It’s Time We Talked
Digital Alchemy: Future Technology Products Inspired by Diverse Voices in Science Fiction (2020)
Supported by EU Creative Europe Programme of the European Union Grant
A Feral Labs Project
Solo Exhibition at Catch (DK)
This installation features a pair of devices known as Quantum Communication Crystals which allow the user to communicate with a version of themself from another quantum timeline. In other words, the crystal allows you to speak with another you—one who made different decisions. Always wondered what your life might’ve amounted to if you’d taken a different fork somewhere along the way? What might your life have been like if you’d studied science instead of art, or married your High School crush, or been born into a better or worse situation? The quantum communication crystal allows you to find out! The objects are based on the Plaga Interworld Signaling Mechanism prisms found in Ted Chiang’s short story “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom” in which a group of addicts become addicted to speaking with their quantum selves. The pair of crystals displayed show a conversation between the artist and the artist’s deep fake double. A generative adversarial network or GAN was used to create a deep fake video of the content for the 2nd crystal, producing a video in which the artist (themself) has never said the words you are hearing.
This Artwork Is Part of the Digital Alchemy Series
Digital Alchemy Statement:
There has been a long and rich history between science fiction and the development of new technologies. From virtual reality to teleconferencing, science fiction has left its ongoing influence on our present day device-driven world. But technologies are not neutral: they are imbued with the values and interests of their creators.
What are the implications, then, if many of the works of science fiction which we see attributed to modern technologies were penned by white cisgender heteronormative male authors? What are the implications if the same dominant voices are overwhelmingly centered in the design and development of new technology products? Who gets a voice in creating the future and who is excluded?
Future Technology Products explores works of science fiction written by a diverse body of authors including women, LGBQTQAI* folx, and people of color to realize diverse futures through the creation of fictional technologies. Situated at the intersection of product design, speculative fiction, maker culture and intersectional data feminism, the artist selects devices and technologies mentioned within these works and realizes them as interactive product prototypes. The objects will be displayed, in both a physical and virtual exhibition, alongside documentation regarding the process of creating the object based o