“People take photos of each other to prove that they really exist” sang the Golden Zitronen in 1994. Today we know that photos prove nothing because they can be manipulated very easily. And they are no longer archived in photo albums, but are stored in the cloud on unknown servers.
And yet – our relationship to our own image is ambivalent: selfies are supposed to prove that we were at grandma’s birthday or on the Eiffel Tower, and at the same time we can manipulate our face beyond recognition with just one click. The technical possibilities are endless and are becoming more and more perfect thanks to Deep Learning and thus AI-supported applications.
But what does it mean when we can optimise or even animate old photos? What becomes of our memories when the patina is missing and deceased people suddenly smile at us?
In this work we are confronted with an old photograph that has been manipulated with the help of artificial intelligence. The girl in the photograph seems very much alive and authentic. Do we feel closer to her? We see different forms of movement and expression until she finally even seems to be dancing. At the latest now it becomes clear how absurd it is to map standardised movements onto the portrait of an individual. And in the end, one has to ask oneself whether “Paula” would have liked what we are doing with her memory.
Does the memory of a person become superfluous when an artificial liveliness gives way to our own flawed still image in our heads?
And doesn’t this illusion rather contribute to losing the last remnants of the memory of the real person?
Following on from the work Bodytalk, the question of what the condition humana is is continued here. Another aspect of differentiation from the animal is, in my opinion, the ability of absolute body control. In demarcation to artificial intelligence, it is physicality in combination with emotion and elegance.
In this work, complex human movements in the form of a dance are contrasted with the humanoid robot HRP-4C, as it was presented to the world public in 2010.
Dancer: Dominik Feistmantl
26 November 2022 – 8 January 2023
Vernissage on 26.11.2022 at 11 a.m.
H2 – Museum of Contemporary Art,
Beim Glaspalast 1,
Lioba Abrell, Marie-Luise Anten-Dittmar, Verena Blunck-Mader, Anita Braxmeier, Florina Coulin, Lycien-David Cséry, Brigitte Dorn, Ekaterina Dronova, Dorothea Dudek, Maxwell Dunlop, Jochen Eger, Isolde Egger, Eva Engelien, Thomas Fackler, Gisela Frank, Wolf Gruber, Gabriele Gruss-Sangl, Ebby Hauser, Christian Hof, Bernd Hohlen, Jürgen Hörauf, Gabriele Hornauer, Ulrike Hüppeler, Heike Hüttenkofer, Peter Junghanss, Rainer Kaiser, Daniela Kammerer, Erika Kassnel-Henneberg, Mariella Kerscher, Wolfgang Keßler, Georg Kleber, Friederike Klotz, Thomas Kroeger, Inge Lemmerz, Hélène Lindqvist, Gabriele Lockstaedt, Henriette Macalik, Christa Maria Marschall, Karl Maure, Liliana Mesmer, Christine Metz, Sigrid Münch-Metzner, Tanja Popp, Maria Prinz, Werner Prinz, Andrea Reiners, Christine Reiter, Gerhard Ribka, Marc Rogat, Erwin Roth, Jochen Rüth, Sandra Samal-Anzer, Andrea Sandner, Jeannette Scheidle, Ilan Scheindling, Katharina Schellenberger, Otto Scherer, Alice Schöndorfer, Stephanie Sixt, Gabriele Stolz, Ting Tan-Mayershofer, Andreas Vogler, Stefan Wehmeier, Josef Wehrle, Elke Wieland, Gertrud von Winckler, Hildergard Winkler, Nina Zeilhofer, Rudolf Zimmermann.
Migrations and the Shifting Borders – international group exhibition, 26.January to 6.February 2023
Galerie Millepiani Rom, Via N. Odero, 13 Rom / IT
This short film was made as part of my bachelor thesis on “Attention Engineering in Social Media”. It metaphorically describes the internet as a large experimental laboratory in which users are manipulated like “guinea pigs” with the help of psychological “weapons”.
Suzanne is lured into a virtual dream world by flashing buttons and the voice assistant on her computer, which promise her a solution to her sleeping problem. In fact, however, she is only part of a large scientific experiment in which the aim is to specifically manipulate her behaviour.
Similar to the “real” conversations in social networks, the main character “Suzanne” is represented by statements written in “real time” and fades into the background as a physical person. The camera thereby takes her point of view. This constellation results in three scenic levels in the film: 1.) the “virtual space”, which is at the same time the stage; 2.) the screen surface, on which Suzanne’s text messages appear; 3.) the invisible space in front of the screen, in which we sit together with Suzanne and follow the story.
In the first two parts, Suzanne is confronted with an anthropomorphic voice computer as an antagonist that can only be heard. The reversal of states, namely the dematerialisation of the human “Suzanne” and the humanisation of the robot “David” – only he has a voice – creates a discrepancy in the viewer’s expectations that is very suspenseful.
The action is accompanied by a fly. Through its presence, it repeatedly draws attention to itself and thus demonstrates “attention engineering” in a penetrating way. The fly as the physical “protagonist” in the film illustrates the absurdity of the situation, because it belongs to both the real and the virtual world, and it is both perpetrator (draws attention to itself) and victim (dies) at the same time.
dança em foco – International Video & Dance Festival
Rio de Janeiro / BRA, Choreographic Center
7. – 13.11.2022, online http://dancaemfoco.com.br/edicoes/
Annual exhibition of GEDOK Munich.
15.10. until 13.11.2022
Vernissage: 15.10.2022 at 11 a.m.
Municipal Gallery Traunstein
Women artists’ tour on 13.11.2022 at 1 pm
The starting point for this work was a report on the radio about a new milestone in the development of artificial intelligence. For the first time, researchers had succeeded in developing an AI that won in poker against five real professional players.
The special thing about poker is the complexity of strategy calculation, because – unlike in chess, for example – the information is incomplete (hidden hand) and the opponents act unpredictably (concealing one’s own hand and constantly changing strategy in response to opponents). At the same time, the AI must also deceive the opponent in order to win.
All in all, this demands special skills from the AI that catapult it to the next evolutionary level.
In this work, a voice tells us that the human condition is language. Because in fact it is the AI that is speaking here, and the human being that is “physical”.
Dancer: Dominic Feistmantl