Martin Zeilinger

AI Art as Hyperobject-Like Portal to Global Warming

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

Full version of my essay on AI art, hyperobjects, and global warming for this year’s xCoAx conference in Coimbra, Portugal.


“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.”

Download here.