ARTificial Intelligence

In 1968, an evil computer named HAL took a power trip, in Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey,' that epitomized the subconscious fears Americans had about artificial intelligence. Twenty-five years later, those same issues seem even more relevant. In the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's latest exhibition, 'southwestNET:techno,' nine artists use modern technology to explore an ever-lurking Kubrickian paranoia. The show focuses on society's love-hate relationship with technology, posing the question, 'with techno-machines mediating so many of our experiences and interactions, do we exert control over them or do they control us?' The installations incorporate all manner of modern conveniences and the philosophical questions that they raise, blurring the dividing line between human and machine. The fact that the show harnesses the same technology practices that it critiques substantially ups the irony factor. What a trip! - Peggy MacKinnon