We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Emily L. Spratt as the art and technology lead at Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York.
Dr. Emily L. Spratt joins the graduate faculty in New York and will be teaching the Art & Technology course. Dr. Spratt states that she “aims to foster an informed and critical approach to the inherent complexity presented by the union of art and technology. With attention placed on AI and blockchain-based applications in the art world, students taking the course will examine the points of convergence around the current emerging technology debates in media studies, art history, experimental artistic practices, data science, economics, and art business."
Dr. Emily L. Spratt completed her doctorate in the history of art at Princeton University and did her post-doctorate in the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. Trained as a Byzantine and Renaissance–Baroque art historian, visual arts and AI specialist, technologist, and strategic advisor, Dr. Spratt's career is founded inside and outside of academia. With teaching experience at Masaryk University, The Cooper Union, Rutgers University, Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Cornell University, Dr. Spratt has taught subjects ranging from Byzantine and Renaissance art and architecture to the ethics of emerging technologies and contemporary art. Also a recognised leader in the arts and culture, entertainment, and high technology industries, Dr. Spratt has served as an expert consultant for companies such as Artory, the Campari Group, and L'Arpège.
At Princeton University, Dr. Spratt's dissertation was on the legacy of Byzantium in the early modern period. She also received an MA in Renaissance art history and was a Stanley J. Seeger Fellow in the Program in Hellenic Studies and a graduate fellow in the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. In addition, she holds an MA in Byzantine art history from UCLA, and a BA in religious studies and the history of art with a concentration in psychology from Cornell University. At Columbia University, Spratt was a member of both the Computer Vision Lab in the Department of Computer Science and the Historic Preservation Technology Lab in the School of Architecture. She is also a former member of the Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University, where she was the head curator of the AI art collection.
In relation to her research on art, creativity, and computer vision science, Dr. Spratt served as an expert consultant on Fellini Forward, a Campari Group and Unit9 Production AI-inspired film that premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. In 2019, Dr. Spratt was selected to curate the President Emmanuel Macron-sponsored exhibition Au-delà du Terroir, Beyond AI Art at the Institut de France, Quai Conti, in Paris for the Global Forum on AI for Humanity. Two years earlier, Dr. Spratt curated arguably the first exhibition on AI utilizing deep learning techniques in "Unhuman: Art in the Age of AI", which featured the art produced by the AICAN algorithm in Los Angeles and Frankfurt and was showcased on CBS News in a segment on art and AI. Dr. Spratt also has worked extensively with the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens, the Benaki Museum, and the former Hellenic Ministry of Culture, and has been a collaborator on a number of projects and international exhibitions related to Byzantium. At The Frick Collection, Emily organized with her colleagues the major symposium "Searching Through Seeing: Optimizing Vision Technology for the Arts," for which she delivered the keynote presentation.
For the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Dr. Spratt was the honorary guest editor for the special magazine issue on computers and art. One of Dr. Spratt's most interesting projects to date was an artistic collaboration with the French chef Alain Passard titled "Gastronomic Algorithms," in which they utilized Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to create Michelin Plate-based portraits in the manner of the Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.