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As a result of environmental, technological, and societal transformations of the past decades, the anthropocentric worldview is increasingly being called into question. While animal rights and environmental protection advocates demand a more ethical and humane treatment of animals and nature, in our technology-infused reality, it's becoming less clear what can be considered truly human. human.I’M AFRAID I CAN DO THAT seeks to illuminate the – increasingly dimming – boundaries between humans, animals, and machines, and to explore the questions of who will play what role in this more-than-human world order.

The title of the international group exhibition is inspired by the iconic scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey: the artificial intelligence named HAL 9000 turns against its human controllers in defense of the mission and refuses to obey commands. The exhibition title is a clever twist on HAL's famous line, building on the anxious anticipation surrounding the capabilities of artificial intelligences and their impact on our society that currently permeates public discourse. What can an AI system truly do, and what will it never be capable of? What can it give us, and what will it take away? Why is that the feelings of concern, fear, and frustration dominate, rather than the excited anticipation?

The anxieties surrounding AI actually reveal much more about our human nature and the societal systems we operate in than they do about the technological capabilities themselves. These anxieties reflect the ingrained biases and stereotypes that permeate our everyday lives. Technology is far from neutral, and not everything we see in the mirror it holds up is necessarily attractive. In fact, technology is us – the Earth from which its components are derived, the social structures that give it life, and the outdated customs it is meant to overwrite.

The works presented in the exhibition explore this tension-filled situation from various perspectives. They speculatively envision what happens when technologies designed to serve humans overstep their prescribed boundaries. At the same time, they make it clear that artificial intelligences cannot think radically differently from the teams that develop them. They examine the working relationship and interdependence between humans and artificial intelligence: how users – often unconsciously – train robots and how the operation of a trained algorithm affects everyday life. To what extent can an artist and a generative software creatively collaborate: where does the power of the artist end and where does the machine begin, and what does it all reveal about the artistic creative process?

However, the ever-expanding automation processes do not signify the end of (self)exploitative systems, and, in fact, by increasing efficiency, they actually provide an opportunity to strive for even more. Moreover, we extend this beyond the realm of human activities: instead of considering a more humane treatment, or even the liberation of livestock, we train animals for self-exploitation through automated agricultural technologies. And while the media echoes the idea that robots are taking our jobs, as victims of hustle culture, we often feel more drained and exhausted than ever before.

EXHIBTING ARTISTS:
Veneta ANDROVA
BÁCSI Barnabás
BIRÓ Dávid 
Dasha ILINA
GEIBL Kata
Kyriaki GONI
SZALAI Dániel

CURATOR: SÁRAI Vanda

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PREVIEW:  23rd September 2023. 5pm 

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On view from 23rd September to 21st October 2023.
Opening hours: Fridays 2pm to 7pm 
on Saturdays and by appointment at hello@torula.hu .

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The exhibition will feature images that can disturb the peace.

Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Supported by: Epson, Initio Arts and Design

 

Cover image: Geibl Kata – Prometheus – AI – 2023 (detail)