Alien Introspection — Future of Demonstration

In November 2017 our interdisciplinary research group H.A.U.S. (Humanoids in Architectural and Urban Spaces) worked together wit Laboria Cuboniks (authors of the Xenofeminism-Manifesto) on a heterogeneous performance evening, including Video-Installations, Theatrical AI, Robotics and a Sound Installation. The evening was part of the first edition of the Future of Demonstration, a experimental trans medial Art/Science Festival in Vienna. 

Below you can find the Abstract for this evening as well as the HD-Livestream of the event, which was professionally directed and broadcasted live at OKTO TV. Although not every promise of the ambitious abstract could be fulfilled the evening explored many different topics and asks important questions, on the politics of AI and robots, feminism, care and xenofeminism in robotics and many more. Many of these questions that were raised on the evening through artistic means, were discussed on the day after the performance, in a two parted workshop, more about this more academic evening, which was also part of the Festival, can be found below the video.


We create machines which simultaneously create us. This episode explores the human-machinic connection and the feedback loops of various influences they produce, because our self-image as human is constantly being remodeled. The episode highlights normative principals which we inscribe into technological systems — like certain kinds of ignorance/knowledge, social labyrinths and biases, as well as specific characteristics of human and machinic perception. By learning from machinic behavior, which we create ourselves, we can change actively. If a feature is considered human or technological can alternately be at disposal. Thereby the potential of blending human and humanoid features is outlined in order to remodel the human constitution and self-image is outlined. Are we the somnambulists of those potentials? Why do we individualize our indivisible bodies into ever new divided and assembled technical configurations? How would a human-humaniod conspiracy work to show what the human body is capable of nowadays? Networks machines are, by necessity, promiscuous creatures — what would it mean for humans to be alien and embrace a similar self-awareness as a challenge to ingrained (normative) individualism?

Ep2 — Alien Introspection from The Future of Demonstration on Vimeo.


Full Program

More Photos of the Workshop

In the age of automation, due to new technologies, the conventional, western, and largely humanistic understanding of the human being is questioned. The boundaries between human and machine, woman and man, subject and object, and nature and culture, are getting blurred. Together with our artificial creatures we now seem to live in a universe of promiscuity. The metamorphosis of the human and the human world results in significant political, economic, scientific, and aesthetic changes. Posthumanists discuss this crisis of the humanistic understanding of the human in the age of automation from various perspectives.

In one panel discussion, we would like to shed some light on the journey of the humanistic human being, its transformation into a posthuman being, visions of posthuman futures, the negative and positive effects, and the potential artificial alterities that we are about to meet on this way. (Input by Robert Trappl, Christoph Müller, Clara Haider and Oliver Schürer)

In the other panel, we will demonstrate the embodiment of machine intelligence in a humanoid robot to form an artificial agent. It will serve you in being your soliloquy-bot. This single entity agent is contrasted by the multi entity of a swarm of robots. Agents that do not resemble any life form on this planet but that are self-organising to adapt. (Input by Patricia Reed, Mark Coeckelbergh, Janina Loh and Kristian Lukić)

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