“Pixelated Slaps to the Heart (Remnants of A Search for Ghosts in the Meat Machine)” exhibition contains nine tanks with the feminist tech-artist, Ani Liu’s embodied volume in water. The glass box sits upon custom steel armatures that stand at the artist’s exact height. The tanks contain submerged models and active digital materials, biological artifacts based on neurological data that express inspiration between biological science and technology while considering human sentience.
Liu, paraphrases philosopher Marshall McLuhan: “While we shape our technologies, our technologies co-shape us, and this feedback loop is a very important one to examine.” Recent technological innovations allow us to redesign ourselves profoundly—from networked prosthetics and artificial intelligence, to the genetic code of life itself. Can our behaviors be reduced to algorithms? Can our bodies be upgraded with nonorganic integrations? Can sentience itself be manufactured in a lab through machine learning? How will our bodies become affected by the the pandemic’s surge in personal screen usage?
The grid of nine sculptures investigate cognitive personhood from our own machines, our own fragile carbon-life formations. Three of the works chosen for NADA Miami, are all pandemic related. Liu confronts 2020 by reflecting on the imagery, virus models, anti-bodies, social-media feeds and a personal genetic history (memory), directly relating to her, and her ancestors’ DNA.
Aside from the sculptures and in an office-like cubicle, guests can play a video game “Shapes and Ladders” revealing how systemic racism and sexism can exist in the workplace. Set in the metaphor of a career ladder, players attempt to navigate through an office building rife with challenges. A private link will take a viewer to experience and engage with a prototype challenging their algorithmically biased character to climb the career-ladder ultimately becoming CEO, or not.
Work is installed in Newburgh, NY.
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