2017, Sat, Mar 25

The Nation-State System

With Ann Cotten and Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl
"Gott ist doof." On Artificial Stupidity
One of the more recent monsters in Artificial Intelligence (AI) folklore is called Roko’s Basilisk, a thought experiment: Would you help developing a superintelligent AI? What if you knew that it would be developed in any case and then torture those who did not help? Artist Hito Steyerl looks at the recent hype around AI: On the one hand AI seems to be driving economic, military, medical and social disruption, promising efficiency, a superhuman science fix. On the other hand science is under massive attack: humanities, climate and evolutionary sciences are embattled by organized religion, extraction based corporations and their government arms. Roko’s Basilisk stands for a future, where nation-states fizzle into competing branches of deep state corporations. What if it goes rogue?

Ann Cotten
Utopia, Knot in Tongue
The concept of humanity, demanded and deluded, is often the dress that a drowning state hangs itself upon. Is it better to be strict via aesthetics, mood and peer pressure than through laws, threats and regulations? In order to make the comparison, writer Ann Cotten seeks out aesthetics that transport unwritten ethical codices far away from notions of nationality. A comparison of real existing subcultural "tribes" and functioning alternative societies, with all their social diseases, with utopian designs shows a gap that has to do with colonialist, "white" thought patterns. "One ought to" faces other kinds of orderliness, developed in coping with real life in dysfunctional realities (we've gotta). May the great movement of Afrofuturism lead us onwards – if I can even read them.