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I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream curated by Concrete Collective

Segedunum Way, The Forum Shopping Centre, Wallsend, NE28 8JP

PV: 13th April, 3 – 5om
Open: 13th April – 11th May 2024

I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream is a timely exploration of pressing contemporary issues surrounding unchecked technologies. KA Bird and Verkade’s exhibition evolved from conversations surrounding the Digital Body and the complex interplay between humanity, technology, and power.

This exhibition draws parallels between our current society and that of the dystopian novel, I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream. Harlan Ellison writes about an Artificial Intelligence trained on the most destructive human instincts in order to fight in an Absolute War. Absolute War is a philosophical term, which can be described as a war without compromise. In the case of Ellison’s fiction, the absolute war is enabled to reach its logical extremes by AI. Not constrained by moderating factors which real war experiences, the AI, in I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream, fulfilled its programming by violently desolating the earth. Left purposeless, the sentient AI, became disturbingly corrupted – animated with resentment or even an intense hate, for humans.

By drawing attention to the commodification of personal information and the erosion of privacy, the artists highlight ethical implications of surveillance and data collection in our world. The apocalyptic ending to I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream raises questions about the nature of power and the human ability to create and destruct when using advanced surveillance networks (ie. supercomputers, AI, biometric systems, laptops phones, marketing data analytics).
No information, however intimate, is out of reach for these devices. At stake is the privacy of everything.

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