Small Hall at 6:00 PM
The Quest to Attain Artificial Consciousness in Postmedia Art
Paul Gauguin asked the eternal but seemingly unanswerable question in 1897, with his painting titled:
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Everything about this question has to do with consciousness, and it has plagued us since the beginning of times, when we got aware of our environment and, more importantly, of ourselves in our surroundings. Recently, the notion of what consciousness really is has become more urgent to answer. Digital tools like AI, Deep Learning, Artificial Neural Networks, Advanced Robotics, Automatized Military Drones are equipped with Assassination Algorithms and infinitely more tech is added to this list and developed almost on a daily basis, which is progressively accelerating its evolution. Technological Singularity, a point in time where technological growth becomes irreversible and incontrollable, is suddenly not so farfetched as a concept anymore, and it appears that it is approaching much faster than anticipated. What will happen if we develop technology that will manifest consciousness, or individual characteristics, or personality even? To be able to recognize this, we first need to thoroughly understand what consciousness is. This, however, forms an impossibility known as the Hard Problem of Consciousness. At this moment there is not even certainty if consciousness really exists. Different Scientific disciplines have developed a plethora of different theories which are incompatible among each other, and the gap of disagreements is widening fueled by contradictions and paradoxical findings. Perhaps we need a unified neutral territory to bring together all those different disciplines in an experimental situation, free from commercial, governmental or military incentives. The field of Postmedia art could offer this domain, and experiments with robotics and audience perceptions could provide a different insight of how to address these questions, thus bringing the ancient question that fascinated Gauguin so long ago back into the arts. This talk will present some artworks which are suggesting a different approach and will invite the audience to think and discuss these issues with an open mind. Ultimately, could digital culture provide insights in this ancient quest or will this knowledge stay out of reach forever?
Tony Maslić is a contemporary artist who has developed his works over the last 30 years, which he exhibited internationally. He represented Cyprus at the Venice Biennial for Architecture in 2014. He will start a PhD at the School for Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong in September 2019, where he will develop his ideas on the connection between the digital virtual realm and our physical material one, focusing on Artificial Consciousness in Postmedia art.
The lecture will be held in English