Ambient Intelligence investigates processes of emergence of non-neuronal and expanded forms of intelligence, both in nature and technology.
The slime mould of Jenna Sutela’s RI JIRI I O WA NU RU DAINICHI T-1000, the submarine creatures of Joey Holder’s film Hydrozoan, the migrating birds of Anna Mikkola’s Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? hint to expanded and non-hierarchical ways of perceiving, interpreting and interacting with the environment. Operating in a similar way, computational design extracts data from the environment, processes them algorithmically and produces constantly evolving spatio-temporal structures, which result to be driven from matter, rather than being imposed on it.
The convergence of nature and computation brings about what has been called a new ecological paradigm, which is the result of the multiplicity of natural and artificial, human and non-human agents. The consequent decentralisation of intelligence inevitably challenges the hierarchical modern conception of reason, which is supposedly able to control and master nature. The central position of the western subjectivity – embodied by the white, straight man - is heavily challenged, finally allowing new processes of subjectivation to unfold.