Tivon Rice

Tivon Rice collaborates with Charu Agrawal to explores the narrative possibilities of AI and machine learning in Models for Environmental Literacy.

Models for environmental literacy

Models for Environmental Literacy explores the perception of intelligent machines on rapidly changing human environments. Far from techno-utopian discourses, Tivon Rice seeks to engage with the poetic and imaginative potential of non-human perspectives and ponders how these could add to the understanding of our specific environments affected or constructed around climate change.

Models for environmental literacy is composed of three short films, each composed through conversations between A.I.s. Each A.I. was trained in literary work with distinctive data sets ranging from science fiction and eco-philosophy to intergovernmental reports on climate change. While they seem to understand one another and carry a conversation, their discourse and approaches are fundamentally different, giving rise to a circular and enigmatic exchange. Together, the Author, the Scientist and the Philosopher give their voices to complex landscapes: a perfectly round man-made island, a sinking archipelago, a lake that used to be a river, now overrun with toxic algae. The A.I.s inhabits these landscapes, both man-made and natural, straddling the gap between our human realm and their non-human self. The following narratives investigate the importance of language and vision for machines that are made to question our decisions. How would non-humans converse with each other about a world they did not get to make?

As a part of his research, Tivon Rice also developed programming workflows with A.I. and Machine Learning to make these tools more accessible to creative communities not trained in these fields. This framework was presented at workshops in diverse institutions such as Waag, Fiber and at St Joost. The research that led to this A.I. toolkit was made in collaboration with Charu Agrawal, a TU Delft graduate in computer science and machine learning.

This project was made possible by the Stimuleringsfond's Space for Talent Grant.

Tivon Rice


Tivon Rice is an artist and educator working across visual culture and technology. Based in Den Haag (NL) and Seattle (US), his work critically explores representation and communication in the context of digital culture and asks: how do we see, inhabit, feel, and talk about these new forms of exchange? How do we approach creativity within the digital?

These questions are explored through projects incorporating a variety of materials, both real and virtual. While much of Rice’s research focuses on emerging technologies, he continuously reevaluates relationships with sculpture, photography, and cinema. His work then incorporates new media to explore how we see and understand a future thoroughly enmeshed in new data/visual/production systems.

He holds a PhD in Digital Art and Experimental Media from the University of Washington. He was a Fulbright scholar (Korea 2012), one of the first individuals to collaborate with Google Artists + Machine Intelligence.