In April 2015, a Colorado man was cited for firing a gun within a residential area when he took his computer into a back alley and shot it eight times with a 9mm pistol. When questioned, he told police that he had become so frustrated with his computer that he had “reached critical mass,” and stated that after he had shot his computer, “the angels sung on high.” In 2007, a German man threw his computer out the window in the middle of the night, startling his neighbors. German police were sympathetic and did not press charges, stating, “Who hasn’t felt like doing that?”
As an avid science fiction enthusiast, I recently read Death’s End (Chinese: 死神永生) a science fiction novel by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin where the solar system is attacked by a superior species using a spacetime anomaly that causes the third dimension to flatten into the second dimension. Humanity has no defense against this and will be rendered extinct within days. The fear of superior technology and machines turning against humanity has been a recurring theme in human storytelling, dating back to ancient times. Tales of robots, mechanical humans, and statues coming to life have captured our imaginations for centuries.
Writers like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Philip K. Dick explored themes of artificial intelligence, robotics, and sentient machines, delving into the potential implications of their existence. These tales tapped into a deep-seated human fear—the fear of the unknown, lack of predictability, and lack of control over our circumstances. So how did the emergence of science fiction as a genre further influence our collective perceptions of machines?
One reason why people might get upset when a machine doesn’t function as it should is that we rely on technology to perform tasks that are important to us, and when a machine fails to do so, it can be frustrating or even disruptive to our lives. We may also feel that we’ve invested time, money, or effort into the machine, and its failure can feel like a personal failure or disappointment.
In what ways can I cultivate the presence of the visitors. How can I use it as an input to the actions performed by the glass machine. And what happens when the spectator becomes part and activator of the deconstructive machine performance.
Verbeek sees technology as a part of us, in every historical timeline. “Technology shapes how we are human, and how we see the world. It has always done that, from the fist ax to the iPhone.”
This is an overview of ongoing research and visual exploration on imagination and beauty surrounding technology. As my artistic practice develops so will my research and this research page.