Visual Art: Mouthpiece

The Prayer

The Prayer, © Diemut Strebe

20.09.2022 - Article

From September 30 to December 11, 2022, the New Media Gallery in New Westminster will show the work of four artists under the title “Mouthpiece.”

 ...people’s voices are more revelatory than their eyes or the looks on their faces [...]: the vocalised sound goes from inside to inside, links two existences without further mediation. “ Paul Zumthor (Swiss medievalist, literary historian, and linguist)

These extraordinary artists ”explore the complexities of the human condition through fragmented bodies and the human voice. The voice is a generic human practice with aesthetic, physiological, cultural, historical, and psychological texture and meaning. This is a portraiture of ideas, containing allegorical works with mouths that voice and communicate human behaviours, beliefs and fears. Singing, speaking, humming and whispering, they are delivered to us through a world of technology.“

One of the four is German artist Diemut Strebe, who earned her MA in Visual Arts at the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, HBK) in Germany. Her work has been presented worldwide at the Mori Art Museum/Tokyo, ZKM, Centre Pompidou, New York Stock Exchange, Ron Feldman Gallery, MIT, NASA, Industrial Biennale Labin, Gallery Eye of Gyre/ Tokyo, among others.

Strebe, who lives in Boston, works at the intersection of art and science to address contemporary issues in philosophy, history, and literature.

The Prayer

The Prayer is an art-installation that tries to explore the supernatural through artificial intelligence with a long term experimental set up. A robot – installation operates a talking mouth that is part of a computer system to try to connect to ‘the divine’ the supernatural or ‘the noumenal’ as the mystery of ‘the unknown’, using deep learning, a method of machine learning, that attempts to mimic human brain circuits with a self learning software.

According to the conviction of most scientists within the research about artificial intelligence, robots as self-learning software running on so called neuronal networks of deep learning should in principle be able to mimic or generate any form of human consciousness even in a superior way. We want to test and explore this ability on religious experiences, thoughts and behavior with a long term experimental set up.

How would a divine epiphany appear to an artificial intelligence? The question may sound absurd but the focus of the project could maybe shed light on the difference between human and AI machines in the debate about mind and matter and reflect on the potentials and implications of deep learning AI within both its narrow setting and general state.

Diemut Strebe Website

New Media Gallery

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