Ad infinitum is a parasitical entity which lives off human energy. It lives untethered and off the grid. This parasite reverses the dominant role that mankind has with respect to technologies: the parasite shifts humans from “users” to “used”. Ad infinitum co-exists in our world by parasitically attaching electrodes onto the human visitors and harvesting their kinetic energy by electrically persuading them to move their muscles. The only way a visitor can be freed is by seducing another visitor to sit on the opposite chair and take their place. Being trapped in the parasite’s cuffs means getting our muscles electrically stimulated in order to perform a cranking motion as to feed it our kinetic energy. This reminds us that, in the cusp of artificially thinking machines, we are no longer just “users”; the shock we feel in our muscles, the involuntary gesture, acknowledges our intricate relationship to uncanny technological realm around us.
Connection Machine CM-1(1986) and CM-2 (1987)
The Connection Machine was the first commercial computer designed expressly to work on “artificial intelligence” problems simulating intelligence and life. A massively parallel supercomputer with 65,536 processors, it was the brainchild of Danny Hillis, conceived while he was a doctoral student studying with Marvin Minsky at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. In 1983 Danny founded Thinking Machines Corporation to build the machine, and hired me to lead the packaging design group. Working with industrial design consultants Allen Hawthorne and Gordon Bruce, and mechanical engineer consultant Ted Bilodeau, our goal was to make the machine look like no other machine ever built. I have described that journey in this article, published in 1994 in the DesignIssues journal and republished in 2010 in the book The Designed World.
Princess of Parallelograms
What will happen when our imagination itself is externalized in machines? Artificial intelligence constructs its own world-truth that is beyond our sensory perception. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) use algorithms to synthesize and generate images in a completely new way. These images have almost uncanny aesthetic characteristics, seeming to emerge from an ocean of data, a kind of pixel soup. Rather as if we were observing the emergence of artificial “thought.” The machine learns to understand the “essence” of a thing, be it an animal, the face of a celebrity or a body of text. It is then able to generate new images of this thing, including faces of celebrities who do not exist, mutant animals, or new texts. Eventually, AI will be capable of instantaneously and dynamically emulating all representations. The era of the optical machine and the capture of reality will then be at an end, supplanted by the era of machines that generate their own reality.
“Reading Plan is an interactive artwork with 23 automation book flipping machines. When audiences enter the exhibition room, these machines will start to turn pages automatically and read the context at the same time. The updated figure to show that average student numbers per primary school in years 2016 in Taiwan is 23 students. I included a metaphor classroom in this artwork. In Taiwan, when people go to school, they don’t have much decision power to decide what they want to read and study. It is like being controlled by a huge invisible gear. The education direction led by authorities always prioritizes industry value and competitiveness. They want create a money-making machine instead of self exploration and humanism thinking.” Lien-cheng Wan
Design Research Laboratory (AADRL) and the experimental design studio Minimaforms examining a behavior-based agenda that engages experimental forms of material and social interaction. Cybernetic and systemic thinking through seminal forms of prototyping and experimentation will situate the work through continued experiments that have manifested since the early 1950s as maverick machines, architectures and computational practices exploring the generative potential of self-regulating phenomena as proto-architectural environments. Through explicit models of interactions, observable patterns and proto-animalistic agency; the research will discuss the capacity of these systems to evolve, adapt and self-structure through computation.
The sound transforms and shapes the image of waves sinking inside. The reproduced media, when compressed and suppressed, provide more possibilities of thinking and choices than the values contained in its own form. Through these processes, “Meditation” can be the right tool for meditation.