This year the content of ADAF, the most renowned digital arts festival in Greece, will be presented in May at a TBA location in the historic center of Athens. The festival attracts and presents works of artists from all over the world.
The event horizon is the conceivable surface of a black hole, a place where gravity curves space-time so much, there is no escape, not even for the light itself. Its core is the singularity, a zero point, where space and time are discontinued and what exactly happens after is unknown. A wormhole? A termination of everything? A new universe stemming from a white hole?
When something enters the event horizon, all the laws of physics get distorted, when gravity becomes such, that inevitably reaches singularity and from there on…
Singularity is a notion that has different definitions in the various fields of science, nonetheless, it retains a common axis regarding its main idea. In mathematics, it is the point where a function or an equation degenerates or diverges toward infinity, changing its nature and thus becoming impossible to define. In physics, it is the core of a black hole as well as the state right before the Big Bang, the zero point of space and time where everything is compressed in zero dimensions and density is infinite. In mechanics, it is the calibration of a machine in a way that its behavior cannot be predicted and the physical variants involved are either not definite or infinite. In technology, it is a scenario where artificial intelligence surpasses humanity, the technological boom becomes infinite and the outcome is unpredictable.
It is evident that singularity as a notion is associated with infinity, with the unknown, and the beginning of universes, both physical and conceptual, but how does it link to art and technology?
Every universe launches its existence in relation to time, while the perception of time is by birth connected to creation and technicality. In the Promethean myth, we can perceive singularity as the gesture of the maker to offer fire to the humankind, passing thusly the torch of knowledge to the creation and enabling it to create on its own.
Torment for the creator becomes a consequence and time emerges in the form of a circular punishment, considered one of the first references to the circle of a clock. Additionally, fire, which simultaneously symbolizes both intellect and technicality, was the first medium for the development of all “tekhne”. Its arrival to humanity signifies the beginning of consciousness, and consequently the perception of time as well as the development of art (“tekhne”) and technology (the art of making) which resulted in civilization and culture, both means for recording time. In this way, technology and art as derivatives of singularity and instruments of time, have proclaimed the beginning of this world, and maybe its very end.
Today, the further development of the promethean gift is slowly taking over the reins from its creator and “degenerates” tending to change its nature, holding us witness in an upcoming technological singularity, which may potentially get any form.
The constant progress in robotics, AI, biotechnology, biomimicry, nanotechnology, quantum computing and space technology, is flirting with the idea of surpassing humankind, which makes obvious for the spectator that we have entered an “event horizon” where no one can predict what will follow.
Human-machine fusion or the slavery of humanity? Brain boosting and immortality or the extinction of human species? Progression or Regression? Futurism or Anarchism? Physics or Metaphysics? Utopia or Dystopia? Beginning or End?
Following this realization, the International Festival for Digital Arts of Greece, Athens Digital Arts Festival, is calling both the art world and the world of technology, to submit works and achievements which outline, comment, foresee or determine the upcoming singularity, the human role in this new era, the role and form of art and technology in it, in order to compose the content for the upcoming 14th edition of the festival which will take place in spring 2018.
Will you tell us your tale of this event horizon…?