Unraveling Reciprocal Interference Patterns in Current Artistic Brain Projects – A double performative lecture

Guenther & Bertelle

©Antje Guenther

In a society where google glasses are developed from the design of Terminator’s interface and video calls from a device in the Enterprise, the wires of science and fiction seem to be irreversibly intertwined in a paradoxical feedback loop. Bearing that in mind: what happens if a video artist with a background in computer science and a visual artist, who was trained to become a medical doctor, find out about their mutual interests in brain-computer-equivalents, artificial neural networks, mind uploading, embodied cognition and the potentiality of consciousness in artificial intelligence?
We, Alessandro Bertelle and Antje Guenther, current participants at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht and as well co-runners of a small research group titled THE FLESH / THE CIRCUITRY / THE GHOST, are realizing how much we are not only accompanying and supporting each other, but as well “disturbing”, altering and boosting our particular brain projects in very different directions. Are ideas generated and cross-breeded by an underlying shared (un)consciousness? In the performative lecture we want to give not only an insight into our current projects, but as well shed light on those claimed interference patterns.

Alessandro Bertelle: After studying computer science in Torino, Italy he decides to follow his obsession for moving images. He begins his career as art director in several advertising agencies and later steps away to work on his own, to have the possibility of experimenting with new narratives and techniques. His work envisions future evolutionary paradigms and new topographies. His cross-disciplinary approach drifts between ideas of disembodiment, mind uploading, consciousness, and ethics as applied to mammals, machines and the interaction between the members of these two clades. Some of his projects, researches and movies have been published on Wired, The Creators Project, Gizmodo. From 2014 he collaborates with the UAE government on the developing of the Museum of the Future, a speculative exhibition which brings together the latest technologies to show several different evolutionary scenarios. In 2014 he’s invited to participate in a residency at Fabrica (Treviso, Italy) and in 2015 he starts his residency at the Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht, Netherlands).

Antje Guenther is a visual artist originally from Germany, based in Rotterdam now. She studied Medicine first, finished her PhD in Orthopedic Surgery and worked as a doctor. She then expanded her field of study to Photography and Visual Arts at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig and at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Her fascination for scientific theories, especially for those which reveal the boundaries of predictability, plays an important part in her practice. She loves to speculate, to claim, to prove and to claim to prove, and is thus questioning the possibilities, general conditions and under-
lying narratives of knowledge and knowledge production. It seems logical to deal with the cognitive process itself and to investigate the (mis)understanding of it. Thinking with the brain about ‘thinking’ and the ‘brain’ — these self referential loops create mind blowing short circuits and highly productive paradoxes and Antje Guenther wants to tap those loops in her artistic practise in the most unexpected way.