Inke Arns: From alien matter to The World Without Us

We are kindly inviting you to the City Museum of Ljubljana for the lecture From alien matter to The World Without Us, at which Inke Arns will discuss two exhibitions that she recently curated. Scheduled on Tuesday 27 June 2017, at 7.00 p.m., the lecture is an accompanying event of The World Without Us: Narratives on the age of non-human actors exhibition, which is opening at the Match Gallery one hour after the lecture.

Jun 2017
Time: 7 p.m.–8 p.m.
Location: City Museum of Ljubljana
Adults, students, seniors
Inke Arns: From alien matter to The World Without Us

Alien matter refers to man-made, and at the same time, radically different, potentially intelligent matter. It is the outcome of a naturalization of technological artifacts. Environments shaped by technology result in new relationships between man and machine. Technological objects, previously defined merely as objects of utility, have become autonomous agents. Their capacity to learn and network throws into question the previously clear and dominant division between active subject and passive object. Within the alien matter exhibition (HKW Berlin, 2017) 30 artists presented works about shifts within such power structures, raising questions about the state of our current environment and whether it has already passed the tipping point, becoming "alien matter". Content-wise, the works clustered around four thematic focal points: artificial intelligence, plastics, infrastructure, and the Internet of Things – subcategories that are deemed to merge into the nascent great machine and thereby, in the words of Günther Anders, are "future obsolete". Ultimately, in a "world without us" humans will be replaced by machines (read: the nascent great machine), artificial intelligences will be optimized by other AIs and algorithms will be programmed by self-learning algorithms. In this way a radically different, post-anthropocentric world could develop where non-human life forms would eventually prove to be better adaptable than humans. The artists in the exhibition The World Without Us (HMKV Dortmund, 2016/17) explore the possibility of an ecology after man – an age of the post-Anthropocene, in which other "life" forms, such as algorithms, artificial intelligence, artificially created nanoparticles, genetically modified micro-organisms and seemingly monstrous plants, have taken control of the world. This new era, which has already begun, albeit imperceptibly, is the age of non-human actors.

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