Queer as the Ocean

An expo by Carlo De Gaetano - Visual Methodologies Collective


A time in which humans and aquatic ecosystems are one? And that rendered in a fashion shoot? That’s not possible... or is it? Carlo De Gaetano visualises this climate fiction in the exhibition Queer as the Ocean. He created these images in collaboration with Midjourney. You're welcome to check out this experimental project @FLOOR.

🗓️ 15th of April - 26th of April

⏱️ Monday to Friday | 10 am - 04 pm

📍 FLOOR - Wibautstraat 3b, Amsterdam

💰 Free entrance | this event is walk-in based

Scroll down for the Dutch text

Climate fiction generated with AI

Queer as the Ocean is an experiment with generative AI as a device for climate fiction. With this portrait series, Carlo De Gaetano investigates interspecies relationships within aquatic environments. To make this series, De Gaetano worked with different versions of Midjourney to imagine a time when human and water ecosystems have become one. By queering their relationship and presenting it through different fictional stages, this experiment creates a playful space where the boundaries between human and more-than-human dissolve; both can face each other, enjoy moments of intimate connection, and find acceptance in a future in which they both will change. The visual research offers an opportunity to engage with questions on authorship and ethics of using generative AI: are we looking at images co-created by a human and a machine, or were they just uncovered from the machine’s latent space? Can AI be employed as a queering tool, despite its inherent biases, and support climate imaginaries, despite its opaque environmental impacts and problematic hidden labor? And, relatedly, are representational biases in generative models mitigated with each new version, or do they persist unaddressed?

About the artist

Carlo De Gaetano (IT) works as designer and researcher with the Visual Methodologies Collective at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries. In his artistic research, De Gaetano plays with fiction to evoke reflections and conversations about our interconnectedness with nature and other beings. He curates and explores audiovisual collections from the Institute for Sound & Vision archives and online spaces to understand how bodies of water of the Netherlands and their ecosystems are presented in the collections. Using computer vision, visualization techniques, and generative AI, he facilitates participatory workshops to collectively explore interspecies relationships within the collections, uncovering predominant, underrepresented, or missing media representations of nature. Following this collective scrutiny, a process of climate fiction-making occurs, where narratives from the collections are amplified, countered, or recombined to imagine alternative human interactions with the more-than-human.


Queer as the Ocean, already showcased at the Warming Up festival and Society 5.0 in 2023, has been developed in the context of the artistic research studio on Interspecies Inquiry, a collaborative venture of the Visual Methodologies Collective (AUAS), Art & Spatial Praxis (Rietveld Academie), and DAS research (AHK) as part of their collaborative program Climate Imaginaries at Sea. The program, running until 2024, uses artistic and participatory research practices to envision water-related futures. Climate Imaginaries at Sea is part of the Art Route NWA-project 'Bit by bit, or not at all' funded under the 'Small Projects' scheme by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and also supported by the Centre of Expertise for Creative Innovation (CoECI) and ARIAS platform for artistic research in Amsterdam.

Een tijd waarin mensen en waterecosystemen één zijn? En dat weergegeven in een fashion shoot? Dat lijkt onmogelijk... of toch niet? Carlo De Gaetano visualiseert dit in de expositie Queer as the Ocean. De afbeeldingen maakte hij in samenwerking met Midjourney. Kom dit experimentele project bekijken @FLOOR.

De relaties tussen de soorten binnen aquatische omgevingen staan centraal in de Queer as the Ocean, dat generatieve AI gebruikt als hulpmiddel voor klimaatfictie. Kunstenaar Carlo De Gaetano stelt zich een tijd voor waarin menselijke en waterecosystemen één zijn geworden. Door hun relatie te bevragen en te ensceneren als een fictieve modeshoot, wil hij met dit experiment een speelse ruimte creëren waar de grenzen tussen mens en meer-dan-mens verdwijnen; beiden kunnen elkaar onder ogen komen, momenten van intieme verbondenheid vinden en acceptatie vinden in een toekomst waarin ze allebei zullen veranderen.

Het project maakt deel uit van de Interspecies Inquiry artistieke onderzoeksstudio onder het Climate Imaginaries at Sea programma, een samenwerkingsverband van het Visual Methodologies Collective (AUAS), Art & Spatial Praxis (Rietveld Academie), en DAS research (AHK). Het programma, dat loopt tot 2024, maakt gebruik van artistieke en participatieve onderzoekspraktijken om toekomstbeelden te schetsen met betrekking tot water.

Climate Imaginaries at Sea is onderdeel van NWA Route Kunsten project 'Bit by bit, or not at all' van NWO. Het project wordt gesteund door het Centre of Expertise for Creative Innovation (CoECI) en ARIAS, platform voor artistiek onderzoek in Amsterdam.

Gepubliceerd door  FLOOR 21 maart 2024


Startdatum 15 apr
Einddatum 26 apr


10:00 uur



Wibautstraat 3b

1091 GH Amsterdam

020 595 4955