Electric Dreams’ scenario is set in the future where a computer is found ‘alive’ in an abandoned office space. The machine seems to have developed a kind of artificial and emotional intelligence in its effort to escape boredom and loneliness. As it explores the neighbourhood, using Google street view, it discovers that what lies outside its dark and empty room, is not only the usual dull urban setting but also the beauty of an archaeological site. Fascinated by these views as it navigates through them, it photographs (screenshots) its favorable parts, copies and repositions elements as to final construct its very own masterpiece.
Electric Dreams (2019) by Zoe Hatziyannaki is a site and context responsive installation reflecting on a future scenario where technology has obscurely reached a more advanced stage. A screen, a printer and other peripherals take the shape of a curious apparatus functioning on a self-programming and self-operating system. Artificial intelligence and its engagement with the advancement of technology lies within the artist’s immediate interests. The integration of simulated intelligence with emotional intelligence could be a credible plot changing the way we see technology today and how we interact with it.
The machine presented by Hatziyannaki belongs to a framework of a future reality, perhaps not so far away. It is able to enact its very own logic and reasoning and concomitantly perform a task while wielding its own emotional artificial brainpower. We witness a device that is surprisingly charmed by the ancient past and is attempting to rediscover the site of Kerameikos by autonomously accessing satellite footage and creating a brand-new work of art inspired by its beauty.
Analysing the topographical coordinates and other constituents with algorithmic and computational procedures, it automatically generates an image that for itself this represents the ultimate exquisiteness of aesthetics for such scenery.
With perspicuous allusions to the role of technological means over contemporary art practices, Hatziyannaki examines the debate on what is art today and to what extent technology is acceptable to be entangled with the production of an artwork. She challenges the belief that technology can arise as an obstacle for artistic expression as opposed to the fact that it is widely used to produce an artwork. The prospect of a self-thinking and feeling appliance might still be far away yet the sense of a manmade machine sharing mutual feelings with us may seem paradoxically comforting, especially when it comes to postulating a state of future dystopia on our planet.
Text by Kostas Prapoglou
“Electric Dreams” was created on the occasion for the group exhibtion +9.
Curator: Dr Kostas Prapoglou
Lydia Andrioti, Manolis Baboussis, Despina Charitonidi, Evangelos Chatzis, Lydia Dambassina, Diohandi, Kleio Gizeli, Zoe Hatziyannaki, Yannis Kondaratos, James Lane, Despina Meimaroglou,Eusevia Michailidou, Evi Savvaidi, Nikos Tranos, Adonis Volanakis, Eleni Zouni.