Between plant and ghost : installation

Partenaires : Édition du studio / produit par Vivien Racault en partenariat avec l'Alliance Française de Melbourne et l'Alliance Française de Sydney.
Projet : Réalisation d'un cycle d'anticipation (1995-2150) constitué de chroniques photo : Insiders, Outsiders, Machines, Messengers, Avatars.
Between plant and ghost ? Dans 100 ans, serons-nous toujours humains ? Être « humain », cela signifie-t-il être un animal pensant ou seulement une intelligence consciente ? Que deviendrions-nous si nous robotisions notre corps pour le rendre plus performant ? Si nous dématérialisions toutes nos actions et toutes nos relations ? Est-ce de la science-fiction ou bien un processus déjà engagé ?
Between plant and ghost est un cycle d'oeuvres photomédia qui relate la montée irréversible du tout-puissant Réseau d'information ("Network"), phénomène qui se révèlera le plus déterminant dans l'évolution de l'espèce humaine depuis l'émergence du langage. Cette série est une satire sociale et technologique, mais aussi un appel à une prise de conscience du problème posé à l'identité humaine par la robotisation de l'économie, des relations sociales et du substrat biologique lui-même (le corps humain en premier lieu) dans une monde globalisé et surpeuplé.
Between plant and ghost a été commissionné par Bronek Kozka, Hasselblad Grand Master 2008, et maître de conférences en photographie d'art au Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Une exposition de préfiguration s’est tenue du 18 février au 4 mars 2010 à la 13th Floor Gallery, à l'Alliance Française de Sydney. L'exposition complète a été dévoilée le 11 mars 2010 à l'Eildon Gallery de l'Alliance Française de Melbourne et décrochée le 9 avril. La musique originale de de Yoko Kanno composée pour le japanime Ghost in the Shell était diffusée pendant l'exposition (Ghost in the shell: Stand Alone Complex - be human - copyright Yoko Kanno / Bandaï). La chronique Outsiders a été exposée du 11 juillet au 22 août 2010 à Obscura Gallery, Melbourne, dans le cadre de l'expo collective Phantastical Photography.
Vues de l'installation :
évoquant à la fois l'église, la galerie de l'évolution et la zone de quarantaine, l'installation nous propulse dans les 150 prochaines années de notre évolution ; au bout de cette Passion où l'Homme s'abîme dans le négatif, le choeur de l'église symbolique ; face au choeur, la nef où les Messengers © survolent les fidèles et martyrs du Progrès ; dans le choeur, une crypte avec gisants humains et une Reine qui accouchera d'une nouvelle espèce.
Pour aller plus loin : An anticipation of the human specie’s evolution and, eventually, of its extinction (1995-2160):
1995: The Internet network begins to spread globally thanks to the World Wide Web interface and to the democratization of home PC Microsoft operating system computers. Mobile phones become essential in our everyday life.
2010: The first cyborgs, or “bionic men”, evolve among us, using computerized organs to make up for the loss, damage or degeneration of parts of their bodies. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Using them as an online reality tracking game, the British government launches the “Internet eyes CCTV web monitoring game”, encouraging people to denounce witnessed crimes. In Netherlands, some people use subdermal microchip implants rather than credit cards. This kind of implants, already used on animals, possess a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, medical history and consumption habits, thus offering perfect traceability and localization of an individual. Using DNA, a Los Angeles-based company engineers and sells exclusive fragrance of dead celebrities. Biodiversity shrinks dramatically and the UN become aware of climate change but world leaders fail to find the expected agreement. The network users are called the “INSIDERS”.
2020: Migrations due to flooding and desertification blur the national frontiers, multiplying refugees camps and ethnic conflicts around the world. Hybridization with machines becomes normal and trendy. In many countries, children, criminals and disabled persons are forced to carry microchip implants. Space travels are made easier thanks to computerized bodies. With therapeutic cloning improvements, the super rich are able to grow their own replacement organs and to postpone death. The Network is everywhere: in rich countries, an increasing number of people have their brain directly connected to the Google library database and to the other users, forming a growing elite community which holds down the decision-making jobs. They consider victims of technology exclusion (mostly migrants and Southern poor countries) as an inferior species. Global financial, energy and food crisis strike the poorest people.
2040: Due to energy issues, the NASA conquest of Mars is a failure. For the first time in technology history, a program succeeds in the Turing test, thus opening the way to supra human Artificial Intelligence, namely bio-integrated intelligence capable of learning and recursive self-improvement. The MACHINES constitute a new industrial and domestic proletariat. Nanotechnology robots are everywhere in cosmetics and food, connecting human tissues to the almighty Network. Bio-hackers use them to launch lethal virus attacks. Thanks to improved dark matter simulator engines and the mastering of encrypting information fluxes into quantum phantom particles, Google, renamed “TangX” since it is owned by the Chinese Consortium, creates the first prototype of MESSENGER © (HermesX research project). A Messenger is a price-affordable nano-technological device that every human can use to upload their consciousness and travel in the Network without their body, using avatars, namely projections of their thought, to play timelessly in infinitely growing cyber worlds shaped by virtual community fun, desire and pleasure. The Messengers © are able to evolve both in the physical and non-physical world. Increasing nuclear and chemical pollution of soils makes agriculture more and more problematic. All life forms are now privatized and new cure discoveries are not shared anymore but sold at vertiginous price. The global economy crash brings out the now corporations-owned cultivated areas to bankrupt. Hunger and diseases, phantoms of the past, bring chaos in an overpopulated world of 9 billion of human beings.
2080: More and more Messengers users and addicts choose to live in the Network and returning to real life, which means violence, hunger and suffering, becomes increasingly difficult. The Messengers now form a sectarian community waiting for the coming of the “New Kingdom”, a transubstantiation of the cyber world finally incarnated and fulfilled. Most of the Insiders become full-time Messengers and do not return from the Network to feed their body. Cities now become huge mass graves overcrowded with infectious corpses. Victims of technology exclusion, denoted as "OUTSIDERS", run away from theses deadly sources of epidemics, seeking asylum in outer human-free spaces, but most of them die from thirst, hunger, exhaustion or contamination. Thanks to the energy and the computing system provided by the machines, the Messengers go on evolving, but their independent and unstoppable evolution towards a collective consciousness make the communication with the Machines increasingly difficult because they do not recognize the Messengers as their ancestors or as a human master intelligence anymore. Pollution in the air is so deadly high that most shades of the colour spectrum are not visible anymore.
2160: The Machines, gathered in the cities, and the Messengers have both evolved on different levels of reality. The energy issue limits the expansion of the Machines. The Messengers, now lacking energy and physical infrastructures, have started hybridization with the strongest vegetal organisms that survived the eco-climatic doom. Moving now as one spiritual organism, the Messengers colonize new areas, emitting a typical fluorescent light due to the photo-chemical energy they absorb from the plant’s photosynthesis. Speaking a God-like creating language of their own, they shape the growing of the vegetal organisms that host and expand the “cyberreal” New Kingdom and its AVATARS. It is not Apocalypse, but the coming of the techno-spiritual world in the physical one.
Is this Science Fiction or is it happening now?
(© Vivien Racault, mars 2010)