Martin Zeilinger

AI Art as Hyperobject-Like Portal to Global Warming

conference presentation
xCoAx 2022
[posted: 08 July 2022]
>>tags: AI art, hyperobjects, anthropocene, global warming, digital art

Very happy to present at this year’s xCoAx conference in Coimbra, Portugal, on Timothy Morton’s concept of the hyperobject in relation to AI, by way of Tega Brain’s installation piece Asunder, on a great panel also featuring Dejan Grba, Jerónimo Reyes-Retana, and Provides Ng.

Full program here, abstract below:

“This paper situates artificial intelligence as a vehicle that can allow human agents to engage with complex issues such as global warming. Drawing on Timothy Morton’s conceptualisation of global warming as a ‘hyperobject’ which, by its very nature, resist knowability on a human scale, I consider the extent to which AI, when it is itself approached as hyperobject-like, can become a useful medium for engaging critically with the issue of global warming. The argument, then, is not that AI can make global warming human-knowable, but that through AI, human agents can access the quasi-unknowability of global warming. I begin by surveying Morton’s theory of the hyperobject and its valence in critical discourse on contemporary/digital art, and then explore the positioning of AI as hyperobject-like. This discussion is bookended by analysis of a representative artwork, Tega Brain et al’s Asunder (2019), which, as I argue, addresses global warming issues by incorporating AI as a hyperobject-like technology.”

The full paper is available in the conference proceedings.