Due to the COVID situation, the opening has been postponed to early March 2021. The exact date will be announced at the end of February 2021.
In the meantime, we have prepared an online documentation of the contents of the exhibition as it can now be seen in the Dresden Technical Collections and invite you to a preview, so to speak, since the finished exhibition is currently not (yet) open to the public due to the general decree.
The title of the project for 2020 is MIND OVER MATTER, an English phrase that can be compared to the German folk wisdom DER WILLE VERSETZT BERGE.
The phrase is also used in parapsychology to describe paranormal phenomena such as psychokinesis. The exhibition and lecture program will focus on questions of consciousness research, machine learning, and the structure of the self and self-awareness. Since time immemorial, these questions have been projected into future settings in the context of science fiction literature, recent film series such as the Matrix or Westworld, which use advanced technology to try to solve the question of how mind and consciousness phenomena can evolve and manifest within complex assemblages of matter assembled from minute, atomic components
can. These current philosophical questions, which arise with new vehemence on the basis of our technical achievements with regard to electronic data processing and extensive mass communication, have, however, already been at the center of philosophical speculation in our latitudes for centuries, starting with the concept of consciousness and God by Rene Descartes and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz in the 17th century. Various basic philosophical questions are raised about the structure of being, matter and time, which are explored by means of technological and artistic experimental arrangements.
The question of the nature of our consciousness, and how it is possible for it to exist in and experience our universe, is arguably the most fascinating puzzle we face. The research field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was launched in no small part to find an answer to this. Since its beginnings, media art has referred to explorations of this relationship between humans, technology and consciousness, with the aid of technological and artistic models and technical tools. In the attempt to realize on computers the cognitive processes of humans, we develop a testable understanding and concepts of how elementary information processing processes lead to complex experience, it is no less than the attempt of a Theory of Everything , by means of mirroring and transferring it into a machine-abstract information processing system, but modeled after human information processing.
What distinguishes today’s AI systems from the human mind? Today’s applications of AI focus primarily on classifying data and controlling technical systems. However, our minds are more than classifiers: they actively create a dynamic model of the environment, a dream anchored in sensory data that they experience and reflect upon. Artistic works that exercise and reflect this modeling in both technical and humanistic terms will be presented and discussed, with local, national and international contributions invited.
The Technical Collections are particularly well suited as an exhibition venue for such a question, since physical and technical research on this complex of topics is also pursued here in other formats, and a very mixed audience of young and experienced visitors with an interest in technology prevails. Mapping the artistic dimension of this issue can succeed particularly well here, as the combination of media technology, information processing, perception research and cybernetics has been a central starting point for various educational and experimental formats at this museum for years.
This larger, concentrated exhibition was planned at the Technical Collections from Nov. 13-Dec. 20, 2020 and had to be postponed to March 2021 due to the COVID 19 situation and will include award winners from the mb21 youth media festival, contributions from the Chaos Computer Club, exhibition contributions from the CYNETART festival and the SHAPE platform, as well as other local and international actors, in addition to the curated program. For this purpose, a digital residency program has been initiated with the Goethe Institute Bangalore and Walkin Studios Bangalore, and a cooperation with TAMTAM Art and the Ministry of Culture Taiwan has been agreed upon.
The awarding of the special prize for media art, donated by the state capital Dresden within the MB21 festival, is also planned in this context.