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MQ Artist-in-Residence Jason Brown: Paranoid Machines

13.12.2023 to 13.12.2023 - Raum D / Q21

MQ Artist-in-Residence Jason Brown: Paranoid Machines



wed, 13.12.2023
19.00 h

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Wed 13.12., 19h l MQ Raum D
Event held in English.

We live in the age of artificial intelligence. Association machines such as ChatGPT are widely available and produce texts on an assembly line that stand up to any style test. A closer look at this supposed intelligence reveals a certain tendency towards conspiracy theory. These machines dream. They tell stories. And if they are not kept within narrow limits, they tend towards paranoia. As part of his artist-in-residence stay at the MuseumsQuartier Wien, Jason Brown will be resuming a project that he had long considered to be finished. Because reality taught him otherwise...
(Franz Ablinger, monochrom)

The research for this talk began 25 years ago as a wry examination of the conspiratorial logic inherent in associative systems, suggesting that our memory machines have their own stories to tell.
It focused on three overlapping areas: the occult origins of mnemotechnics, the history of UFOs and alien contact, and the imaginary worlds of the American southwest. There's several weird points of interconnection among them, such as Vannevar Bush and Roswell, L Ron Hubbard and Jack Parsons in the Mojave, the search for the lizard tunnels beneath downtown Los Angeles, and Mormons in general.
And at the start, this was largely a poetic experiment. Historiographic goofing around. "Culture jamming" as we used to call it in the before times. Until the memory machines actually started telling their own stories back to us at scale.
Now our oligarchs quake in awe before the tales of their own paranoid machines, seeing them as the first babbled words of an alien god. It's not a poetic experiment anymore—this is our world now. The monstrous progeny of hypertext has come to dominate global culture and politics.
Has all my prior work on this topic been utterly useless prescience? Do I have some culpability in the breakdown of epistemology? And what does all of this have to do with the 1982 movie Tron?

In cooperation with monochrom.

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