects that have been exhibited at the Tate London and Ars Electronica. 


Laura's website.

Caterina Moruzzi is Research Assistant and works on philosophy and AI at the Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz. Her research interests focus on the analysis of the concepts of agency and creativity in living beings and artificial systems. She has a background as philosopher of art and musician and integrates methods from experimental philosophy in order to inform  research on the implications of developments in AI on the perception of AI in society.


Caterina's website.



We thank the Zukunftskolleg, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Konstanz and for supporting the event.


Image Credit: Renaud Chabrier

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