17 February – 20 June 2020
The Ghost in the Vegetal Machine:
Artists in residence:
AGF H Y D R A
Universal Assembly Unit
The Ghost in the Vegetal Machine’ is a long-term research and collaborative project bringing together multidisciplinary perspectives on more than human minds, and the transformations brought about by the coming together of organic and artificial forms of intelligence.
Launching with a two-month residence for Hydra and Universal Assembly Unit, the project will enfold at Exposed Arts Projects over 17 February – 20 June 2020. It will feature an intensive Research & Development stage, followed by public workshops, performance night and a conference, collating a wide array of perspectives from art, technology, critical plant studies, neuroscience, physics, and biology for a critical dialogue and productive exchange.
Working in close collaboration, the resident artists Anna Gloria Flores (Hydra) and Sammy Lee (Universal Assembly Unit) will develop an installation, performance, and intra-active multisensory experience, transforming the gallery space into an immersive environment and a collective public sanctuary. Bringing together Anna’s regenerative transpersonal practice with Sammy’s artistic research into the phenomenology of altered states of consciousness, the residence will sprout, grow, and mutate organically over the next few months.
The resident project will explore (more than) human senses, embodied cognition and collective consciousness, and guide the audience into various affective states through the immersive apparatus combining physical action, digital technology, and generative audio-visuals. Asking how more than human/plant thinking can be approached and imagined through collective intra- and inter-action, Hydra’s phygital rituals will be performed within – and facilitated by – Universal Assembly Unit’s infinity room, where vegetal thought will bloom through a generative audio-visual installation.
As we question the limitations of the brain-centred and computational approach to understanding intelligence, what can forms of knowing and being offered by the vegetal world teach us in addition to and instead? Holding contemporary art practices as tools of re-enchantment and a therapeutic path of embracing an alternative reality-system, in this project we aim to approach collective, more than human, and augmented intelligences from a more holistic outlook, one that recognises the multiplicities of minds and agencies and holds the promise of re-conceptualisation of ‘intelligence’ for the transpersonal, (post)technological world.