12 – 30th June 2019
St John’s College, St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JP
The world is going through huge change. With the impact of new technologies coming through at an unprecedented pace, these changes are on a scale similar to the industrial revolution or the printing press.
Our response is to present Ai-Da, the first ultra realistic drawing robot artist, as a figurehead to our exhibition. Our aim is to encourage you to collectively question and develop the ethics of how new technologies are used, for better and for worse, and to remember those getting left behind and stuck at the bottom of the power ladder; including our ailing environment and captive animals whose voice we barely to listen to.
Through the vehicle of an ultra-realistic robot, Ai-Da, we are looking at the boundaries of AI, technology, and organic life, and how we interact with it. As new technologies develop rapidly, our world is morphing in response – but what are those responses? To what degree is technology shaped in our own image, reflecting back to us our own impulses and needs? And more precisely – in whose image is it formed, and how does that impact in a highly diverse and unequal world?
Ai-Da is a mechanical robot, she is not real and has no thoughts and feelings, but she foretells a period when trans-human biotechnology could be possible. Humans are confident in their position as the most powerful species on the planet, but how far do we actually want to take this power? To a Brave New World (Nightmare)? And if we use new technologies to enhance the power of the few, we had better start safeguarding the future of the many. History shows the treatment of the vulnerable isn’t that pretty, and arguably right now we need to be thinking much more closely about the potential for inequality and suffering that is embedded within the use of new technologies. Get engaged, get thoughtful, and start directing these technologies towards the benefit of all. And don’t forget to include the monkeys in the laboratory cages: the similarities unnerve.
Ai-Da’s inaugural exhibition “Unsecured Futures” will launch on the 9th May – 31st May 2019 at Lady Margaret Hall and St John’s College, University of Oxford, and the Aidan Meller Gallery, Turl St, Oxford. The exhibition will showcase Ai-Da’s drawings and performance art, including a work that references, and is an homage, to Yoko Ono’s ‘Cut Piece’. Alongside this, emerging artists work together to create works in plastic, silver and bronze 2D and 3D, developed through AI processes and new technologies. Ai-Da and this exhibition are set to dazzle and entertain, but more importantly, get us to think and engage, and help us consider our world a little more closely.
All art enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.