The Influencing Machine (2016) is a new work in progress that explores the intertwined realities of mystical experience, artificial intelligence and mental illness. Combining live animatronics, video and 3D animation, this performative installation is the culmination of a summer long residency at PRIM, Montreal.
The work takes inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s novel VALIS (an acronym for Vast Active Living Intelligence System). This semi-autobiographical account documents the author’s increasingly elaborate belief structures as he attempts to understand the mysterious psychological and religious phenomena he experienced in February and March 1974. The Influencing Machine also draws on conversations with contemporary researchers working in the fields of radio astronomy, AI and psychiatry.
As the concept of technological singularity moves from the pages of science-fiction to mainstream debate, what is the future for consciousness and the cosmos?
Presentations to date:
Friday 26th August 2016 – Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT), Montreal