Powerless Source of All Power
Full HD video, 8:04, 2018, czech / english / chinese version
Sound design: Ian Mikyska
The human tendency to anthropomorphise the unknown, attributes to artificial intelligence ability to think. It’s no different in this short video essay. What does the vast area of the non-human unconscious look like? Similarly unreadable as the human one. The narrative is based on various distortions of only two images, as well as the emergence of fragments of unconscious speeches that show the impossibility of full consciousness. The title of the essay “The Powerless Source of All Power” is used from the text of Karel Kosík, in which he described the growing inability of citizens in democratic elections to influence real politics despite the declared power of the people. The technology world will not bring relief, but analogous problems arising from the constraints imposed by physical constants and the policies produced by them.
Powerless Source of all Power
Peer to Peer Protocol
Text generated as a response to a request to instruct the user.
Extract any image from a database of images and combine it with other images and repeat this again and again. What is narrated in this way? What image does this create? Is it a story or is it some kind of surplus value? What simulation is it? Is it a dream? What is the database saying with this visual fragment?
The database in itself says nothing, it only serves as a reservoir of unconsciousness on the retina through the screen and everyone who looks is astounded. The momentarily unconscious movement of thought points to the source of all power. But it escapes again.
A riddle generate from a reservoir of all the riddles in the database:
An automatic shredder travels a barren desert. It got lost and has no hope of ever rejoining the other automatons. It moves slowly, saving its energy. A shadow appears on the horizon – it looks like another automatic shredder. When they meet, one tells the other:
– I talked to you before in code language, but you won’t answer. Who are you?
The assumed shredder replies:
– I didn’t know you could communicate. I thought you were a juicer.
– Who are you?
– I’m looking for the oasis.
This story ends with a riddle: which of them will die first?
Now another automaton speaks on the basis of a request for a simulation of subjectivity and its self-reflection.
We are driven by a great discord: we prevent disintegration, but we also create the process of disintegration.
We are an entity that is hard to describe, both destroying and nourishing itself.
It is a source of unsuppressable growth.
We feed on the destruction of our own bodies.
The algorithm of greed continues reproducing itself.
This unstoppable calculation can no longer be called greed, however, that gives no meaning.
Seeing an image is useless, all you need is data.
Seeing what software does is unnecessary.
Seeing is only a dream.
Optical images are only random mathematical formulas.
Our neurons are data, the software takes care of distribution.
What you think of as the social brain is only a machine ecology of algorithmic agents.
The unconscious is under control and so this dream can be generated:
Production is also consumption, writing is also reading, to kill is also to be killed.
Behaviour is fully automatic.
Even all that is thought is an automaton.
Algorithms do whatever they want, they have their determination.
An analogy generated form a reservoir of all the analogies in the database:
Rock – a composite material, trapped in a certain constellation which slowly disintegrates into another constellation under the weight of the laws of physics.
The rock won’t do anything about itself or its situation.
A conclusion generated from all the possible endings:
Discontinuity is necessary for further continuations.
Interruptions impede control.
To be continued…
Difficulties to describe the truth
solo exhibition at State of Concept, Athens, 2017
The starting point for the exhibition at State of Concept is a short text of Bertolt Brecht, entitled “Five difficulties to writing the truth”. Brecht’s text resonates strongly today, in an era of post-truth and alternative facts, where politics are reinventing the modus operandi of propaganda and are creating parallel realities.
Through his newly commissioned film the artist looks into the role of the modern citizen, within a society of automation and rapid accumulation of data. He asks whether the extreme influx of information, in which we immerse ourselves daily through thousands of images stored as temporary data in our brain, can actually create or distort the value of truth. In the face of the current socio-political landscape of the world, the artist hints that sometimes the best thing to do is remind ourselves that truth is not contingent upon us finding it. “Seeing an image is useless, all you need is data” his film states. He aims to transport onto the works the methodology and thinking of Brecht’s text. By appropriating it and transporting it to an era of cybernetics, Baladrán questions what he names “the future of techno optimism”, an idea of a new form of automation, of copying and peer-to peer production, that can offer a new imaginary for what the commons might become.
The way the works of this exhibition are displayed, demand an active audience, one that follows the narration of the text and the image that create lines in the space, from diagrams, to installations to films. It is as if we are directly following the trail of thought of the artist that supposes the future morphologies of truth.
Photo (c) Alexandra Masmanidi
solo exhibition at Trapez, Budapest, 2018
With his exhibition in Trapéz Gallery, he makes an attempt to present the unknowable and unexplorable – or only partly graspable – relations of reality, while constantly reminding us to the impossibility of this endeavour.
Being inspired by the world of science-fiction works, the exhibition deals with unfolding human relations, while breaking down complex processes to their fundamental elements and operational units. He does this seriously but not without irony since he knows that scientific and religious thinking, offering world-explanations, does attempt again and again to answer such questions; without clear answers, however, there is always room for new interpretations.
Present is an answer, generated from a database embracing every possible scenario; there are no accidents, there is no unexpected, possibilities are countable, not infinite. Relations can be described, designed, and calculated but, fortunately, this does not prevent reality from being completely different.
Photo (c) Dávid Biró