Verge Gallery

Human Jerky: Machine Aesthetics Of The Human Body

Exhibition Talk Adults Families
Free - No Ticket Required

In our interactions with our tools, we often anthropomorphise them. Is your Roomba curious? Car struggling to make it up the hill? Laptop antagonistically sabotaging your progress? As technologies emerge that allow the machine to move beyond abstract interaction and into more direct engagement with the physical world and the human body (e.g. robots), domain-specific models of the human body are being created to enable them to do this.  These are ‘mechanomorphisms’: machines perceiving humans (or their bodies) as objects or simple machines.

These technologies are fundamentally carnal – tasked with managing the needs, desires, values, threats, and vulnerabilities of human flesh.  From surgical robot models, crash test dummies, sex robots, to automated battlefield drones and guns and the ethics algorithms of self-driving cars, machines uniquely perceive us according to their own internal aesthetics.

Art can help critique these models: it’s all about exploring speculative ways of perceiving, understanding, and representing the world. In this exhibition, curated by researcher and artist Dr Josh Harle, the monstrous, alien, and frankly terrifying visions of the Human that emerging technologies use will be illustrated through five artists’ related practices.

The exhibition will be supported by a catalogue discussing contemporary machine understanding of the human body.

The exhibition opening event is at 6.00 pm 16 August 2018
The exhibition runs from 14 August to 22 September 2018
There is a talk at the gallery at 11.30am on Sat 18 August