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“We may one day possess tools that keep us plugged in all the time, yet trick us into believing we’re not. The beauty of these ugly goggles is that they show what’s really going on.”
“Thus far, this has been an extractivist discussion. Instead of only focusing what we festival makers need, maybe we should also ask ourselves what we can give.”
“Broken Machines & Wild Imaginings” opens at Akademie der Künste, Berlin, concluding JUNGE AKADEMIE’s AI Anarchies fellowship program with an evocative exhibition. Ten fellows including Sarah Ciston, Petja Ivanova, Sahej Rahal, SONDER, Aarti Sunder, and Natasha Tontey present new works that counter extractivist logic, algorithmic violence, and techno-solutionism. In Rahal’s video installation Anhad (2023, image), for example, an audio-reactive AI program interacts with the cacophony of the outside world—and falters.
“The result is a fantasy—or nightmare—of computers as both preternatural agents of their own histories and autocratic engines of meaning.”
NEW NOW Festival returns to the industrial world heritage site of Zeche Zollverein in Essen (DE), once the world’s largest colliery, to conjure “Hypernatural Forces” in a major exhibition. Ten resident artists including AATB, Cinzia Campolese, Daniel Franke, Ali Phi, Sabrina Ratté, and Pinar Yoldas created new works that ponder the site’s political and environmental legacy. As visitors wander the caverns of the Mixing Plant, they encounter roaming robot packs and AI-generated eco-systems.
“Extinction would directly affect the elite, which is why they care about mitigating risks. ‘Sub-extinction’ risks from AI that harm marginalized peoples don’t get signatures like this.”
Danish interaction designer Bjørn Karmann premieres Paragraphica (2023), a camera that ‘captures’ images with location data (address, weather, time of day, etc.) and AI. Three dials control the data and Stable Diffusion parameters while the viewfinder displays a real-time text description of the place you’re at. Upon pressing the trigger, the AI will generate a ‘photo’ from that prompt. The project exists both as a physical, star-nosed mole-inspired prototype and a virtual camera for you to try.
“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
“We’ve been fixing the airplane while flying it for twenty years now—we’re really trying to make it more sustainable for the people involved.”
“History is not on rails—it’s got a steering wheel. And we can grab it, and we can yank it.”
Australian architect and filmmaker Liam Young premieres a new docu-fiction installation, The Great Endeavor (2023), at this year’s Venice Biennale. The piece offers glimpses of a longer forthcoming film that approaches planetary-scale carbon sequestration with radical optimism. Young and consulting scientist Holly Jean Buck turn humanity’s largest engineering project into an infrastructural imaginary, “chronicling the coordinated action to decolonise the atmosphere in our last great act of planetary transformation.”
Carla Gannis’ solo exhibition “wwwunderkammer” opens at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (HICA) in Charleston (US), aiming to decolonize the wunderkammer and, by extension, the museum. A real-world manifestation of her ongoing social VR project (2019–), the show invites visitors to explore a series of ‘chambers,’ each focusing on a different aspect of life in the internet age. In line with the American transmedia artist’s penchant for illusionism, the gallery uses AR to obfuscate what’s real and what’s not.
“ChatGPT is an advertisement for Microsoft. It’s an advertisement for studio heads, the military, and others who might want to actually license this technology via Microsoft’s cloud services.”
“It underscores the idea of the private space sector as a plaything for the ultra-rich.”
“This is our generation’s moon landing, a mobilization of workers and resources on a planetary scale that would only be possible through international cooperation to an extent never achieved.”
With an impressive 259 pieces on display, the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum survey “Blank. Raw. Illegible… Artists’ Books as Statements (1960-2022)” in Düren (DE) celebrates the corruption of the printed page. Curator Moritz Küng assembles “hermetic, dysfunctional, and mysterious” exploits by Irma Blank, Olafur Eliasson, Dora Garcia, Olaf Nicolai, Ilan Manouach, David C. Stairs (image: Boundless, 1983), and many others that refuse legibility and create meaning with the absence of content instead.
“A lot of people have just been kind of really mad at the existence of this. They think that it’s the end of humanity.”
“Game Society,” an exhibition that explores “how the grammar and aesthetics of video games have influenced contemporary art and visual culture,” opens at Seoul’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). Artists including Cory Arcangel & Paper Rad, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Harun Farocki, and Lawrence Lek contribute 30 game-based works. Notably, LuYang presents 10 works, in a dedicated room full of arcade cabinets, adorned with murals featuring her signature demented characters (image).
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