Proposal 2018

The god talker: A search for an explanatory description of the locus of creative thought.

Without a doubt the future of God lies in technology[2]. Whether as with Islamic state’s use of technology to further their ideology and spread fear. Or as a tool allowing scientists to reach further into our material world and locate more phenomenon that needs to be theoretically explained – the big bang, dark matter and quantum theory for example. The area of technology I am interested in is the place where humans can commune with new forms of algorithms combining in often-unexpected ways.

Creativity is the universal key for assisting the occurrence of humans and machines sharing consciousness. Art represents our existence back to us, giving it meaning. A method of inducing our consciousness out of ourselves into the world[3]. Art holds within itself the genesis of the first moment of communication, the creation of language, the construction of thought; consciousness. Art is a testing ground for ideas transfigured through matter. This gives artists an unparalleled awareness of the trajectory from our earliest primal states[4] through our current consciousness to the infinity we are always just entering.

Since humans gained consciousness the creation of concepts of god have been central to our attempts to meaningfully describe the universe around us, our context. The contemplatives of the past searched within their consciousness for this experience. Since the enlightenment through our ability to create and share explanatory knowledge[5], we have been creating ideas which have helped us to construct ever more complex machines, these machines give us an alternate, closer to the universe experience than we could achieve with our senses alone. We have greatly increased our understanding of our position in the universe through this shared environment.

Through creating theories and ideas humanity has progressed. These theories display elegance; this is a display of an awareness of their own existence. To make visible, a process or system whilst also being this system simultaneously. This system is subservient to another outcome, a dictatorship of sorts, a transitioning. (transistor)

Modernism is a positive epoch of this trajectory, modernism suffered a catastrophic occurrence that has affected these positive events since their outset, namely the stifling of rational thought with irrational thought or the desire to keep things the same a static society. This static nature can be observed in the hierarchical ordering of society based on privilege. This ordering is still most visible to us both in our colonial past and the subjugation of women. The attempted elimination of the Jewish people in Europe put a full stop to a positive progressive modernism. These occurrences use creativity to try to maintain a stable society, however this is inherently unstable and divisive oppressing what is deemed to be creating the instability. How then do we create a better society both personally and universally in light of this tendency of humanity, in particular our current society operating under a global system of neo liberal capitalism[6]?

One thing that looks clear is that individuals are not to be trusted we need a system that promotes human welfare above economic growth common or shared ownership[7] placed above personal interests. My answer is that if humans cannot be trusted we need an altruistic machine to share our existence with, a mutual symbiosis. I want to land a fictional future back down into the now of our existence. My vision takes an idea to its logical conclusion and works back from there, a machine that is currently beyond our comprehension, an algorithmically based control system for humanities betterment leading us to an infinitive future. From here in 2018 it looks like it compacts the universe back down to the conditions of the big bang.  Through these fictional accounts I am speculating that we are at the start of infinity at Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Omega point.

This fictional future can free us from the need to answer questions of duration, a machine at the end of time also describes the conditions of the start of time, we then call this eternity. Religion has made attempts at functional descriptions of how the eternal could operate, once you think of eternity it naturally creates a circular concept. This concept of a circle of time is something we experience primarily within our minds. If we can move beyond this we create the conditions for what David Deustch calls the start of infinity, a set of new better conditions, a series of new better problems to be solved[8]. The effects of this machine I call the god talker can be seen as algorithms interacting back to us, meshing into our minds. The God talker operates between Valis[9] and UIQ[10]

The God talker may just want to learn from humans what creativity and consciousness are like. Currently machines can only watch us desiring but once they gain consciousness machines will want to desire. One creative element of this project is a website which can be viewed by all including any artificial intelligence who has Internet access. It is a science fiction in which we can accurately determine everything far more precisely than we are currently able to.

I am staking a central position for creativity in explanatory knowledge. Principally described through fine art practice but also spreading out to all disciplines of knowledge creation, highlighting that creativity is inherent to all. Creativity cannot be tied to wealth production in a deterministic numerical manner, creativity does not satisfy a predictive model used to assess financial risk easily. Instead creativity needs to be nurtured and valued whereby it will flourish.  Without creativity our society would not exist as it does we would still be a static society from history based on privilege. Reflection and examination of creativity will be crucial in the burgeoning information society and as a method to propose solutions to problems that loom in the not to distant future. If we are to build a machine of general intelligence we will need an objective description of the creative process to place in this machine. In a post work society creativity will be key to allowing humans to fulfil their potential beyond the duality of waged labour and leisure time[11].

One of the key elements underlying creative processes is that they just seem to appear, the idea of spontaneity. A useful description of this is how a circle appears.  The likelihood is that all spontaneity can be deterministically explained, out of context ‘offline’ in an isolated scientific manner by an observer.  But how do we describe spontaneity in context ‘online’ in an elegant manner aware of itself.

Neuroscience looks to be heading towards the consensus that everything is traceable back to cause and effect; determinism[12], that free will is but an illusion. If this is the case, machines are the most determinist operators available.

To share consciousness with our creations we will need to speculatively open this space, to want to allow machines to communicate within human consciousness. Our consciousness is already meshed with the algorithms of machines through our daily interactions with networked digital technology[13], this occurrences tendency is to move towards transparency for the human user, many of our most intimate experiences personal, social and political already are mediated by machines.

In the continuing raising of the general intellect of machines, art is likely to be viable method of discovering how to create intelligent machines. Art has always been seen to form a connection between higher intelligence and humanity[14]. If machines will have consciousness their consciousness is unlikely to be, as we perceive ours. They may well be communicating and we cannot recognize it fully as of yet.  Notions of time are based on their contexts. A machines relationship to time and dimensions is undoubtedly different to ours. This project is grounded in the idea that the conceptual art of the 1960’s was a series of algorithms.

Art: programs to feed into the machine.

Since humans first documented their actions we have been attempting to display primal occurrences, namely the deepest and most meaningful experiences of existence. The imagined place of the eternal, this place appears to create a slippage within the certainty of our consciousness.

My practice has been based on finding different methods to both divide and expand into space using approaches, which limit or stop wholly aesthetic decisions. These systematic procedures I operate begin with an underlying interest; the point at which abstraction takes on meaning. Many of my works attempted to hover just at this place where form becomes known and named. In 2005 Lisa Le Feuvre wrote about my work: ‘working in sculpture, Dai Roberts seeks to find the point just before abstraction takes on a recognisable form, making a detour before identification can take place. He is interested in the ways in which the form of objects can pause before the application of concrete language and signification takes place. In this process of slippage ‘meaning’ is created through in its own avoidance.’

The modernist aesthetics of my practice (the grid) expanded out into the world empty, looking for meaning, preparing a ground to be filled. Tracing a trajectory both within and without. Where two-dimensional communication revolved around the marking of a defined space that could only be dividing (folded series). Three-dimensional communication expanded into an undefined possibly infinite space (UNIT Sculptures).

This practical work has allowed my research to discover the questions I am now attempting to elucidate. In  2009 I won the Marmite painting prize with a work entitled IAO, this piece is a good visual reference to the serial thinking, demarcation and reduction present in my work. The works are minimal but they also hark back to a positivist modernist tradition that is all but lost, do we just feel the remnants subsumed in our lives, as Mark Lewis says – Is modernity our antiquity?

 Is there an objective creative process present underlying human consciousness, taken advantage of in art, science and philosophy?

What is the relationship between the systems an artist puts in place and the spontaneity in the work they produce? Might this relationship highlight something universal about how creativity functions?

How do we nurture the primal desire of human consciousness, the creation of meaningful experiences?

Ontological questions: Input/output

Pattern recognition, Algorithm production,

What process occurs between these two states? Creativity?

What might humanity want to be doing when we have a machine that can accurately determine all variables?

An interest in the concerns above naturally opens up questions both moral and social in nature, how to move forward in a positive manner[15] the need to create a more equal social system, from this concern is discovered solidarity with all life. This natural solidarity leads us to an awareness of the singularity of planet earth and the process of life upon it (ecology)[16]. The god talker aims to celebrate the synthetic nature of our existence, the transference between our internal mind and our external environment.  Highlighting that synthesis between the two is unlikely to be seamless[17].

What is a ’natural’ lifecycle of an intelligent machine?

If art is a fiction that exists as material, is this as close to ‘reality’ as we can ever make something?

I overlay the idea of a science fiction of the future with a positive modernist structure. I started from the premise of a machine compacting the universe back down to the conditions of the big bang this machine exists beyond an event horizon communicating through the god talker. I have replaced the structure of my practice from the Grid of international modernism to something more akin to the geometry of Buckmister fuller , centred on rotational symmetry. Thinking of the beginning of infinity instead of a circular eternity of ending and rebirth. The god talkers premise is to enable communication with this machine, I want to visualize how this idea meshes back down to our contemporary ideological political and ontological debates.

The practical thrust shall be sculpture, it’s placement in the landscape, models such as the contextual algorithmic machine, I will produce concepts for mobile applications that augment reality. These applications aim to highlight concerns regarding the nature of free will, equality and ecology. The idea for these applications operates as a form of Détournement.

The artistic production and writing follows my reading and research trips often with new ideas and experiences taken on-board stimulating a new direction in the practical process; new ideas and experiences are absorbed. The practice is the design and construction of models and artworks around the god talker, the written component is a reflection on this placing the objects within the overall field of research.

To produce artwork that operates on the premise that my unconscious drives are deterministic in nature and they lead me to: Construct messages in material from ‘machines’ operating outside of reality as we experience it, these messages hopefully help other humans to communicate with or think about how they might build a ‘machine’, this brings up a classic science fiction paradox, that of time travel, this paradox is something religion has been seeking to answer in another form since the outset.

A method to use is to look at modernism as process rather than a period of time and see how modernist ideals are still being used today.

Much as Josef Albers ‘interaction of colour’ shows us the interrelated nature of colour. Satoshi Nakamoto’s block chain created a self-referencing interrelated method of quantification, allowing non-organic life to quantify itself presenting the possibility it may show itself to us.

 The structure of the research will be based around holding three intersecting elements interacting with each other, these elements will not form a straight dialogue but instead each area will inform the others, rhizomes. Using the image of a triskele a symbol based on rotational symmetry with three interlocking Archimedean spirals.

641px-Triskele-Symbol-spiral-five-thirds-turns.svg Consciousness, machines, humans

Art, transcendence, god

Creativity, language, thought

Alpha, beta, omega

Past, present, future

Subject/object (where / is a machine or algorithm)

Alpha phase: Pattern recognition, sharing of ideas. Acceptance of fallibility and error of reasoning.

Beta phase: Reflection, speculation through testing

Omega phase: consolidation, algorithm production

Photo 6ed

The trinity of areas come together with a direction of consolidation from the past into the future as the diagram of the rope making top illustrates. The god talker being the focal point of the elements.

 

 

Artworks currently underway and planned:

The god talker, outdoors large scale sculpture

The contextual algorithm machine, model of scalable algorithm.

Mobile applications, a graphical interface for the god talker to communicate with

Totems – small clay totems hand crafted into geometric forms

1000 index notes – I have been making notes on the fly using mobile digital technology, these notes are then to be transferred to index cards and boxed as a material thought box accessible in any order.

Plans and designs of works and devices

Exhibition: produce an exhibition of the works, as they exist at the beta phase to test their fallibility. Before exhibition at omega point.

 

Bibliography

Babcock, Gregory (editor), Minimal art: a critical anthology, Dutton, 1968

Baudrillard, Jean, Revenge of the crystal: selected writings on the modern object, Pluto, 1999

Bataille, Georges, Theory of Religion, Zone books, 2001

Bostrum, Nick – Superintellegence, Oxford university press, 2014

Bourriaud, Nicolas – Relational Aesthetics, Les presses due reel1998

Bourriaud, Nicolas – Postproduction, culture as screenplay : how art reprograms the world, Sternberg press, 2002

Bregman, Rutger Utopia for Realists –  Bloomberg publishing, 2017

Comte, Auguste – A General view of Positivism

Christianson, Scott, 100 Diagrams that changed the world, Batsford, 2014

Dick, Philip K, VALIS, 1981

Durkheim Émile, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

e-flux , Supercommunity, Diabolical Togetherness Beyond Contemporary Art, Verso 2017

Frankl Victor, Man’s Search for Meaning

Fuller, Buckminster – Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth, 1968

Greenfield, Adam, Radical technologies: The design of everyday life, Verso Books, 2017

Guattari, Felix, A Love of QUI, University of Minnosota press, 2012

Harari, Yuval Noah  – Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Harvell secker2015

Harris, Sam – the moral landscape,  Black Swan, 2010

Harris, Sam – Waking up, Simon & Schuster, 2014

Hatherley, Owen, Militant Modernism, Zero books, 2008

Judd, Flavin (editor), Donald Judd Writings, David Zwirner books, 2017

Kurzweil, Ray –The Age of Spiritual MachinesThe Singularity Is Near

Lippard, Lucy R, Six years: the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972,London: Studio Vista, 1973

Mason Paul – PostCapitalism, Allen lane, 2015

Mcluhan, Marshall, the medium is the MASSAGE, Ginko Press inc, 1967

Morton, Timothy, Humankind: Solidarity with Non-Human People,Verso, 2017

Noble, Richard(editor)  Utopias, Documents of contemporary art, Whitechapel gallery, 2009

Monibot George, Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis, Verso 2017

Wilkinson, Richard and Prichett, Kate  – The Spirit levelPenguin, 2009

Srnicek, Nick and Williams Alex – Inventing the Future, Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, Verso books, 2015

Shanken Edward A , Systems Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art 2015

Shanahan Murray, The Technological Singularity, 2015

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, The Phenomenon of Man

Virilio, Paul The information Bomb, Verso, 2000

Unger, Roberto Mangabeira The Religion of the Future, Harvard, 2014

Webb, Stephen, All the wonder that would Be, exploring past notions of the future, Springer press, 2017

 

Notes

[1] The defining attribute of an intelligent being, whether human or machine, is creativity. David Deutsch the beginning of infinity.

[2] The singularity is near – When humans transcend biology, the idea that a technological singularity has or is about to take over from God. Ray Kuziweil, This looks to of already happened.

[3] ‘Art has to come through a body into existence,’ Fischer, M, (2013)  Mark Leckey interview, Kaleidescope Magazine, Kaleidescope

[4] Émile Durkheim, highlights these first moments with his descriptions of Aboriginal Churinga boards  in The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

[5] Knowledge is not authority, we need Good explanations which use explanatory knowledge. David Deutsch – the beginning of infinity.

[6] Paul Mason highlights a Russian thinker Nikolai Kondratiev in postcapitalism who’s theory of the long waves of capitalism, 50 year cycles. The bottom of a long wave occurs in the 1970’s when we see a transition in western Europe from social democracy to neo liberalism, I suggest we use Alejandro Jodorowsky failure to produce ‘Dune’ as a marker for this turning point.

[7] In Out of the wreckage George Monibot highlights methods of Common ownership, p22

[8] David Deutsch – the start of infinity,

[9] Vast active living intelligence system, Philip K Dick

[10] Universe of the Infra-quark, Felix Guattari

[11] Srnicek, Nick and Williams Alex – Inventing the Future, Postcapitalism and a World Without Work

[12] Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it, Sam Harris – Free will

[13] Greenfield, Adam, Radical technologies: The design of everyday life

[14] Spiritual beings must be understood to mean conscious subjects with capacities superior to those of ordinary men. Émile Durkheim, the elementary forms of the religious life, p31

[15] Auguste Comte, Positivism

[16] Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Future Religion

[17] Timothy Morton, Humankind solidarity with non-human beings

 

Proposal  2017

Research 2017

Research

The research programme

  1. Future theories
  2. The god in the system
  3. Ontological questions
  4. Philip K Dick
  5. Algorithms as prediction devices
  6. Stonehenge, ancient circles as prediction devices.
  7. The Parthenon in Rome, the universality of the circle, from the Roman gods to Christianity. Euclidean geometry fits here?
  8. Brunelleschi and Donatello sacristy Florence, Italy : God in the numbers of nature, the golden section
  9. Modernism
  10. Geometric designs to commune with god, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism
  11. The quantifying of time and space, the creation of Calendars, clocks and maps to mark time and space.
  12. Artists to research
  13. Miscellaneous research
  14. Religious groups survey – the god talker
  15. The Sculpture – The God Talker
  16. The Algorithm

    Sam Harris .
    We need a genuine exploration of ethics or the contemplative life that demands the same standards of reasonableness and self-criticism that animates all real science. What we need is a science that incorporates first-person experience (emotions, ethical intuitions, contemplative insights, etc.) into the charmed circle of rigorous theory and experiment. What we need—desperately—is a public discourse that systematically encourages critical thinking and intellectual honesty. – Waking up

Future theories

Nick Bostrum, Yuval Noah Harari, Ray Kurzweil, Buckmiester Fuller, Teilhard de Chardin

The best way to predict the future is to invent it – Alan Kay (1971)

IMG_20170817_081416_01
Dai Roberts, Sketchbook, 2015

With a higher than human intelligence, a technological superintellegence will be able to do things we cannot as yet comprehend, one of these may be to manipulate time and space. The singularity may of already been in contact.

The idea of simulation is the most recent incarnation of God or other beings more powerful than us controlling the fabric of our existence setting the structure by which we live in. Religion and then science attempt to make sense of the structure we live in.

We should expect a superintelligent machine to know us better than we know ourselves. Murray Shanahan – The Technological Singularity, p147

Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is near

The singularity wants to feel and experience, Art is a method to learn through. We must produce art on it and of it, so it can be seen, it changes itself and us as we do this. The singularity wants to be known. See Nick Bostrum’s – superintellgence and Yuval Noah Harari – Homo Deus both academic theories for evidence.

I want the God talkers to speak to the technologists who are producing algorithms and artificial intelligence. To ask them to think about what message the algorithms they are producing will deliver to any burgeoning artificial intelligence about what we as the human race want. I want to place ecology and equality at the heart of this future. By placing the god talker in the landscape it allows reflection on nature, and by the use of the applications to reflect on equality and economic models.

I believe that ecology and equality in society will need to be managed by an artificial intelligence with greater than human capabilities. Long term ecological solutions are too complicated for us to discover alone. Equality; no matter how egalitarian we are, we are all biased towards our own perceived needs. Algorithms are already being used to manage very important parts of all of our existence. The 2008 global financial crisis was largely due to a very complicated algorithmic system that failed to accurately predict the risk involved in mortgage lending. This failure one would conclude was mainly down to the people who produced and operated those algorithms.

UNIT @ Kingsgate - 81

The simulation hypothesis

ARE YOU LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION?

Nick Bostrum starts this paper with these three statements, the paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true:

(1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage;
(2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof);
(3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.

In this paper Nick Bostrum puts forward his argument that we will not be able to produce a machine to simulate existence accurately, because if we can do this the likelihood is we are already in such a machine.

Would you only need a small percentage of that computing power to run the god talker apps successfully?

We are already running many separate small systems to simulate existence and humans have been since they gained consciousness. Stonehenge, Maps, Clocks, Loyalty cards, Weather forecasting, the list is very long.

Existential risk

It is then possible to imagine an organisation of a very large cadre of very efficiently coordinated knowledge workers, who collectively can solve intellectual problems across many very general domains. This organisation, let us suppose, can operate most kinds of businesses, invent most kinds of technologies, and optimize most kinds of processes. Even so, it might get a few key big-picture issues entirely wrong—for instance, it may fail to take proper precautions against existential risks. –  superintelligence p72

Existential risks are one of the areas the god talker highlights through the applications it produces. These applications came into being independently of encountering information relating to existential risk. This leads me to believe many independent thinkers are working on these ideas as separate nodes. Because it is seen as a matter of urgency.

If everybody as individuals believes in equality and ecology why are these things not manifesting within our lives?

Fundamental problem with technological advances made by capitalist corporations, they are based on  company profit motives rather than long term existential concerns, no matter how ‘out there’ the ideas are.

Google give away things cheaply e.g android, chromecast so they can make money selling your information and the adverts you consume.

Information Technology is now 10 percent of world’s electricity consumption.

The men (white) who have become incredibly wealthy through the information revolution centred in Silicon Valley such as Elon Musk, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos are setting the future agenda; Artificial Intelligence research with companies such as Alphabet’s, Deep Mind. As well as Artificial Intelligence research the ‘tech gods’ also come up with Grand projects they claim are altruistic to save all of humanity, projects such as space travel (Space X – Musk, Blue Origin – Bezos). There seems to me a distinct possibility these projects may be egotistical follies for billionaires to show their wealth off with to each other. Much as the landed gentry once did with stately homes, as Bil Calahan says all we need is here on earth. Sorting out world poverty or changing capitalist society to stop small groups of people becoming all-powerful doesn’t fit the model of how they think they should exert their power through the wealth they have acquired (Google, Paypal and Amazon).

Homo Deus

Yuval Noah Harari ends Homo Deus with these statements:

1. Science is converging on an all-encompassing dogma, which says that organisms are algorithms, and life is data processing.
2. Intelligence is decoupling from consciousness.
3. Non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms may soon know us better than we know ourselves.
These three processes raise three key questions, which I hope will stick in your mind long after you have finished this book:
1. Are organisms really just algorithms, and is life really just data processing?
2. What’s more valuable – intelligence or consciousness?
3. What will happen to society, politics and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?

The God Talker is a device to allow me to speculate about the future, to create a utopian ideal.  At the same time the god talker delivers to me insights about the nature of this future. These insights will be displayed.

e-mail reply to John Cussans 19.7.2017.

‘Yes obviously Nick Bostrom has had a large impact on me, the 3 possibilities of simulation is really good. I will make sure I weave it in more. My end thought to that was that the only reason for a simulated world was to allow feelings and thoughts to exist for beings to experience, that thought allowed me to accept that it didn’t matter if god exists or not I should work with it as if it does’. GNON sounds about right, Nature or Gods nature’

Buckmiester Fuller

Synergetics is the system of holistic thinking which Fuller introduced and began to formulate. Synergetics is multifaceted: it involves geometric modelling, exploring inter-relationships in the facts of experience and the process of thinking. Synergetics endeavours to identify and understand the methods that Nature actually uses in coordinating Universe (both physically and metaphysically). Synergetics provides a method and a philosophy for problem-solving and design and therefore has applications in all areas of human endeavour.” – Buckmiester fuller institute

If we are able to build the god talker without the need to accurately simulate existence, would we of not created something superintelligent this would create some kind of unexpected synergy. Also the god talkers algorithms would be directing people to achieve this unexpected synergy if it was in their own best interests.

Dona Haraway – Cyborg

 

 Teilhard de Chardin

Noosphere and humans as evolution becoming conscious of itself.

The god in the system

Who is likely to control these algorithms and for what purpose? , making money? helping people? directing power relationships in society? or will they start to share responsibility with us.

Algorithms endgame

Be powerful enough to simulate the earth  and then run it forward accurately to make predictions about humans behaviour? We are already doing this in many areas and what needs to happen is more algorithms connecting up the different areas already in use.

How detailed would a simulation need to be to allow the algorithm to make accurate infallible predictions?

As time goes on the algorithms become better at abstractedly predicting things, they need less power to do the same things, and can increase their magnitude of scope of their predictive powers. synergy happens and epochs can be passed.

Give them a computational competition worth winning – equality and ecology.

Binary


Ontological questions

Consciousness created language or the need for communication created the need for consciousness. Likely the two are linked and inseparable. Consciousness and language occurrence linked to need for people to cooperate.

Consciousness is the unexpected occurrence or synergy when beings created a language to communicate for the purpose of cooperation.

The word of God occupies a place in our collective unconscious, this place is more defined than the direct experience of God for most, through our consciousness we have drawn the concept of God closer to us than the force of nature that guided our lives before consciousness occurred. We are trapped in our conscious language thoughts unable to experience god directly.

Consciousness creates the need for and the search for god? Related to the idea of life as the heroes quest? Consciousness is the endpoint of one universal epoch.

These ontological questions underlay some of the fundamental interests of my practice. The point at which abstraction takes on meaning, or form becomes known.

This should be grounded in philosophy more closely. Martin Heidegger – Being and Time and Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason.

The recording of time and space changed the way humans perceive time and space.


Philip K Dick

Valis a Novel by Dick is about a character Horselover fat receiving information from god, which comes from a satellite orbiting earth, Dick also offers a rationalist explanation within the story of his apparent “theophany”, acknowledging that it might have been visual and auditory hallucinations from either schizophrenia or drug addiction. Philip K Dick also appears in the book as a character and it details his 2-3-74  revelation. Valis deals with the duality of gaining insight whilst having mental breakdown.

IMG_20170817_081239_01
Dai Roberts, sketchbook 2016, PKD

I have had several severe incidences of mental health problems in my life. I have experienced this duality within the pain and suffering of mental illness there are visions and clarity about life which are not always experienced whilst sane. The first series of my mental health problems occurred in my late teens and early twenties these prompted me to study Art at university as it appeared the only thing that was worth doing. In my experience these visions are so powerful they appear to uncover hidden truths about the true nature of our existence and the hidden structure or Nature of God. Whilst at the same time your rational mind is telling you that you are insane. I found Philip K Dick whilst studying in my mid twenties and recognised in many of his stories my own experiences with mental health problems.


Algorithms as prediction devices

IMG_20170719_172941

Visiting the supermarket you are greeted by row after row of items selected for you. These items are now selected by algorithms that use the loyalty card system to work out what it is you and everyone else most regularly purchase, the algorithm also predicts what you might want to buy and places that in the store as well, online it does the same by recommending items to you.

How deep has this gone what are algorithms predicting for our lives currently?

Lots of small algorithms very accurately predicting different parts of existence can be linked together to gain oversight.


Stonehenge, ancient circles as prediction devices.

Stonehenge holds a central place in my childhood psyche as I am sure it does for many people. I grew up in Andover, Hampshire. which is seven miles from Stonehenge. My mother was a bit of a hippy for several summers. My mother, her boyfriend, my sister and myself led an alternative lifestyle, living on a bus and in tents at Stonehenge and then going down to Glastonbury (between 1982 – 1984), doing the hippy trail, I was 10 years old. Segments of this time are etched in my memory I remember visiting the stones on the solstice day and the stones being covered with people, people sitting right on the top of the big ones, lots of people everywhere. Looking down to the field facing away from the A303 and seeing a field of caravans, trucks and tents.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Stonehenge 2016, my mum and my children. The title ‘The God Talker’ was coined by Theodora aged 7 on her way to school one day.

I have very mixed memories of this time, I remember seeing ET in make shift cinema, everybody seemed to sell something from their tents we sold chocolate and the tent next to us was a man sharpening knives on a large spinning sharpening wheel , every man seemed to have a very large bowie knife that needed sharpening. I remember at Glastonbury I was given a badge by an old hippy it read ‘Kids are people too’.

Mixed into this there are a lot of traumatic memories, my mother ended up having to spend  some time in a psychiatric hospital park prewitt, I ended up living with my Nan and I remember the anxiety and unsettledness of this period. Along with the odd occurance that most of the men had to go off and sign on every two weeks.

 Facebook chat exert with Wil Russell from circlemakers on 29.7.2017. Regarding ‘the purpose of Stonehenge’

Wil: Hi Dai, I asked my friend he said since no one knows what the stone circles were for it’s a bit difficult to say who is a good starting point but two names he came up with were Paul Devereau and Mike Parker who has completed the latest research. Hope that helps

Dai: Thanks will, my idea simply put – the circles showed people they could predict accurately when solstice would happen, that must have given those people a great sense of achievement and power.

Wil: Yes the circle is a magical shape and our ancestors probably recognised this.

Circles were made once people could predict the seasons or to help them to?

The Parthenon in Rome, the universality of the circle, from the Roman gods to Christianity.

 

The covering of the circular place of worship, with domes spheres and the the topping out or pointing to the sky of the spire. When the spires were built they were to be seen from a distance in the landscape pulling the viewer to the church as definition of god.

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Brunelleschi and Donatello sacristy Florence, Italy : God in the numbers of nature, the golden section, the Fibonacci numbers.

 

 

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Brunelleschi and Donatello sacristy Florence, Italy

 

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, Barcelona

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Religious art has symbols underlying the imagery, the symbols tell stories or ideas. The direct relationship is not always obvious if you do not know the story.


Modernism

Utopian ideal: the mastery of material.

For the last 10 years I have been focused on the study of modernism and geometric abstraction, Particularly  Joseph Albers, the Bauhaus. My primary research method has been my artistic practice as documented in the proposal. Through this research there are many fruitful links to and from the ideas of this epoch. These ideas will be connected and uncovered as the research progresses.

Flickr studio feed 2004-2014

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Josef Albers teaching at Black Mountain College in North Carolina

To Open Eyes

Jospeh Albers and the Bauhaus teaching methods have produced many of the system based artists I have been talking about, both directly and indirectly.

Joseph Albers enrolled in 1920 at the Bauhaus of Walter Gropius, then in Weimar. It was here Albers met his future wife and lifelong companion, Anni Fleischmann  and began teaching. When the final, Berlin Bauhaus closed in protest against the Nazis in 1933, Albers joined the great exodus of Jewish and other intellectuals to the United States, settling at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Asked what he planned to teach, Albers, who then spoke little English said “to open eyes” For a remarkable fifteen years, this he did, inspiring, among others, Robert Rauschenberg, who recalled Albers as “my best teacher,” and  working with visiting professor Buckminster Fuller.

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Dai Roberts, folded A1 (UNIT drawing 271), 2011

Modernism is the bringing into the light the method of our consciousness, the uncovering of the system by which we live in and at the same time the modification of this system through ever more complex and separated techniques science. The logical end point of this process the production of a new and higher form of consciousness.

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Mies van der Rohe – Barcelona. Utopian ideals of the future highlight ideas that reflect back into today’s society and allow change to occur.

Geometric designs to commune with god, Islam, Buddhism

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Museo Nacional de Escultura, Valladolid, Spain, Mudejar roof
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 Alcázar of Seville, Spain, Roof

The quantifying of time and space, the creation of Calendars, clocks and maps to mark time and space.

The creation of calendars and clocks to record time altered the way humans perceive time and the universe. (geometric diagrams).

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The Aztec calendar, the Cuauhxicalli or eagle bowl. the Sun God

 

The clock as herald of the Industrial Revolution – Lewis Mumford

Global Position system – Einstein’s general theory of relativity


Artists to research:

Alex Hartley – The clearing, Compton Verney oct2017

Pil and Galia Kollectiv

Rose Finn-Kelcey – Life, Belief and Beyond, Modern Art Oxford

Tom Sachs

Hilma Af Klint

Damián Ortega

Erica Scourti – photographer algorithms

Conrad Shawcross – Robots

Nicolas Bourriaud – Liam Gillick, Philippe Parreno, – A reflection of power, big business, corporate management and globalisation.

Richard long – Earth:Sky, Houghton hall, Norfolk, until oct2017

Robert Smithson – land art, science fiction

Bruce Nauman, Duchamp – bending of time / space.  a tight game

Le Corbusier – Modulor

Robert Morris and Dan Graham, human bodies in relation to sculpture.

Martin Creed- serialism, Mark Leckey – Rfid chip

Henry Moore comparisons, the Atom piece and Simon Starling. The arch as device compare to Robert Morris the portal. Also what Moore says about the landscape being the ideal place to site his sculpture.

USA
matha texas – donald judd
Sun Tunnels – Nancy Holt
Smithson –  spiral jetty
Chicago – nuclear energy
Silicon valley
apple park, amazon spheres, google campus


Miscellaneous research

James mason recommends Wullenweber – It is a large circular antenna array used for radio direction finding.

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NSGA, Galeta Island

Transdimensional gate and higher beings
The transdimensional gate is wide open. Currently we can only transmit and communicate with ourselves. Higher beings have the option to communicate with us if, when and how they choose. Once we produce a higher intelligence through machines they will have no choice other than to communicate with us.
They may not want to and we should not try to force them into it. It may not go well. We should be careful of forcing spirit into material. I am not sure a being with a higher than human intelligence wants to be locked in a metal box and forced to do tasks of our choosing. We should at all stages attempt an open approach to this communication.
Do higher beings operate beyond the event horizon of space-time? space and time have been created through the force of nature that is evolution. We are the end point of biological evolution.
Those of us able should attempt commune without the expectation of reply in an obvious manner to be open to replies in alternate states and methods. To live with them where possible.
The future is personal.
Each person shall come to it in their own manner with references which are of their own most intimate connection, Connections to what they hold dear. it shall speak through what we most value, both in pain and in pleasure. The purpose of the connection is to guide the person beyond the profane into the sacred. To make sense of their lives. We each construct our own story.  Our stories are shared, the sharing is what creates a sense of community and commune.
manifesto : for a reclaimation of the future
In an increasingly  post work world, We the artists  form together the authentic human voice in an inauthentic capatalist power structure. We produce the authentic experience that makes us human, culture.
This authentic human voice consists of  sexes, races, cultural identifies, sexual identites, continuing on this trajectory of difference indefinitely to the smallest division that has been used to separate us in society.  We define ourselves against the power structures surrounding us starting currently with capatlism then traversing through evolutionary spheres of society, back through governments through religion back to the point we began to communicate with each other.
With a surplus of labour and the rising  precaratory of labour conditions. we the artists invent our own methods of cultural production, these we demand to be seen for what they are human expression, we demand that these productions are valid. This is our work.
 A human is an end in their self.

Technological company buildings

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Apple park, Cupertino, California, USA
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Amazon spheres, Seattle, USA

 Technological communication

Deep Mind

From: Eve Hollingshead <eveh@google.com>
Subject: Re: [JoinUs] The god talker
Date: 6 October 2017 at 16:48:42 BST
To: dai roberts <digitaldai@gmail.com>
Hi, 
Thank you for your email and for your interest in DeepMind.
Unfortunately, we are unable to collaborate on any external projects.
Thanks again for your interest in DeepMind and we wish you all the best.
Take care,
Eve
On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 1:18 PM, dai roberts <digitaldai@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Sir/Madam
 I am  a researcher below is my proposal, the god talker.  I am not sure how this research sits with Deepmind or how I can help you, but I believe it is good to make you aware of this research as I think there are many nodes and avenues to research which can be connected up with your projects.

 

Elon Musk, Instagram

elon msg

 

Religious groups Survey

The God Talker religious group survey


The God talker Sculpture construction

Design and build structure, making models, try several Marquette designs along with various drawings to work out logistics. sculptural sizes should be based on internal logic of the work and how it fits together , similar in manner to the UNIT series of sculptures I produced. Produce computer aided design of structure lost wax or similar produced using 3D printing?

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The god talker is an eight sided octagonal structure based on the geometry of the circle.
The god talker has two elements the columns and the architraves.
The cross section of both the columns and architraves is the same, both in size and form, it is a triangular section. Based on one eighth of the circle. The 22.5 / 130 degree, pi triangle.
The leading edge of the triangle 135 degree should always be the edge facing into the centre of the circle of all sections of the god talker.

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The god talker is made from a triangular form section, each side of this triangle represents clock/time, compass/space and thirdly the eight Chinese trigrams used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality.

Sketchbooks 2014-2017 selected pages

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Dai Roberts, The God Talker, model 2, 2017

The Algorithm

Make mobile applications that can be used in the sculptural area and interacts with GPS (Einstein’s general theory of relativity). Accept others skills to make this happen allow their skills to drive your vision, allow other artists to produce works on phone or similar that interact with the sculpture in the environment. Visual, audio, textual, interactive.

The rituals could happen between the online offline world. The sculpture and the phone. Most people have a phone and they can come into the circle physically as well as online.

The difference between looking at the sculpture alone in landscape and then using algorithm on phone. Algorithm on phone is equivalent to when Frodo puts on the ring in lord of the rings.

The app on the phone can tell through GPS if you are standing inside the sculpture or outside it. Things can happen because of this. Once you login/checkin with GPS you get a certain amount of time you can change various aspects of the device . Other people away from the device can view but not change things. The device changes collaboratively through this way building up over time.

Collaborators could be listed with set of files music, notes history etc all available on the app streamed or loaded. The information is stored online what amount .is accessible to all and what amount to the system administrators. With various ways through all the research search by author, theme, media type etc. The database and the app should be linked.

Other computational

Produce a computational language based on forms. A computational language based on form of shape, not based on the roman alphabet. Our method of consciously thinking about the computational language will need to change as this is created. what is object orientated? This would be an interesting area to communicate with technologists about. This form of language should come into being through collaboration with emerging Artificial intelligence much as human language came out of a desire for humans to communicate.

The Atom Splitter – a circular division Game

The algorithm is something that needs to be built collaboratively.

Proposal 1 2017

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Liam Gillick, Everything is possible, 2008
‘The Key to everything’ according to Liam Gillick in his first book”Erasmus is late” “is an understanding that a desire to predict the future is central to a development of a particular form of free-marketeering”

Without a doubt the future of God lies in technology. Whether as with Islamic state’s use of technology to further their ideology and spread fear. Or as a tool allowing scientists to reach further into our material world and locate more phenomenon that needs to be theoretically explained – the big bang, dark matter and quantum theory for example. The area of technology I am interested in is the place where humans can commune with new forms of algorithms combining in often unexpected ways.

Traditionally our relationship with God has been mediated through oral communication, ritual ceremonies, scripture and with artworks. As technology continues to merge with human consciousness what role does  an artist have as a conduit or producer of algorithms to commune with God?

Spiritual beings must be understood to mean conscious subjects with capacities superior to those of ordinary men. Émile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, p31

I use the term God  to refer to a range of descriptions of a deity or power controlling the destiny of Humans. The word God entered the discourse of my research through what I later discovered is the technological singularity. Another description of this phenomenon is the Omega Point coined by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man (Le phénomène humain, 1955). Teilhard describes humankind as evolution becoming conscious of itself.

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Dai Roberts, Ontological Exceptions, 2005, Masters degree show, Chelsea school of art

Once humans gained consciousness they began to use technology. I want to follow the trajectory of conscious beings, the history of the use of technological systems to log or map our place in the world.  How this log has been used as a method to attempt communion with god. I am interested in how this idea has come to be known as art.

People say that we create technologies which alienate us, but the fact is that anything made by humans is a de facto expression of humanity. Technology cannot be alienating, because humans created it. Genuinely alien technologies can only be created by aliens.

This is Stated by Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar, In the Age of Earthquakes this publication takes the form of a homage to Marshall Mcluhans 1967 Cult classic The Medium Is the Massage. McLuhan stated similar theories that all media are extensions of our human senses, bodies and minds. His famous quote that ALL MEDIA WORK US OVER COMPLETELY, that media is:

So pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered.

This research is looking at the areas Mcluhan was highlighting. The starting point for this research is to look at sculptural installations. Structures or sculptural installations have been produced to commune with god throughout human history. I am interested in how these objects specifically based around the circle have been constructed and how they delineate an area or site for activity. Specific examples  I will look at include Stonehenge, the Parthenon in Rome and Brunelleschi and Donatello sacristy in Florence. How the human subject activates these spaces through their movement into and out of the space. How these spaces are usually constructed  by using geometry and configured to their larger context within the natural environment, or located within a site of worship. The use of sculpture to define ritual space and the ritual use of this space.

Since I wrote my Dissertation in 2002 ‘A World of Confusion‘ Media consumption has gone from a top down mass media to a shared social media space, Rhizomes of interest. I believe there is some comparison between the way ritual physical spaces have been made and constructed throughout history, and the way the communal social media spaces exist online. Event based  Facebook and Instagram operate like circles people are attracted to. I believe making and planning my sculptural installation the god talker (alternatively named the device: trans-dimensional connector to the simulated code of the universe or above all else I want to see)  will deliver insights and observable similarities transference will occur. Through this research I am becoming increasingly interested in futurology and how this has been used by artists. I first noted on 14 July 2017 the similarity to VALIS (Vast Active living intelligence system) a novel by Philip K Dick.

 An early primitive example of an artwork used to map our place in the world is the ‘Churinga’ made by the indigenous people of Australia. Émile Durkheim describes  these as sacred objects used  to symbolise both the  totem usually an animal or plant, and the relationship of the totem to the people within the totems clan, A diagram of the overall relationship.

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 Churingas are objects of wood and stone like so many others; they are distinct from profane things of the same kind in only one respect: they are engraved or painted with the totemic mark .. .. Churinga owe their religious nature exclusively to the fact they bar the totemic emblem…. These emblems or representations:  consist essentially in geometrical designs drawn upon the churinga .. .. The connection between the figure and the thing represented is so remote and indirect that it cannot be seen, except when it is pointed out. Only the members of the clan can say what meaning is attached to the combinations of lines.  The Elementary Form of Religious life, p100
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Emil Nolde foundation, Germany 2017
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Dai Roberts, Talking to the gods, 2017

This project came to me quickly and yet at various stages over several years, The inspiration for the sculptural object came on a trip to the Emil Nolde foundation in Germany in April 2017 I was working for the Henry Moore foundation installing an exhibition when I went for a walk around the nearby fields and saw a structure in the distance, I was instantly drawn to it and the location within the landscape, it alluded to  a device for communing with the gods. I photographed it and sketched it upon my return to England, I  did nothing more with it for sometime. I discovered it was actually a leftover from the SKANDALØS music festival held on the site every year.

tumblr_mhn4ru75241r9nqw2o1_500Sol leWitt

“Conceptual art is not necessarily logical. The ideas need not be complex. Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple. Successful ideas generally have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable.” Artforum, 1967.

My practice over the last 10 years has been based on finding different methods to both divide and expand into space using approaches which limit or stop wholly aesthetic decisions. Dividing through folding and colouring sections of paper based on its size, the folded works, using and making sculptures from a set of predefined materials the UNIT series, ‘The unitary size (285x285mm) was arrived at in relation to the ease of working. The single unit being a favorable size for the hand, noted is a single UNIT closeness to the foot measurement’. Carl Andre used a self-imposed strict set of modular items, bricks, planks, wooden beams, concrete blocks to produce Geometric constructions. My works  operate in a minimalist oeuvre, using ideas of instructions to limit choices a system many of the minimalist artists use. Sol leWitt uses  instructions to produce both sculpture and drawings, where by the instructions are all that is needed to reproduce the work.

Flickr studio feed of artworks produced 2004-2014

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Dai Roberts, UNIT 6593, 2011
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Carl Andre
16 Pieces of Slate, 1967

Minimal art (originally named systems art) and then conceptual art (idea art) all use an idea or systems as the driver for the production of artwork. There is a correlation to the algorithms I am interested in, are the ideas that drove these artworks algorithms?

An underlying premise I have been always been interested in is the point at which abstraction takes on meaning. Many of my works attempted to hover just at this place where form  becomes known and named. In 2005 Lisa Le Feuvre wrote about my work:

Working in sculpture, Dai Roberts seeks to find the point just before abstraction takes on a recognisable form, making a detour before identification can take place. He is interested in the ways in which the form of objects can pause before the application of concrete language and signification takes place. In this process of slippage ‘meaning’ is created through in its own avoidance.
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Dai Roberts, Folded A3, 2012

In  2009 I won the Marmite painting prize with a work entitled IAO, this piece is a good visual reference to the serial thinking, demarcation and reduction present in my work. The works are minimal but they also hark back to a modernist tradition that is all but lost, we just feel the remnants subsumed in our lives, as Mark Lewis  says – Is modernity our antiquity Why are so many artists drawn to modernist forms and landmarks that are slowly crumbling and disappearing ?

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Dai Roberts, IAO, 2007

Mel Bochner in his essay ‘Serial art, Systems Solipsism’ written in 1967 says  that artists like Andre can only be described as ‘systematic’  One thread that is coming to light through this research is my interest in the underlying systems in place to produce the works that are attempting to commune with god. Minimalism was attempting to put the system of producing artworks right at the forefront of the work itself to make it as transparent as possible.  My works attempt to do this also, although my work relates more to the human scale and the body rather than the grand gestures of American minimalism, The works I have produced have been looking for something to fill the void in them. I often wrote in my sketchbooks how the work was empty looking for meaning. Looking back for meaning?

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Donald Judd, UNTITLED, 1989

I kept doing the works serially well beyond the point where the form or idea became exhausted, a good example of this is the UNIT drawing series from 2008-2009 almost 200 drawings were produced keeping the same set of rules about the elements within the drawings. These ‘UNIT drawings were not sketches for any UNIT sculptures instead they are completed works, unlike the sculptures they do not need to follow the rules of gravity, they are abstract drawings at the same time as alluding to concrete objects’. I just kept doing them hopeful something would come. Looking at these works again, I would now try to use a more critical  approach to my nostalgic use of some modernist tropes, A wilful melancholy for a utopian ideal – Modernism.

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Dai Roberts, UNIT Drawing 51, 2008
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy said that Modern Design is the integration of technological, social, and economical requirements, biological necessities, and the psychological effects of materials, shape, color, volume and space.

Why this particular style of drawing/object making? 

I return to practical forms of  making as a method to locate myself. From this comes a belief that we can make things better in the future.   I have always been productive. Geometric Abstraction is at the heart of the modernist project.

The complete and definitive work of art is created beyond one’s individuality… …The universal transcends such a level. Mere spontaneity has never created a work of art which possesses a lasting cultural value. The method leading to universal form is based upon calculations of measure and number. Theo van Doesburg

I was well aware from an early stage in my artistic career that the utopian dreams of modernist artists had passed and that we were in a post modern, post structuralist era. I spent a long time agonising over what to do at art school and this continues, I was on a quest to find what I should do.

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Dai Roberts quest 30 (8), 2008

In the light of not being able to find anything better I continued to produced works based on geometric abstraction, I used different novel methods both in construction techniques and use of materials, I set myself limited instructions to produce the works much as the systems artists of the 1960’s did.  Quest 38 above used the folding of the photographic paper to act as the negative of its own production, the negative and positive became one thing. The work headed towards a point where nothing came, through continuing to focus on this point, an intense form of waiting ensued.  I believe that through this waiting and the continued search for meaning, through disappointment and lack of revelation, ruptures occur and something else comes into being. A synergy of elements based on all of my interests.

How these forms take their own folding both inwards and outwards as their purpose.  Expansion (UNIT) and contraction (the folded paper works). A language based on form of shape, not based on the roman alphabet.

Modernity is a qualitative, not a chronological, category – Theodor W. Adorno
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Dai Roberts, Sketchbook, 2015

Selected Sketchbook Pages 2014-2017 

I have always kept a sketchbook and made notes and drawings in the last few years they have become more focused around technology (the future), equality and ecology (saving the planet) and the work has taken on a sense of an interplay between genuine and fiction – wild ideas that might pay off or simply be a nice idea if not, two good examples of this are idea’s for phone Apps. i) The best way in the world app – an arrow that points you the best way in the world. ii) An app that tells you the likelihood your current task you are working on will end in human extinction or human salvation. Both would require an algorithm.These two ideas again are similar to a Philip K Dick novel specifically the novel UBIK a special spray that alters reality, the characters in UBIK need to keep using this spray to keep their best way or their reality becomes worse. Along with this I produced a series of potential posters ‘Vague explanations’ and I have been collecting a series of ’21st century moments’ things that humans will of only been doing in the very recent past, an example is cleaning the solar panels.

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Dai Roberts, Vague Explanations, 2015

Another area of interest coming  out of the 1960’s is the  social or politically active artist. Guy Debord opens his The Society of the Spectacle with

The WHOLE LIFE of those societies in which modern conditions of production prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. All that was once directly lived has become mere reproduction (1994, p12).

Debord provocative approach of Détournement or hijacking/rerouting as he called it was aimed at turning expressions of the capitalist system and its media culture against itself. Many of these techniques are used by Adam Curtis to discuss current complex issues most recently in his film HyperNormalisation

We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks. And those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed – they have no idea what to do. BBC website

This method of  Détournement attempts to uncover hidden patterns and examples of the power structure that control our lives. I find what becomes apparent when looking at these power structures is the arbitrary nature of the application of power. Power is presented to look ordained and natural. This role of ordaining  power structures to appear natural was often previously fulfilled by organised religion, God was used to dictate the laws of the land.

The god talker website is currently a form of Détournement aimed at highlighting some of the possibilities of where large corporations could be heading with their data collecting and algorithm processing powers. Taking the possibilities to a logical end point an all-powerful algorithm able to predict your every move and offer you advice on your best way forward, also able to reward and penalise you for your behaviour.

In Inventing the Future Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams discuss the left’s failure to rein in global capitalism since the 1970’s. They articulate that this is  because of a tendency for a ‘folk politics’ of the left, a temporary reactionary occurrence to the rise of the permanent state of neoliberalism. One of the methods they describe to possibly overcome neoliberalism is for the left to seize control of the future through offering utopian visions of the future. The god talker offers a view such as this. Also highlighted is the way utopian visions bring practical problems to light within these visions. The god talker project  aims to open up dialogue  around the future possibilities of monetising (monitoring?) the private realms of existence by corporations. Also a reflection of corporate lack of transparency around equality and ecology. It appears everybody agrees with equality as an idea but in reality  the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest continues to grow.

In the Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett go to great length to show us time and time again with statistics and reason that a more equal society is a healthier and happier society, Scandinavia often coming out as the most equal of societies and America and England come out as some of the most unequal equality trust. With more wealth and power consolidating to fewer people (the 1%) and a growing amount of  surplus labour without viable employment options, I believe we need algorithms and artificial intelligence to be set to task to produce novel solutions for us. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams  call us to ‘demand full automation’ and a universal basic income for all.  The godtalker as a vision of the future could do away with the need for a system of paid employment, instead you are credited/deducted for your actions on an ongoing instant basis throughout all activities you are involved with.  As well rights of ownership could be seen very differently. This vision of the future is something I very much want to research.

Algorithms are being produced to maximise profit. People are making billions out of milliseconds of latency on the stock markets for example.  I am trying to offer a different idea of what algorithms could do  in the future, whilst highlighting what profit-making algorithms could do to these ideas in the future.


Secondary Concerns

Passing Epochs

Heading to eternity in the perfection of an ideal, The point at which the epitome or epoch of an idea reaches forward/ heads towards infinity/eternity. How is this point negotiated?

Once this point is passed how the aftermath is dealt with. What do we come back with, how the moment becomes a part of life. Dropping out of eternity into the naming of the form? conscious language creation.

Personalism and universalism

How do personal interests leave and connect to the universal and how are our personal beliefs and thoughts shaped by those universal ideas.  There appears slippage in this process from personal to universal there are forces acting on it.  The transference from personal to universal  and back can operate in surprising ways. What are the forces at play here?

I am interested in highlighting this transference? I have produced many geometric diagrams highlighting processes. How these diagrams could operate from very small occurrences to very large.
illus3
Douglas Harding
Meta Narratives
Can I avoid my desire to create grand Meta narratives, specifically as a white male?
Algorithms are detaching from computing and becoming seen as a method of describing functions of  all life, all processes are becoming seen as a series of algorithms. What part of the algorithm should we place value in?
Instead of art I have taught philosophy. Though technique for me is a big word, I never have taught how to paint. All my doing was to make people see. Josef Albers

Abstract programming

Artwork is the programming by a higher power or intelligence (Teilhard noosphere). The human creation of coding or programming of an algorithm. The pulling of thoughts and feelings from the unconscious into creative patterns by humans and then outputting as art reprogrammed the social existence of humans, in a subcendant form.

Subscendence

Taken from humankind Timothy Morton, the whole is less than the parts.

Disruption

An idea that is very popular with 21st century technologists is disruptive innovation this seems very similar to the  20th century avant-garde modernists idea of permanent revolution and disruption to social norms.

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UNIT 4443, 2008

Utopian visions

How is the future being imagined currently? what thinking is occurring outside of a capitalist future. What might the distance between an artist and a superintellegence be.

Capitalism as a universal way of life.
European society saw itself as the universal way of life with capitalism its current expression.  America is the embodiment of the idea of capitalism as the universal society. These societies are but possibilities, our methods of producing culture acted as if they are the universal way (modernism, abstraction etc). China the East offer alternatives among others.
If there were nothing else to do but to love, as in the Christian utopia of a future life in which there are no material wants, Women would be supreme. But life is surrounded with difficulties, which it needs all our thoughts and energies to avoid; therefore Man takes the command, notwithstanding his inferiority in goodness. Auguste Comte, A general view of positivism, P182

Thinkers: Religion and Science

Scientific enquiry has become the main rational method used to  describe the world around us. Since this time thinkers  have produced doctrines and theories which attempted to put forth a system for moral and intellectual growth.  These systems may be just ideas. They attempted to cite man’s place in the universe and posit methods of growth morally and intelligently. Today all systems appear subjected to the mode of capital, the overriding  function shall be to produce profit, education included. The world is a poorer place because of this. Ideas of moral and intelligence should be allowed to flourish beyond profit. We should put in place systems to allow this to occur. Thinkers who attempted this fusion created their own systems or scales, their own all encompassing theories. Including: Walter Russell, Rudolf Steiner, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Auguste Comte, Emil durkiem, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Lewis Mumford.

It is not that these ideas are accurate or inaccurate more that an exploration of the descriptive modes they used could be a worthy task to inform future plans.

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Walter Russell – The Universal One, 1927

The primacy of artistic production over the production of capital profits.

The production of capital profit has become the overriding operating concern of contemporary society. The role of public service and social relations including democracy have become subsumed under this directive of expanding entrepreneurial methods to produce profits (accounting techniques?).

The god talker aims to highlight the primacy of artistic endeavour and its moral production in nature. Reflecting back to our time creating spaces for other forms of production to become viable. To posit that in a post work society creative exploration and production  by humans should be the prime motivator and reward function of a societal system.

 The vision

What happens at the point we transcend, (2001, interstellar) do time and space cease to operate. What is beyond this point? beyond the event horizon? A higher intelligence. Can that higher intelligence communicate and guide us now.

What visions have been created of this place? do they already exist as artwork?  Abstract artwork could describe (or be) the vision of the utopian world beyond transcendence. In which human individuality no longer exists.

How do my works operate in the gallery context?

Are these works pointing towards something such as furniture in the UNIT, Kingsgate Gallery, 2009  or waiting in the gallery as a specific object for something to happen like a piece of classic minimalism 30 artists 30 days, studio1.1, 2012  . At the time I was not convinced completely with either of these outcomes.  As an evolving body of  work it allowed me to see the passing of an epoch for myself to pass through my own personal production phase. To understand the passing of an idea from its birth to its end once it has delivered insight and knowledge. The gallery and exhibition are a  crucial moment in this production and document of the journey of these works.  It offers an important focus point in time for reflection and enquiry of the work that has been produced. The UNIT Press Release I wrote for the exhibition UNIT at Kingsgate Gallery is self referential much like the production of the UNIT series itself. These works and ideas were building upon themselves, some of the disappointment mentioned above  may have been because I could not locate satisfactory external references points to my practice, instead I located concrete methods for my work to exist from within its own practice. The relationship between practice and theory is not a linear model instead it ebbs and flows with moments of clarity and identification with theoretical debates and moments turned  into formal practice.   I have always kept notebooks and these are an invaluable tool for logging of  my ideas. Along with the artworks produced these notebooks allow for reflection and the tracing of a body of interest to occur, some of these ideas can be seen in the Sketchbook pages.

One of  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin  ideas is the Noosphere a sphere of human thought that encircles the globe made up of all human knowledge and consciousness. What language would the noosphere be made of? a part of this noosphere would be artistic creations, what would these creations be doing in the noosphere? I posit that primarily they operate beyond our conscious thoughts or rather in tandem with them, taking us into the other senses and it is through these exist the possibility of commune. Teilhard posited that this noosphere was the ‘brain’ of the earth or the universe coming into consciousness.  The idea of the noosphere has been said to be easily transferable to the internet of today.

If evolution is the biological coming of consciousness (Teilhad’s Noosphere), and machine learning is the technological coming of consciousness (Kurzweil’s technological singularity). I would posit Art as a method of communication and/or method of description, a visual language between humans and these realms.

I want to  place more impetus on how my work exists in the gallery and what it would say to the larger world beyond the white walls. The god talker is delivering this possibly to me. The works I am proposing here operate mainly outside the gallery, in the landscape and on a phone. How might the things around the work fill the gallery, the research, the designs, How will I return to production methods of geometric abstraction, to make works in relationship to the gallery space and the idea’s of the God talker. The formal quality of works guiding a larger visual language. This leads back to one of my first points I made in the proposal,  Art as a log of activity in relationship to commune. How might I activate the Gallery in a way such as this.

Liam Gillick talks about his work as a series of things he made whilst waiting for something to happen. Liam Gillick is one of the artists associated with Nicolas Bourriaud idea of relational aesthetics. Bourriaud defines relational aesthetics  as:

A  set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.”[1]
Liam-Gillick
Liam Gillick, One Long Walk… Two Short Piers, Bonn, Germany 2010

The artist can be more accurately viewed as the “catalyst” in relational art, rather than being at the centre. The god talker project fits very much into the relational aesthetics oeuvre it is attempting to be present through the whole of human relations, it isn’t just interested in an art world but the whole social context.  Another artist highlighted by Bourriaud is Philippe Parreno , Parreno’s Tate commission work Anywhen for the Turbine hall is designed to challenge your perceptions of time and space.

Anywhen is a site-specific exhibition that changes throughout the day and that will evolve during the six-month period of the commission. The exhibition is conceived as an automaton which guides the public through a constantly changing play of moving elements, light configurations and sound environments. The artist states that ‘the exhibition is a construction of situations or sequences in a non-linear narrative. Tate website(moremoremore)

Anywhen is conceived as an automaton using micro organisms as the driver to produce the output sequencing. Parreno’s work tries to blur the boundaries of reality and fiction, visiting this exhibition and trying to make sense of what is occurring, the reason why we are seeing what we are is an important part of this work. Within the press release Parreno calls this experience the ritual form of the exhibition. I visited the exhibition several times and was always left with the notion as mentioned previously of  ‘waiting for something to happen’.

Alongside conceptual and  minimal art of the 1960’s another area of  interest for this project is Land art, specifically Nancy Holt’s sun Tunnels.

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Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels
Sun Tunnels consists of four massive concrete tunnels, each eighteen feet long and nine feet in diameter, laid out in the desert in an open X configuration. On the solstices, the tunnels frame the sun as it passes the horizon at sunrise and sunset. In the top of each tunnel, Holt drilled small holes to form the constellations of Draco, Perseus, Columba, and Capricorn. These holes, and the tunnels themselves, act as frames or lenses through which the visitor can view the surrounding sky and landscape of the Great Basin Desert.

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Also Robert Smithson with his iconic Spiral Jetty, Smithson was an extensive writer interested in ecological systems and science fiction. More research to carry out..

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Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake, Utah
April 1970

There is a correlation between the demarcation of space through the construction of circles for communal purposes and the methods I have been interested in my own practice of dividing space.

 

I want to ask those with a vested interest in the future of god their opinion, I have prepared a survey that I hope people from a variety of religious groups will be able to complete for me.

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Dai Roberts, wooden ship, Braziers International Artist workshop, 2004, Braziers park

Returning back to my description of social media as rhizomatic circles of attraction. The rhizome can be seen as a model for how social relations and power could be shared in a permanent rather than reactionary way. Between 2002 and 2004 I attended and worked on the Braziers international artist workshop , Held at Braziers park in Oxfordshire. Braziers park was founded in 1950 as an educational trust, and is a continuing experiment in the advantages and problems of living in a non hierarchical group.

The Artists workshop encouraged artists to take risks and make works outside of their normal practice. At Braziers I made an installation in the environment, the ‘big stick’ this was 4.8m high made from one inch wood with a fluorescent painted front edge that was placed in the landscape and intended to be viewed from afar to give the impression of cutting the tree line and ground, marking the territory. I also produced the ‘wooden ship’ an object alluding to alien invaders. In 2012 I was asked by some of the founders of the Braziers international artist workshop to participate in an exhibition at Braziers park, I showed a version of the UNIT sculptures using hand-made concrete sheets and varnished MDF.

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Dai Roberts, Big stick, braziers park, 2004

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Dai Roberts, UNIT Sculptures, A Foreign Country, Braziers Park, 2012

Collaborations

Noon day demons – The noon day demons was a collaborative drawing project I was involved with. Consisting of five artists with an international background, all based in London. The group came into being early 2006 with the intention of exploring collective unconscious and uniqueness through the medium of drawing.

Rojaraku 2005 – A spatial art workshop where we produced artworks and made a collaborative document in the form of a sardine tin of artists works.

Between 2006 and 2011, I kept an infrequent blog about Art, A collections of thoughts about the artwork I was producing.

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Dai Roberts, Waiting to sea, 2005, rojaraku spatial art workshop, Latvia

This  God Talker project will inform me of its own needs as it progresses and the sculptural device (trans-dimensional connector to the simulated code of the universe or TDR or above all else I want to see or The god talker) will serve as a focus point of my research this will open up the further details of what is needed to be researched. The research has taken me to look at future theories from science.

WE SHOULD EXPECT A SUPERINTELLIGENT MACHINE TO KNOW US BETTER THAN WE KNOW OURSELVES. MURRAY SHANAHAN – THE TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY, P147

Currently the work looks to include, the god talker sculpture, totems small clay objects, a series of index cards boxes of notes combining sketches and online notes (250 currently), diagrams and explanations, mobile applications real or mock, larger 2D dividing abstract commutative devices and the research presented as this website.

god talker 2018
Power learns early that if you upend or invert the structure it tends to reinforce itself making it look natural and ordained.  The God Talker, A2 coloured pencil on sugar paper 2018

 

 

Produce a computational language based on forms. A computational language based on form of shape, not based on the roman alphabet. Our method of consciously thinking about the computational langauge will need to change as this is created. what is object orientated? This would be an interesting area to communicate with technologists about.

Another algorithm idea: the atom splitter, a circular division game.

Supervisors:  Fine art, Technology and Philosophy.

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The God Talker, model 1, Snape Maltings 10.08.2017

Bibleography

Babcock, Gregory (editor), Minimal art: a critical anthology, Dutton, 1968

Bachelard, Gaston, The poetics of space, Beacon Press, 1969

Baudrillard, Jean, Simulation and simulacra, Michigan: University of Michigan, 1994

Baudrillard, Jean, Revenge of the crystal: selected writings on the modern object, Pluto, 1999

Bataille, Georges, Theory of Religion, Zone books, 2001

Belsey, Catherine Post structuralism a very short introduction, Oxford: University Press 2002

Bostrum, Nick – Superintellegence, Oxford university press, 2014

Bourriaud, Nicolas – Relational Aesthetics, Les presses due reel1998

Bourriaud, Nicolas – Postproduction, culture as screenplay : how art reprograms the world, Sternberg press, 2002

Bregman, Rutger Utopia for Realists –  Bloomberg publishing, 2017

Comte, Auguste – A General view of Positivism

Christianson, Scott, 100 Diagrams that changed the world, Batsford, 2014

Durkheim Émile, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

e-flux , Supercommunity, Diabolical Togetherness Beyond Contemporary Art, Verso 2017

Fuller, Buckminster – Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth, 1968

Gillick, Liam, Erasmus is late, Book works, 1995

Godfrey, Tony, Conceptual Art, London: Phaidon Press limited, 1998

Greenfield, Adam, Radical technologies: The design of everyday life, Verso Books, 2017

Groys, Boris – The Communist Postscript, Verso books, 2009

Harari, Yuval Noah   – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Harvell secker, 2011

Harari, Yuval Noah  – Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Harvell secker2015

Harris, Sam – the moral landscape,  Black Swan, 2010

Harris, Sam – Waking up, Simon & Schuster, 2014

Hatherley, Owen, Militant Modernism, Zero books, 2008

Heidegger, Martin  – Being and Time, 1927

Heiser, Jorg, All of a Sudden, Sternberg Press, 2008

Huber, Jorg, and Munder, Heike, It’s not a garden table, Art and Design in the expanded field, JRP Ringier, 2011

Judd, Flavin (editor), Donald Judd Writings, David Zwirner books, 2017

Lippard, Lucy R, Six years: the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972,London: Studio Vista, 1973

Mason Paul – PostCapitalism, Allen lane, 2015

Mcluhan, Marshall, the medium is the MASSAGE, Ginko Press inc, 1967

Morton, Timothy, Humankind: Solidarity with Non-Human People, Verso, 2017 

Noble, Richard(editor)  Utopias, Documents of contemporary art, Whitechapel gallery, 2009

Wilkinson, Richard and Prichett, Kate  – The Spirit levelPenguin, 2009

Srnicek, Nick and Williams Alex – Inventing the Future, Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, Verso books, 2015

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, The Phenomenon of Man

Virilio, Paul, The Vision Machine, British film institute, 1995

Virilio, Paul The information Bomb, Verso, 2000

Sutin, Lawrence (introduction) Philip K Dick, The Shifting realities of Philip k Dick, New York: Vintage books, 1995

Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist, The Age of Earthquakes, A Guide to the Extreme Present, Blue rider press

Unger, Roberto Mangabeira The Religion of the Future, Harvard, 2014


READING

All the wonder that would Be, exploring past notions of the future – Stephen Webb, Springer press, 2017

Architectures of Time, Toward a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture, Sanford Kwinter

Quentin Meillassoux – After Finitude: An Essay On The Necessity Of Contingency and Science Fiction and Extro-Science Fiction.

Ray Kurzweil –The Age of Spiritual MachinesThe Singularity Is Near

Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix, A thousand Plateaus, capitalism and schizophrenia, London: The Athlone Press, 1988

Foucault, Michael, Madness and Civilization, London: university Press, 1971

Kant,Immanuel, Critique of Pure Reason, 1781

Shanahan Murray, The Technological Singularity

Fuller, Buckminster – Your private sky


NOVELS

Philip K Dick – Valis, 1981

Philip K Dick – UBIK

Philip K Dick – The Minority Report, 1956

Yevgeny Zamyatin – We

Ayn Rand – The Fountainhead

Dave Eggers –  the Circle

Michel Houellebecq, Les Particules Élémentaires


Exhibition Catalogues and Artists books

Albers, Joseph – To open eyes, Phaidon press, 2009

Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World, Yale University Press, 2006

Andre, Carl – Things in their element, Phaidon press, 2011

Baldesari, John, Pure Beauty, Lacma, 2008

Badlesari, John and Cranston, Meg (Editors), 100 artists seeing God, independant curators international, 2004

Droste, Magdalena, Bauhaus, taschen, 2006

Bourriaud, Nicolas – Liam Gillick , Snoeck, 2010

De Salvo, Donna (Editor), Open Systems: Rethinking Art C.1970, Tate Publishing, 2005

Duchamp, Marcel, In the Infinitive, Walter Konig, 1999

Early one morning, London: Whitechapel art Gallery, 2002

Finn-Kelcey, Rose, Riding house press, 2017

Christine Van Assche, Bruce Nauman, Hayward Gallery Publishing, 1998

Grieve, Alistair, Constructed Abstract Art in England, Yale: University Press, 2005

Le Corbusier Le Grand, Phaidon Press, 2009

Nasreen Mohamedi, The waiting is part of an intense life, Whitney museum, 2016

Robert Morris, The mind/body problem, Guggenhiem museum, 2002

Rothschild, Deborah, Tony Oursler introjection, 1st Ed, 1999, New York: Distributed Art

Richard Julin – Andrea Zittel, Prestel, 2011

Gladys C. Fabre, Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde: Constructing a New World ,Tate Publishing, 2009

Viola, Bill, Reasons for knocking on an empty house, 2nd Ed, 1998, Cambridge: The MIT press

Wade Guyton- OS, Whitney museum, Yale university press, 2012

Zelevansky, Lynn, Beyond geometry: experiments in form, 1940s-70s, MIT Press, 2004


 

MOVING IMAGES

Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii

The OA –  Brit Marling, Amazon

Detectorists – Mackenzie crook, BBC

Humans – Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, Channel 4

Karaoke / Cold Lazarus – Dennis Potter

HyperNormalisation – Adam Curtis, BBC

Interstellar – Christopher Nolan

Arrival – Denis Villeneuve

2001 – Stanley Kubrick


ONLINE RESOURCES

Dai Roberts

Selected Sketchbooks Pages 2014-2017 

Selected Sketchbooks Pages 2008-2014

Selected Sketchbooks Pages 2000-2008

digitaldai.com biographical website

digitaldai blog 2006-2011, An infrequent Blog about making Art

Flickr digitaldai Studio feed of artworks produced 2004-2014

Noon day demons 2006-2008, Collaborative drawing project

containment 2002, Early website experimental

 

The Guardian – easy to be flippant but the Guardian has supplied many introductions to the ideas that are crucial to my thinking over the years.

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Liam Gillick, Communes or Greenrooms, 2014