Beyond the Human-Human Divide (2012)

In this spirit of emergence and becoming, I looked toward agent-based computer simulation. This programming method involves simulating a number of simplistic behavioral rules for autonomous entities in a virtual environment which then generate intelligent motion and higher forms of emergent complexity.

Using this simulation technique I filled a virtual space with the skeletal and subdermal structures of the human body and instructed a series of agents to determine what were the most interesting locations within this human form. As these curious entities explored the human body I recorded their location at even intervals of time. This exploration was very much a blind probe as I mentioned earlier, as these agents are unaware of the contextual information contained within the human form. They do not know the larger systems and meaning present, they operate at basic behavioral level like single cell organisms seeking food.

Over time this cloud of points ...

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Full Description

In this spirit of emergence and becoming, I looked toward agent-based computer simulation. This programming method involves simulating a number of simplistic behavioral rules for autonomous entities in a virtual environment which then generate intelligent motion and higher forms of emergent complexity.

Using this simulation technique I filled a virtual space with the skeletal and subdermal structures of the human body and instructed a series of agents to determine what were the most interesting locations within this human form. As these curious entities explored the human body I recorded their location at even intervals of time. This exploration was very much a blind probe as I mentioned earlier, as these agents are unaware of the contextual information contained within the human form. They do not know the larger systems and meaning present, they operate at basic behavioral level like single cell organisms seeking food.

Over time this cloud of points captured began to reform a new kind of human form in a moment of becoming, or perhaps a cloud of energy emanating from a body in motion. This cloud was then algorithmically reconstructed into a solid form, a new body. But this new body with its limb like shapes lacks the knowledge of how to move about, or where it came from. Although this body appears a shattered and torn human in the midst of violence, its more of a snapshot from the mind of a digital system struggling to understand what it is to be human.

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Artist Statement

What does it mean to move “Beyond the Human-Human Divide”? It seems at once an approach toward the threshold of the subject-object paradigm, the evolution from human to post-human, and a kind of spiritual transcendence. Is this space beyond the divide something that was once an individual pursuit that we’re now collectively reaching toward? Or perhaps in defining this divide we’re simply acknowledging that which is forever beyond our reach.

To define a threshold is to cross it in your mind. Yet we experience this kind of boundary only by progressively reaching toward it. How does one begin to know when this boarder has been crossed, what are the signs and signals that will call out to us? Will it be a thunderous clap sent down from the heavens or a series of soft whispers emerging from all around us?

Perhaps this kind of a horizon is like a black hole, which carries an exponential rate of resistance forever holding those who approach it at a distance. New boundaries are continually redefined in order to satisfy our desire, our will to power.

My work orbiting this exhibition is provisional, temporary and temporal. It is an action still in its becoming, a snapshot from an emergent behavior seeking to generate new forms. It is an exchange, not an end. When a gesture has magnitude without a direction, it exists as a blind-probe in the world, full of potential waiting to be tipped in one direction or another. All behavior in the world is uncertain, containing near infinite potential. At decisive moments, thresholds, this behavior must crystalize and become determinant of one choice or another.

This seeking without expectation seems to be necessary if one is to cross the divide.

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