AI Anarchies 2022

© Paige Zangoglia

Sarah Ciston

*1983 in Ava, Missouri (US)
Lives in Los Angeles (US)


Sarah Ciston loves building tools to bring intersectional approaches to machine learning and building community through creative-critical coding. The artist is a Mellon PhD Fellow in Media Arts and Practice at the University of Southern California and an associated researcher at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, plus the author of A Critical Field Guide to Working with Machine Learning Datasets from the Knowing Machines research project. They also lead Creative Code Collective, a community for co-learning programming using approachable, interdisciplinary strategies. Ciston’s projects include a machine learning interface to “rewrite” the inner critic and a bot that tries to explain feminism to online misogynists.


For my residency I will extend my work on the Intersectional AI Toolkit, building on established but marginalised tactics to reshape and reimagine more ethical and equitable machine learning. I’ll implement the Intersectional AI frameworks developed during public zine-making workshops and collaborations into printed and interactive publications, plus develop prototypes for anarchist AI–tangible, accessible tools that expose their own making and reveal their flaws. Together these tools and resources ask: Whose voices, visions, and stories are captured by automated systems? Whose are excluded, harmed, or undermined? And how can AI systems be truly for anyone to engage and intervene in?