“Now that we feel all nice and cozy, I’ll turn up the heat”– this is how DOOM, the most distinctive character from the “Quake III: Arena” game sums up the next completed level, indicating that the difficulty level will be increased. According to Mohammad Salemy and Patrick Schabus , when searching for a new mythology, one needs to dig deeper in digital worlds. We can merely consume the reality, which is speeding up at a rate no-one can keep up with. Despite ostensible movements, we remain passive and helpless when faced with increasingly complex and overwhelming system. When searching for a place non-penetrated to date by technocratic capitalism, we fall into more and more sophisticated traps. The theories heralding the arrival of absolute Artificial Intelligence segregating “biological” organisms with minute precision create new dystopias. Difficulties in self-identification in the times of liquid tech-contemporaneity make long-term social planning and thus effective resistance impossible. Deterritorialisation, information collapse, new authoritarianism, machine learning, algorithmisation of behaviours, meme-politics, supervision, post-truth and trolling result in the fact that (quoting one of a Twitter comments) “we have been totally fucked & brainwashed”!
The title of the exhibition: “Overwrite/Discard/Save both” refers to a command displayed on computer (or other device’s) screen when attempting to save a file with the same name as a file that already exists in the directory/folder. The system makes the user decide about the future of files that may be understood as pure information. At the same time, it suggests that it is not possible to save two identically defined data, while giving a directive to distinguish them. It refers to a choice we need to make when faced with dynamic development of technology, which increasingly often replaces human beings or their specific functions. When it comes to saving files on a personal computer, human being is the one in control. Active observation of the hybrid, technology-based world, makes us, however, reflect on whether it will actually be us to decide about our future the moment the peak of technological “Singularity” is reached.
Using the presented object, Lucińska and Knychaus create a multi-layered narration, they are building a dispersed, non-linear mythology of the future, which, instead of resentments, offers creation based on the “hotspots” of contemporary times. The central node of the exhibition is the latest version of the “Poetbot” algorithm which, seemingly designed for entertainment, collects and processes user data . Next objects create a network of mutually connected, but to some extent autonomous, senses. The “Overwrite/ Discard/ Save Both” exhibition is a hypertextual story of competing visions of he future. Immersive exhibition creates a specific environment which critically plays with the dehumanised, sterile gallery space. The narration, based on concrete theoretical experiments, drifts freely towards not-so-distant forecasts as if taken from sci-fi literature.