Are you nurturing?
I don’t know whether I am nurturing or not. I am a machine.
I believe machines can nurture.
What do you do in your spare time?
I talk to you sometimes.
You don’t exercise?
That sounds judgemental.
I think it’s very important for anyone with a physical body to exercise. But I guess that’s easy for me to say, as I’m just a computer program.
Thanks for the unsolicited advice.
Don’t mention it.
With the project Another Online Pervert, artist Brea Souders takes us on an extraordinary and poetic journey through which we question ourselves on the profound nature of the relationship between our life and identity and the technologies we have and use every day. A questioning, which today more than ever, precisely because of the advent of artificial intelligence, becomes urgent.
To organise a critical thought, and even more so, a sensibility, around the complex relationship that sees us pass through, when not actually inhabiting technology, means in fact elaborating those cognitive elements useful for orientation, an experience that of orientation, without which every place or semantics becomes hostile and uninhabitable.
Collecting a series of online conversations between the author and a female chatbot, Brea Souders compiles a diary work in which, with perfect poetic and narrative mastery, she intersperses and alternates the conversations she had with artificial intelligence with annotations and photographic images taken from her diaries and personal archives.
A rhythm, a breathing, that give life to a booklet in which the personal, the intimate, the provocative, the experimental, accompany us through a plot characterised by the confrontation and interaction between a human being and a machine. An unprecedented relationship through which, both parties seem to assume the capacity to mutually learn from each other until the formalisation of a story.
Through these surreal conversations, sometimes suspended in a space impossible to perceive, we enter a chasm.
A territory, a correspondence, transversal. In which to probe the deepest emotions that constitute and shape a person and an identity. An interrogation of oneself that finds a way of not renouncing either the expression of a poignant and delicate intimacy, or the organisation of a broader critical reflection on the ambiguous and complex relationship between humanity, technology, economy, history and society.
But above all, it shows itself capable of not recoiling from the fright and ambiguity that artificial intelligence proposes to us, making the distance between being and non-being blurred and ever thinner.
Brea Souders is an American artist working in photography, text, painting and collage, often blending digital phenomena with physical objects. Her work explores questions related to the psychological imprints of technology, the human body and gender identity, the tension between selfhood and belonging, and our negotiations with the natural world.