This year is the 500th anniversary of the first edition of Thomas More’s Utopia, the account of a portuguese traveller who describes a fictional island where the major problems of the society of the epoch seemed to have been resolved.
In his project at Galeria Graça Brandão, Miguel Soares simulates moments of a hypothetical nearby future, borrowing certain ideas from More’s Utopia and Joachim of Fiore’s Three Ages, as well as from the Portuguese “utopic tradition” (Luís de Camões, António Vieira, Fernando Pessoa); together with elements taken from the eschatology of some of the main religions, assembling them with the more recent ideas of Technological Singularity (Stanislaw Ulam, Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzweil), and the Simulation Hypothesis (Bostrom’s trilemma), which has ancient roots in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
Will the progressive automation and replacement of human labour by machines be capable of setting the human being free, rendering obsolete the entire economical and political systems, and even the conception of State?
The Technological Singularity suggests that between 2040 and 2045 the future development of Artificial Intelligence may originate an exponential event in which machines build other, more perfect machines, in a progression that will evade human beings’ immediate understanding. Soon after, in 2048, it will be the centenary of George Orwell’s 1984. According to Miguel Soares’ proposal, articulated around an animation video and a set of images, this movement will create a sort of “machine of the world” capable of looking after and nourishing each human and managing the resources of the planet.
Is capitalism and competition only a tool, the only tool, to reach such goal? Could this succession of events generate an evolutionary leap in the human being, allowing for each person to find, for instance, their natural vocation?
Miguel Soares, June 2016
24.06.2016 - 30.07.2016