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Exhibition Mensch Maschine

Exhibition Mensch Maschine
di, 14. januari 2020 - zo, 16. februari 2020
Brussel - Brussel


Artists : Lucie Planty (FR), Chris Dreier (DE), Jenna Sutela (FI),

Joanna Żylińska (UK/PL), Adina Camhy (AU), Constant (BE),

Mélodie Mousset (FR/CH), Heather Dewey-Hagborg (US) &

Dasha Ilina (Ru)


This exhibition is organised on the occasion of the annual, international Computer, Privacy and Data Protection Conference - CPDP2020

Venue : Botanique – www.botanique.be – Rue Royale 236, 1210 Brussels

Timing : January 16th until February 16th, 2020 – Opening on January 15th @ 7pm

Special events :
On 23/01 – CPDP cocktail in presence of the artists
On 03/02 – Launch of the new Chair in Surveillance Studies - VUB

The exhibition Mensch Maschine is touching on elements of machine learning fundaments: the feed, the successes, as well as the failures. News about technological development seem to be generally positive. However, critical journalism and research are teaching us about machine learning as a biased and even discriminating entity.

This exhibition opens with a historical point of view through the artwork called 'Chronique de L’humanité' by the French artist Lucie Planty, whose practice evolves around books and the art of editing. The work displays images and drawings depicting humanity in a chronological order, on a nearly endless scroll. It is a digital reproduction of a book edited by Hachette editions in 1986, from which all textual content has been erased. The last image in the chronicle is Armstrong’s landing on the moon. Hence, in this work, humanity seems to grow into something new from there on…

Chris Dreier is an icon from the Berliner 1980’s punk scene, whose artwork has oftentimes been forged from an activist’s point of view. She created a series of tapestries related to privacy, data and war technology. ERMA is a cushion made of the first machine readable font.

nimiia vibiéis a peculiar work by Finnish artist Jenna Sutela for which she exploits a machine to create a Martian language through AI. The source for the language comes from a bacterium which is considered to be Martian.

Joanna Zylinska is a writer, lecturer, artist and curator, working in the areas of new technologies and new media, ethics, photography and art. She is a Professor of New Media and Communications, and Co-Head of the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. In her video ‘Non-human vision’,she offers a compelling insight on the idea of AI dreaming up the human outside the human. The work reflects on the idea of when the camera shapes and regulates life, even far beyond ways that humans commonly use to exploit cameras. Non-human photography is neither of, by or for the human.

In 'How do you see me?' the artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg utilized adversarial processes, algorithms that are designed to deceive machine learning systems. In the research, she creates a series of self-portraits which doesn’t resemble the artist at all, although the image will be recognized as such.

The artist and electronic musician Adina Camhy analyzes in her video 'MENSCH MASCHINE OR PUTTING PARTS TOGETHER’ different possible relationships between humans and machines, specially based on gender issues. The work originated when her mother asked her what birthday present she wanted. Instead of the specific synthesizer she asked for, she got herself an unwanted kitchen robot.

'The Center for Technological Pain' by Dasha Ilina mocks and questions our increasing connection, as a body, to the Internet of Things. The center produces a selection of DIY and Open Source objects to relieve pain caused by digital technologies such as smartphones and laptops. Among the developed prototypes are mechanical eye shields that reduce eyestrain, a headset to free the user’s hands, an insomnia-free box and various more or less absurd gadgets to relieve tense elbows and fingers. CTP also offers DIY manuals on how to build low-tech accessories from cheap materials.

In a book corner presented by the Brussels based Constant, one gets an insight to recent and older artist publications where the bias in technological development is issued. In the virtual reality world Hannahanna by French/Swiss artist Mélodie Mousset, the spectator enters a desolate landscape in which he/she is free to reshape and create a new world from scratch. This world has been shaped while avoiding the male gaze that easily infects designing technologies.

Curated by Thierry Vandenbussche and Privacy Salon.