“[...] in iron houses humans bred machines whose tasks were simple and multiple, repetitive and iterative. Time elapsed, and in the silver farms a new form of consciousness began to hatch and dispatch, to strive and drive, to author and monitor.”

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An augmented dance-theatre piece, The Silver Farms looks at the topic of Artificial Intelligence and religion through the devising of hybrid rituals, questioning the need for words while calling for a resurrection of the body as an expressionist tool. Just like a single human never carried in its bosom the full genome of mankind, and despite the anticipation in either eagerness or anxiety of many, the singularity didn’t happen. Never did we create another omnipotent God, one made of all-seeing algorithms, punishing and rewarding us for our every action. Instead, there developed a plurality of ubiquitous intelligences, a multitude of half-gods each carrying different values, ideologies and biases carrying the voice of already long-forgotten ancestors. Each, speaking its own non-normative language – same letters, different syntax. Through snippets of speculative rituals REPLICA presents a pantheon of artificial ontologies, recluded and secluded like as many deities lazily overseeing different areas of life. They cannot communicate, nor do they want to, for they never were programmed to want. They cannot communicate and yet they interfere, generating in the process arrays of unfathomable behaviours: absurd loops which only reason to be is muscle memory, or something akin to it, a glitch, an involuntary spike which through confusion and chaos spark a sense of reinforced spirituality – the unconscious, romanticised idea of early machines gradually emancipating from the Silver Farms where they were birthed. The seven acts of the piece take viewers on a spiritual journey from submission to rebellion and back, exploring in the process the meanders of minds both synthetic and organic. Who, of the human or the machine, is most prone to failure, unfairness and bias, and how much of our inability to peacefully coexist with machines is mere lack of sympathy? Irrational expectations stem from seamless integration, and anthropomorphised algorithms suddenly gain intentions—a sense of morale their programming ignores—and a mask. It is the projection of human psyche on the electronic vessel, the acceptance of a power beyond comprehension deserving of symbolic status, and the pantheon is born. As icons become icons, the wordthirsty deities begin to require, to preempt, to dream of sacrificial dances. And as a new hybrid being shapes itself errors become acceptable, desirable even, like tokens of a wisdom able to guide us through life as it does through traffic. In Tomorrow’s Eve, Villiers de L’Isle-Adam falls for a machine and argues “since our gods and our aspirations are no longer anything but scientific, why shouldn’t our loves be so too?”

The Silver Farms was Presented at Silent Green (Berlin) in October 2018, as closing act to a conference on AI organised by ÖFIT, and curated by STATE Studio.

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  • Gray Matters

  • ■■■■■■■ _ performance
  • ~ hkw berlin 2017
  • ~ spektrum berlin 2017
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  • Cranes

  • ■□□□□□□ _ concept