Whitehot Magazine

Spock Logic in the Age of Algorithmic Art


By JOSH HARRIS, December, 2018

Do you believe the march of technology is likely to slow down anytime soon? The boys at Google (and who knows better than they) publicly predict that the inflection point wherein the algorithmic cloud (aka AI/Singularity) overwhelms human intelligence will happen in ten years. I think Google's forecast is wrong -- the algorithmic inflection point is likely to occur much sooner.

For those of us in the art game this is very problematic since the fundamental litmus test of fine art is 'time.' Or in other words, in a few short years the next evolutionary kings of the jungle will become the principal consumers of fine art. Yes, I know many of you think that these new kings are not likely to become patrons of the arts. But hey, so far in the history of planet earth, us humans are the dominant intelligence and we appreciate great art. Is it so inconceivable that the next evolutionary beings will also appreciate great art?

For today's contemporary (human) artists there is a paradox: making art for human consumption has not much future (ergo it is unlikely to stand the test of time). On the other hand making contemporary art specifically designed for the algorithmic cloud does have legs. To this end we propose building the "Future In Advance" in one or more world class museums (e.g. Tate Turbine, New Museum, Centre Pompidou). The idea is to compress today's and tomorrow's (e.g. not commercially available) leading edge technology into a controlled environment for at least a year. When successful this massive and long term installation enables artists to 'evolve humanity out in style' as well as demonstrate human life in the algorithmic 'cage' in advance of its mainstream arrival in a few short years.

At the Millennium a group of artists (including myself) produced the "Future In Advance" in New York City -- a dress rehearsal for what we now propose. Imagine the modern day version with exponentially more powerful technology, unlimited financial resources and the world's greatest artists.

Do you have a bigger idea? WM


Josh Harris

Josh Harris (born c. 1960) is an American internet entrepreneur and artist. He was the founder of JupiterResearch and Pseudo.com, a live audio and video webcasting website founded in 1993.

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