VWAP is part of a series of new productions that began earlier this year with the exhibition M&A at ArtspaceNZ and DPAG in New Zealand, explicitly utilising the infrastructure supporting exhibitions, such as staff, funding, and administrative supports, to develop algorithmic trading models. A group of sociologists and political scientists at the University of Edinburgh, headed by Professor Donald MacKenzie, have developed a trading strategy especially for the exhibition at CCA, which has been algorithmically implemented by an anonymous computer scientist and will be tested for the first time within VWAP.
Anew report compiled by the Royal Society (the United Kingdom’s national science academy) summarizes the findings of British academics, doctors, professionals and futurists, and it suggests, somewhat cautiously, that jacked-up worker ants could soon be marching en masse.
“Work will evolve over the next decade,” the report, titled Human enhancement and the future of work, states, “with enhancement technologies potentially making a significant contribution. Widespread use of enhancements might influence an individual’s ability to learn or perform tasks and perhaps even to enter a profession; influence motivation; enable people to work in more extreme conditions or into old age, reduce work-related illness; or facilitate earlier return to work after illness.”
Google moved on from trying to perfect web algorithms towards developing systems that actually know how you think. Currently, that means Google has turned its impressive intelligence-gathering skills first developed for delivering personalized ads (still the bulk of the Goog’s business) into personalized search results and cross-platform enhancements that help Google customize your experience when using any one of its products. While that already seems kinda Big Brother-ish, the next step is to move beyond just tracking email keywords and search histories, and developing systems that can actually think like and, more crazily, for you.
The title of the exhibition, Diabolic Loop, refers to an economic theory that proposes the model of a negative feedback loop as a way to explain the aggravated relationship between weakened European banks and sovereign states. The works in the exhibition attempt to unpack and make material some of these analogies derived from technological processes.
Sarah Browne’s research-based practice centres on the production, distribution and use of particular objects in different situations and locales. She uses the peculiar status of the art object, and its uncertain purpose, as a hinge to lever discussions about economy, value and politics.
Browne’s 16mm film Second Burial at Le Blanc (2011–2012) follows a procession through Le Blanc, a small French town where local merchants continued to accept French francs for goods and services until 17 February 2012. Central to the film’s plot is the artist’s bespoke ‘ticker-tape countdown clock,’ which printed both a live currency feed and a countdown of the time remaining of the franc’s usage in the town. The film documents an invented ritual around this object, appropriating traditions such as the ticker-tape parade and the ‘second burial’ (a ceremony in Madagascar where a corpse is exhumed and paraded around the village before a second, final farewell). This mystery of faith—in the franc, and in the idea of a nation defined by its economic protocols—is set against present-day insecurity surrounding the future of the euro. A religious temporality in which salvation or satisfaction is continually deferred overlaps with a financial sense of time. A newsprint publication that weaves together historical and anthropological references in the work is distributed freely in the gallery and in Le Blanc.
Browne’s approach is rooted in documentary, operating from a principle of ‘critical proximity’ and adopting methods from the social sciences. Flexible in form, the work invokes a variety of problematic documentary strategies, communicating the role of emotion and affect in the development of new forms of social imagination.
The Cognitive Radio (2012) is a film made in collaboration with members of Ikon Gallery Youth Programme in Birmingham, produced through a year-long residency titled Scarcity Radio and distributed online. Explicitly informed by contexts of government cuts to education and austerity measures, the project partly investigates how pirate radio stations of the 1980s were connected to periods of recession and social unrest, exploring what the contemporary resonance of this might be with a group of young people without the memory of these events. Filmed in a quiet geology museum, The Cognitive Radio addresses links between mining and telecommunications in order to tackle our understanding of so-called scarcity economics. Significant objects in the film include the black mirror of a smartphone and a primitive radio made with a lump of pyrite. A working version of this radio is presented in the gallery as the sculpture, How to Use Fool’s Gold (2012).
The digital and the online have quite simply changed how arts and humanities practitioners work, and the AhRC is committed to supporting that change. This Moot, this event, represents one small space wherethe transformations implied by these developments will actually occur.
Paik defines cybernetics as “the science of pure relations, or relationship itself” and “the exploitation of boundary regions between and across various existing sciences.”
Bruce Sterling says: James Bridle is a Walter Benjamin critic in an “age of digital accumulation”. Bridle carries out a valiant cut-and-paste campaign that looks sorta like traditional criticism, but is actually blogging and tumblring. His New Aesthetic Tumblr bears the resemblance to thoughtful critique that mass production once did to handmade artifacts.
The exhibition Animism rethinks the question of animation not by investigating the effect of animation within aesthetics, but by tackling the unquestioned backdrop against which such aesthetic effects are discussed. This backdrop is the discourse of animism: a term defined by nineteenth century anthropologists searching for mankind’s alleged primitive, original religion, which they identified as the erroneous animation of the surrounding world. Outside the field of art and mass media, discussions on animation turn into an ontological battleground at the frontier of colonial modernity.
"Alistair Oldham an old film maker friend of mine has just just uploaded the "Invisible Airs" documentary. This is Alistair’s particular take on databases and the events that surrounded YoHa’s work in Bristol. Database’s have become active mediator’s in their own right, actors constructing, organising and modifying social relations and I’m often in a position of addressing new public’s, outside of specialist knowledge and trying to explain the complex machinery that lies behind the lived logics of databases. Alistair’s film will be a key tool with which we will try to generate discussion. I hope you enjoy it."