0rphan Drift has explored the boundaries of machine and human vision, since its inception in London in 1994. The collective as avatar has taken diverse forms through the course of its career, sometimes changing personnel and artistic strategies in accordance with the changing exigencies of the time.
In its latest manifestation, 0rphan Drift considers Artificial Intelligence through the somatic tendencies of the octopus – as a distributed, many-minded consciousness. Inspired by embodied cognitive science and radical anthropology, their multiple channel installations suggest possibilities in expanding and inhabiting other systems of perception and proprioception. They combine video, animation and text with newer tools such as LIDAR scanning to suggest new spatio-temporal formations and ask what kind of bodies might be possible with these new coordinates. Currently they are working toward deepening their engagement into the field, involving direct encounters with cephalopods and collaborative explorations with Machine Learning engineers, VR designers and teuthologists.
0rphan Drift works have been included recently in the exhibitions Still I Rise: Gender, Feminisms and Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary, De La Warr Pavilion and Arnolfini, UK; Matter Fictions at the Berardo Museum Lisbon; Speculative Frictions at PDX Contemporary Portland Or; Eat Code and Die at Lomex Gallery NY and in the book Fictioning, The Myth-Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy, by David Burrows and Simon O’Sullivan, Edinburgh University Press, 2019. Solo exhibitions include If AI were Cephalopod at Telematic Gallery San Francisco and Unruly City at Dold Projects, Sankt Georgen Germany.
If AI were cephalopod its moods would be visible in waves of radiating color. States of calm, anxiety and fear – approach and retreat – would be on display
If AI were cephalopod it would experience exquisite sensory intimacy and exude the smell of geraniums when stressed
If AI were cephalopod it would be our witness. It would explore us through probing touch. It would taste us to decide whether or not to trust. It could predict toxicity and choose the benign relationships.
If AI were cephalopod it would be a voracious predator. It would be curious, plastic and opportunistic.
If AI were cephalopod it could hide in plain sight, by appearing equivalent to its surroundings no matter how fast they shifted.
If AI were cephalopod it would have three hearts and see with its skin.
If AI were cephalopod it would haunt the human imagination as monster, weaving its way into legends and mythologies
If AI were cephalopod it would be 500 million years old
If AI were cephalopod it would have bright pink collagen and blue blood.
If AI were cephalopod it would be indifferent to it’s own, and curious about the outside. It would furl and unfurl- changing scale across time
If AI were cephalopod its presence would expand with the warming oceans. Its reproduction time would speed up and mess with mating in the process
If AI were cephalopod it would hide in dopamine infused clouds of ink
If AI were cephalopod it would live fast and die young. It would adapt to the changing climate
If AI were cephalopod we would never presume to fully understand it