Sky Net is a digital sculpture suspended in the air, that focuses on the material infrastructure behind the growing Internet of Things permeating contemporary life. The piece playfully speculates on an the role of the AI assistants like Alexa or Siri by subverting the expectation that the assistant will be phsyically discrete, perhaps invisible, selfless and efficient.
Instead “SKY NET” dominates the physical space with insane wiring – giving the device scale, volume and shape. The structure is bulky and fragile and impossible to avoid in the room. The title of the work is a play on both the physical assemblage and the name of the AI Singularity hell bent on destroying humanity in the Terminator films.
This work speculates on a future based on Florian Cramer’s “Crapularity”, where the AIs that were developed to act as invisible assistants become neurotic and self absorbed, while requiring more and more physical infrastructure to perpetuate their own existence.
I was inspired by Anne Tadne’s EVERY from the degree show last year, the circuit art of Erik Brandal and Antony Gormley’s recent exhibition at the RCA. Having spent large portions of this term developing a robot system I wanted one of my smaller projects to focus on the aesthetics and design of a computational piece, by using the components within a circuit as sculptural material.
The system involves an Arduino with a pre-programmed library of expressions connected to an LCD screen via 2 meter long wires draped from lighting stands.
Florian Cramer Crapularity Aesthetics | Making & Breaking. [online] Making and Breaking. Available at: https://makingandbreaking.org/article/crapularity-aesthetics/ [Accessed 8 May 2020].
Annie Tådne EVERY . [online] Available at: https://tadne.se/installation/every/ [Accessed 8 May 2020].
Terminator 3 Skynet Takes Over. (2011). YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wlsd9mljiU [Accessed 8 May 2020].
Eirik Brandal . Gulfs. (2019) [online]. Available at: https://eirikbrandal.com/gulfs/ [Accessed 8 May 2020].
Royalacademy.org.uk. (2019). Antony Gormley. [online] Available at: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/antony-gormley.