Eremocene (Age of Loneliness)
Recently presented for the Ars Electronica Festival, 2017, Eremocene (Age of Loneliness) reveals a mysterious, internally glowing creature, witnessed from different vantage points and views, moving uncannily, in fluid motion within a dense blackness. Enveloping sound, vision and movement are as one as this ‘life-like’, ‘bio-morphic’ form continually fades in and out of perception.
The idea of the 'extinction of human experience' expresses our projected fear for all that will be rendered senseless, when ancient, intelligent, biodiverse worlds have descended into permanent darkness. But as one series of conceptions slip into extinction, so others flow on in. Eremocene (Age of Loneliness) suggests that we might instead embrace artificially intelligent ‘things’, with little need for dated legacies - such as excess light or the long-extinguished sounds of biological life. Philosopher and Biologist E.O. Wilson calls such possible futures the ‘Eremocene’: the ‘age of loneliness’
The project is foregrounded by ten years of sustained collaborations with life scientists, ecologists and sustainability professionals, in which I have reflected upon both vulnerability and resilience of marine, terrestrial and human ecologies, as they relate to todays ‘overheated’ increasingly artificially intelligent worlds.
1: Ars Electronica 2017, (AI Artificial Intelligence, The Other and I) PostCity, Linz, Austria, Sept 7-11, 2017. Curated by Gerfried Stocker and Horst Hoertner
2: Experimenta, Make Sense: International Triennial, 2017-20, launching at RMIT Gallery, 344 Swantson St, Melbourne (Oct 2-Nov 11), Mon—Fri 11AM—5PM, Thu 11AM—7PM, Sat 12—5PM, and then numerous venues Australia wide till 2020, Curated by Jonathan Parsons and Lubi Thomas. Review of exhibition.
TEAM: Keith Armstrong: artistic direction, Luke Lickfold: generative sound composition/coding, Matt Davis: generative image composition
PARTNERSHIPS: QUT Creative Industries, Australia Council For The Arts (Emerging and Experimental Arts), Experimenta Media Arts. Keith Armstrong is supported by a part time associate directorship role at QUT Creative Lab Research Centre. Special thanks to Kristefan Minski, Horst Hoetner, Lubi Thomas, Julie Dean, Greg Hearn and Mandy Thomas.
MORE: Eremocene (Age of Loneliness) builds upon the originating work Deep Ecology - first shown to broad acclaim in a solo exhibition at UTS Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia in Aug-Sept 2016. That multi-work show was favourably reviewed in a long form review by Real-time 134, and was described by audiences and reviewers as “ambiguous”, “unsettling” and “subtle”, with “deeply engaging” and “mesmerizing” with outcomes somehow tinged with a strange sense of “sadness”. This complex mix of sensibilities, which carries through into Eremocene (Age of Loneliness), resonating with ideas of ‘extinction of human experience’.
Exhibited 2017, Ars Electronica Festival, Official Website / Catalogue entry, Austria.
Exhibited 2017, Experimenta Make Sense Triennial, Melbourne and Australia wide
Experimenta Make Sense Catalogue, 2017
Exhibition review in Realtime, 18 Oct, 2017
Ars Electronica Festival 2017 - Floorplan
Experimenta Triennial, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, 2017 - Floorplan
Experimenta Triennial, Touring Design, 2017 - Floorplan
Project tech requirements, 2017 (pdf)