Empathy is the element that has enabled humans to work together and collaborate in order to flourish as species. The festival wants to question and propose that maybe empathy could be learned, found or especially re-found through eg. bodily presence, experimental communication and embodied and alternate visions of perception
Everyone knows about cybercrime and how owning networked computers and mobile devices makes you a potential victim of bank fraud, identity theft, extortion, theft of confidential information, etc. Data stored on your computer is never safe and its ghosts can come back and haunt you long after you’ve discarded your electronic device, long after even you’ve erased the data it contained
The two installations are composed of identical elements, connected in a network and exchanging information through electric signals. The collective behavior of the actuators and sensors create unpredictable patterns, as though a system of living organisms with their own variable program. A moving scene emerges, where the borders between a ‘natural’ order of things and the mechanical constructions of humans are tested
The installation’s mechanical workings and network of strings allow us to explore the poetic potential of technology via its materiality, so that Interface I sits on the boundary between an imaginary field and an epistemological condition
In 1961, Donald Michie, a British WWII code breaker and a researcher in artificial intelligence, developed MENACE (the Machine Educable Noughts And Crosses Engine), one of the first programs capable of learning to play and win a game of Noughts and Crosses (or Tic-Tac-Toe if you’re American.) Since he had no computers at his disposal at the time, he created a device built out of matchboxes and glass beads to simulate a learning algorithm.
The Promise of Total Automation, an exhibition recently opened at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, looks at our troubled relationship with machines. Technical devices that were originally designed to serve and assist us and are now getting smarter and harder to control and comprehend. Does their growing autonomy mean that the machines will one day overpower us? Or will they remain our subservient little helpers, our gateway to greater knowledge and sovereignty?
A few years ago, artist Nick Laessing stumbled upon a book in a second-hand bookshop. Titled The Search of Free Energy, the publication introduced him to the world of people who are searching for alternatives to fossil fuel as a source of energy