A Soundinstallation by Lucy Powell


THURSDAY, 24th September, 7 pm

!!There will be special performances with a flying drone at regular intervals during the opening!!

The entrance is free

opening hours 25-27th September

Fri-Sun 2-7 pm 

f we were smarter and had thought things through more

In the title of the exhibition, Lucy Powell refers to a proposal by Eliezer Yudkowsky that artificial intelligence (AI) should be entrusted with implementing humanity’s ‘coherent extrapolated volition’ – i.e. all the things we would want were we people better all round. Of course the title can also be given a cautionary interpretation and thus neatly sums up both sides of the debate – one utopian, one apocalyptic – at the dawn of deep learning and burgeoning automation. AI is born of the marriage of information and technology, and with this as its focus the exhibition represents a further step in Powell’s exploration of the cybernetic triangle of animal-human-machine.

100 Percent (2015) is the title of a new artist’s book that plays with the notion of our ability to measure and know the world. Gathered over several years from the internet and other media outlets, it presents a string of statistics progressing from 1% all the way to 100. The logic it pursues, however, is a twisted one, as the mix of facts and factoids are entirely decontextualised and – the whole having been well and truly divorced from the sum of its parts – ultimately absurd.

The artist’s enduring obsession with lists and loops is also reflected in the atrium-filling sound installation Marriage d’amour (2015). A computer voice intones a stream of terminological terms, triple-word combinations from various scientific and militaristic sources that reflect a dense complexity of information and accumulated knowledge. Also collected over many years, the list builds on an earlier artist book Cause&Effect (2013) featuring jargonesque word pairs that teeter on the edge of abstraction. The computer voice, which as it turns out, has rather touchingly been programmed to draw breath at irregular intervals, is accompanied by a self-playing piano, the very embodiment of the ghost in the machine. It relays the kitschy pathos of Marriage d’amour, a piece of music by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint, as well as the absent pianist’s every interpretative gesture – over and over and over.

The piano in the exhibition has been generously by sponsored by PianoGalerie Berlin.


Lucy Powell  www.lucy-powell.com

Lucy Powell is an artist whose practice is a broad ontological inquiry with a focus on scientific and philosophical perspectives on the intersection of human and non-human intelligence. She studied at Wimbledon Art School and Liverpool John Moores University and moved to Berlin in 1995. As an extension of her practice she she co-founded the Satellite Salon in 2011, a forum for art-science conversations based in Berlin and now in cooperation with Kunsthochschule Kassel. Recent exhibitions/screenings include On the Edge, Tieranatomisches Theater, Berlin; Inventing Temperature, Korean Cultural Centre, London; We, animals, Meinblau Berlin, Screening Nature, Whitechapel Gallery, London; The Animal Gaze Returned, SIA, Sheffield/John Cass Gallery, Metropolitan University, London; Amateurism, Kunsterverein Heidelberg; The Worldly House Archive, Documenta 13, Kassel.