Machines have reconfigured our relationship towards representation, communication and memory. Their vision, now entangled with ours, is built around the logics of the mechanical infrastructure of binary protocols, cycles of hardware/software operations, and the rigid procedural processing of the interpretation of data flows. Machines are not interested in who we are, what we are, and what constitutes our cultural space; rather, their interest lies in numbers and patterns – in rhythmical processing. For them, the pictures, texts, icons or symbols which make up Graphic User Interfaces are as superfluous to their operation as our bodies and minds. Everything breaks down into numbers, processed through the materiality of the hardware and indefinitely transformed, changed, remapped and translated in a chain of processes with input and output, thus transforming contemporary condition into computational contingency. In relation to us, machines are rather iconoclastic. They are indifferent and satisfied with their indifference – or more accurately, they do not communicate, they only process, as long as they do not freeze or break down.
The installation is based on three networked machines which are accessing each other, searching for each other’s binary/system files and executing them to the screens. What seems to be a glitch projected on the screen is, in fact, the impossibility of the machine in translating parts of processed data into human-readable ASCII characters. With machine processing rendered human-readable, we can glimpse, through error and through complexity, something of the scale and structure of information unavailable to us within computational systems of contemporary digital culture.
The sound of the installation is generated in real-time by the machines themselves. The direct amplification of the information processing of the hardware is achieved with magnetic microphones that are placed inside each of the machines.
The project was made as part of the MA Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and supported by a scholarship from Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund.
Kibla Portal, Slovenia
Curated by Aleksandra Kostič, Živa Kleindienst and Peter Tomaž Dobrila.
"The title of the international group exhibition Tense Present calls attention to the critical importance of the 'here and now', in a time when it is increasingly popular to be selling the future, which is nothing but escapism into the ever unattainable tomorrow, or reminiscing about the past, as a form of nostalgia for the bygone, for the memory of better, or worse, times. The exhibition focuses on unveiling the structure systems, the invisible, virtual and relation processes of social categorization, and by analyzing the material space and infrastructure, Tense Present seeks to accentuate the topicality of the space and time we live in."
Image: Courtesy of ACE Kibla.