Touch and Temperature, Art in the Age of Cybernetic Totalism
TOUCH AND TEMPERATURE: ART IN THE AGE OF CYBERNETIC TOTALISM
CURATED BY: MICHAEL REES
SHOW DATES: 6 24 04 – 7 31 04 OPENING RECEPTION: 6 24 04, 6-8PM
Artists included in this exhibition:
Matthew Barney, Lowell Boyers, Mary Ellen Carroll, Peter Dudek, John Gerrard, Alex Grey, Michael Joaquin Grey, Graham Guerra, Mara Haseltine, Lynn Hershman, Yael Kanarek, Golan Levin, Fabian Marcaccio, Steve Miller, Michael Najjar, Joseph Nechvatal, Sabina Ott, Casey Reas, Katy Schimert, Makai Smith, Michael Somoroff, Ted T. Stanke, James Stewart, Mary Ann Strandell
Ray Kurzweil, futurist and inventor, suggests that by the year 2030 $1000 dollars of computing power will be equal to the processing capability of all of the minds of all of the humans on earth. This is a result of Moore’s Law, the famous observation made by Gordon Moore that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits has doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented, while remaining the same price. Kurzweil believes that this simple fact will revolutionize human kind, forcing them to evolve and adapt and probably download themselves into the machine. These are somewhat chilling visions and yet most artists have seemed to continue either blissfully ignorant or defiantly unruly.
Jaron Lanier, inventor and programmer, called Kurzweil and his ilk in artificial life and artificial intelligence circles cybernetic totalists. These totalists define consciousness and life narrowly so as to fit it into the representational model of binary utopian description, the computer. This show picks up on the cybernetic totalists concepts that eventually, because of the superior processing power of computers. We will upgrade ourselves to computer hardware as robots or other virtual entities. This is the start point for the show as it examines the temperature of human expression against the backdrop of cybernetic totalism.
It seems a fruitful, if fanciful, exercise to check in on art across the gradient of the temperature of making. Temperature in this case is defined as the distance from the hand to the piece. IT is a measure of a gradient across the hand made to the man made to the machine made. Closer to the work seems to be hotter while further tends to be cooler less intimate and personal. Touch and Temperature will include many such relationships in a confusing and dizzying array of art work. It may be difficult to lay such easy methodologies upon the show.
Michael Rees works in a broad continuum of sculptural practice – utilizing performance, animation, video, installation, sculptural objects, computer software programs and interactivity. He has shown at the Whitney Museum twice and has had numerous exhibitions both in the United States, Germany, Turkey, and Spain. His work has been exhibited in New York galleries and in private and public collections.