Peter Kašpar at A Promise of Kneropy

Artist: Peter Kašpar

Title: Liquid Being

Venue: A Promise of Kneropy, Bratislava

Curator: Ema Hesterová & Denis Kozerawski (APART Collective)

The complexity of the development pace of technological progress and artificial intelligence forces us to often resort to simplification, categorization and to understand the current situation through binary optics. We have the impression that humans and technologies are two distinct categories and that our task is to search for relationships between them. It is difficult for us to admit that our individual and collective existences are, inherently intertwined with technologies, that enclosing these categories into separate units is not possible anymore, that stereotypes about what we consider as “typically human” and “typical for technologies” gradually cease to apply and that dividing “realities” into physical and virtual is not functioning.

The thought field that opens in this way unlocks a space for questions concerning human “uniqueness” and the extent to which exclusive rights to emotions, friendship or spirituality are attributable to us. Can technologies mimic them? Or will they ever be able to experience them? Will our “uniqueness” melt? Digital metahumans imitate our facial expressions, interactions and are gradually less distinguishable from us. We form technologies and they retroactively shape us. Their features are programmed to reseble ours, but once they start mastering them, we get scared. We’re afraid of being substituted. We long so much for them to move like us, to get their algorithms to develop pathways similar to the pathways in our brains and to get them to acquire a sensitivity similar to ours. We want them to be reflections of our progress, but in the meantime, they are becoming larger shadows walking in front of us instead.

We often begin to think of and claim emotions and tenderness at a moment, when we feel that they are in danger, when such a situation is outlined, in which it would not be just us owning them anymore. We store them in things and artefacts which are supposed to help us not to forget, but the heaviness of material overwhelms the feeling. Peter Kašpar provides us with a platform where, in an interaction with a robotic hand playing on a crystal bowl, we have the opportunity to think of softness, vulnerability and materiality.

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