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The Robots are Coming! - Group Show in Bendigo

Hello I hope you are well! Just a short post about what has been happening in the studio this month.





I have been busy preparing a couple of artworks for a show that is to explore a very pertinent current topic in the arts and society: The role of AI in our world.





The show will include a wide variety of artworks that curator Ivan Sun has hand picked to show a wide view perspective on the topic. Some artists are submitting AI generated works, while others are presenting work completed the 'old fashioned' way (hand made).


My works are completely hand made. Including one piece that includes a custom built frame made from recycled hardwood and some lovely old ply from a wardrobe. This is a direction I have been moving toward for a while now, so it's perfect!


The ideas behind my works: Exploring different perspectives of AI's possible presence in life from two important perspectives, that being 'Work' and 'Love', two things AI may replace completely. One thing I have noticed in my lifetime is the increased objectification of our own identities and lives. In corporate language, you may hear a term like 'Human Resources' and not think much about it. But think about the term. What does it really mean? What will it mean in 30 years when AI is possibly managing entire companies?


Human Resource #543794, Oil on Canvas

'Human Resource 543794': Inspired by the Tower of Babel story in the Bible "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens" to which God discovered this and gave us different languages so we could not understand one another and eventually succeed in becoming all powerful by reaching the heavens."


'But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”


Our modern culture has already deified AI to a position of almost religious worship, with claims it's the next step in our evolution. By contrast, this same devlopment and rise of AI is further turning human life into a mere resource to be used. The entire image is made from timber and there are pine trees in the background. A valuable resource to modern society and one that has helped us advance to levels of comfort and sophistication never thought possible. Many technocrats have claimed the next untapped resource is the human mind... to understand our thoughts. Many laboratories are currently working on technology to do just that. Will we be cast aside like a resource?


Design #29304, Oil on Canvas 55cm x 45cm

'Design 29304' is an oil painting. It expores the question 'Will we one day be able to design and 3D print people?' This piece enquires into how our ideals for beauty are also highly subjective and ever changing throughout time and culture.


Technology and media has already played a huge role in changing people's ideals since it's very inception. Here's a quick example: Smoking was once upon a time considered undesirable for women to partake in. But tobacco companies decided to combat this issue by hiring propagandist Edward Bernays to change ideals and promote smokes as 'Torches of Freedom'. Why? For women's rights? Sure.



Will 'design 29304' be an ideal in 30 years? In some cultures, some people are afraid to approach possible partners due to spending their youth opting for 'digital alternatives' instead of developing social skills. Instead surrounding themselves in digital alternatives who are unrealistic and fantasy based, all this a solution to facing the challenges of possible rejection.


People have more recently been introduced to virtual partner apps. AI generated companions who never argue, disagree and are always there as a thoughtful listening ear to help stave off loneliness or affirm your preferred identity. Did we ask for this?


Conclusion

It goes beyond purely physical and emotional. Via clever marketing and social engineering, We seem to have a tendancy to inflate technical marvels to heights that are beyond their actual merit. That this 'shiny new thing' will be so much better than the previous model. But the truth is, despite providing many positives, our obsession with gizmos and tech has also led to many complications in life, from mental/physical issues due to screen addiction to complete reliance on devices just to function 'day to day' in society. What is the future going to be like with more and more layers of computing and AI 'assistance'?


Thanks for reading!














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