The Exquisite Machine

Workshop by Jonas Johansson: Co-creating visual stories through machine-dreaming.
Registration for the workshop has ended.


100 years ago surrealists invented the Exquisite Corpse game where each participant creates based on the previous persons prompt. In the end there is a surprise as everything is revealed… We will take inspiration from this playful technique to co-create an animation, using machine learning (ML) - a sort of visual whisper game.


The field of AI and ML is making significant advancements with each paper being published, leaving a trail of shimmering examples and speculative futures. But, with such rapid developments, it can be difficult to make sense of this creative muse, and how we can function together. This workshop is an artistic exploration of how current AI developments challenge our perception of originality, and an opportunity to weld a collaborative visual art piece — to be displayed at the Aavistus Festival 2022.


We will not only learn how visuals can be generated but discuss “why” ~ Currently, artificial intelligence is designed by us, and dependent on our direct and indirect input/prompt - but the authorship of the final outcome is debatable.


Participation fee

30€ Normal

15€ Discounted*

Once you have been selected to participate in the workshop, pay the participation fee via bank transfer to Aavistus Festival ry's account. Upon success forward a screenshot/receipt to Include the name(s) of the participants in the transfer.

*If you are a student/unemployed you are eligible for a 50% discount. In this case, please send your student/unemployment verification to

Duration and registration

This is a hands-on workshop series over two weeks. The length of the workshop is due to the time required for AI work. Registration for the workshop has ended.
Deadline for registrations on 15.9.2022 at 23.59 EET.

Desired outcomes
  • Get an introduction to the field of AI and Machine Learning including tools, methods, topics, podcasts and more.

  • Learn the basics of creating text, images and video using with Machine Learning.

  • Learn the basics of upscaling image and video using ML.

  • Produce a 1 minute animation using Google Collab and Disco Diffusion


Week 1

Monday 26.9. 18.00-20.00 EET, ONLINE

Introduction to workshop. Dipping of toes in the sea of AI. Learning the basics of generating text and images using machine learning. Setting up the technical playground, discussing the topic of AI and creativity and looking into the overall workshop deliverables and expectations.

Thursday 29.9. 18.00-19.00 EET, ONLINE

Follow-up and check-in on progress. Discussion on best-practices and priorities for the final week.

Week 2

Monday 3.10. 18.00-20.00 EET, ONLINE

Follow-up and check-in on progress. Looking at the final composition, and Tips & Trix regarding upscaling, and increasing FPS.

Tuesday 4.10. 23.59 EET, ONLINE

Deadline for deliverables.

Thursday 6.10. 14.00-16.00 EET, IN-PERSON

Intimate presentation at Helsinki City Museum. We will show what we have made, and look at the final composition. A short conversation about the results before we head into the Aavistus Festival evening.​

Jonas Johansson


Jonas Johansson is an anywhere based artist, rollercoaster-riding in the adventure land that is creative technology, audiovisual phenomenon and electronic arts. He has had the pleasure to explore technology and creativity, as designer and developer, at studios such as W+K Tokyo, Moment Factory, and KRAM/WEISSHAAR. He is currently lecturing at Beckmans college of design while running Nordic Audiovisual Artists, a participatory art collective focused on audiovisual excursions.


Beyond code and performance, his personal work is a blend of old and new, such as the highlighted Icehotel suite Haven or AR powered silk worm and kombucha couture. For School of Machines, Jonas has prepared an eclectic learning journey picking his favourite ML tools and techniques, while sculpting a collective visual artpiece!

This workshop is based on The Exquisite Machine 5-week course at School of Machines in 2021. It is supported by Suomalais-ruotsalainen kulttuurirahasto.