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 they are exploring such as LIDAR, Blender, Touch Designer and photogrammetry 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.
PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT
‘Nine Brains’, a speculative fiction project that assumes an octopoid world view as a means of playing with and questioning the presence of artificial intelligence in current narratives of futurity. The project includes fiction writing, research, performance scores, digital animation and watercolours. These elements are building towards our first XR work, which will physically engage participant audiences in a story about an AI learning from the cognitive and behavioural tendencies of an octopus. The project casts the viewer in multiple bodies at once, as human, octopus and AI, opening up pathways of embodiment and sensuality and engendering an encounter with the unknown.
The ISCRI project in collaboration with Etic Lab, https://eticlab.co.uk/an-artificial-intelligence-programmed-by-an-octopus-iscri/
They are working with the Serpentine Gallery London’s Creative AI Lab. https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/art-and-ideas/a-different-research-agenda-julia-kaganskiy-introduces-the-creative-ai-lab/
See the Serpentine Twitch TV event ‘A Cephalopod <-> Machine Encounter’, Maggie Roberts of 0rphan Drift & Serpentine Arts Technologies in conversation https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1180305964?lang=it and essay by Alasdair Milne of the Creative AI Lab https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/arts-technologies/interspecies-communication-research-initiative-iscri-a-cephalopod-%E2%86%94-machine-encounter/
‘Octopoid Aesthetics and Ecologicity’, a collaboration with Delphi Carstens, book chapter in ‘HydroFeminisms’ with UWC Posthuman Research Group, Capetown.
0rphan Drift works have been included recently in the exhibitions
May the Other Live in Me, Laboratoria Art Science, Moscow;
Monitor: Surveillance, Data and the New Panoptic, ICA MECA, Maine;
Metabolic Market at Giant, Bournemouth;
The Archive To Come at Telematic Gallery San Francisco;
This Is A Not-Me at iMT Gallery London;
0rphan Drift and Friends, Public Records TV NYC;
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.
KODE9 0RPHAN DRIFT LIGHTFARM
0rphan Drift’s Maggie Roberts’ VJ set for Kode9 at the Roundhouse, Camden, London 2022. Collaboration with Lightfarm LIDAR, Capetown, South Africa. Single channel HD, 90 minute video. Track by Kode9, The Breakup, Escapology album 2022. Octopus stencils by Ranu Mukherjee, 0rphan Drift. Thanks to Inga Tilda for Blender skins.
IMT GALLERY DIGITAL RESIDENCY
As we emerge from a strange fearful time into one of radical uncertainty, we are learning to embrace the unknown and build new kinds of community. The IMT Digital Residency was a platform for established and emerging artists, together with the IMT curators, to meet, produce and share work.
A CEPHALOPOD >< MACHINE ENCOUNTER
Hosted by Serpentine Twitch TV during Frieze week, 2021, Eva Jäger and Alasdair Milne of The Serpentine Gallery’s Arts and Technology R&D platform, The Creative Ai Lab, are in conversation with Maggie Roberts about 0rphan Drift’s interest in octopuses and ISCRI, their collaboration with AI consultancy Etic Lab.
MAY THE OTHER LIVE IN ME
The inaugural exhibition at Laboratoria ArtScience Moscow, ‘May the Other Live in Me’, offered an opportunity to learn about the new ways and forms of interaction with non-human agents: plants, animals, bacteria, Artificial Intelligence, and physical processes of the global scale.
IF AI / AIBOHPORTSUALC
‘IF AI’ is a speculative fiction project that unfolds in nine short animated ‘chapters’. Together they tell the story of an emergent AI modeled on the cognitive and behavioral tendencies of an octopus.
BECOMING OCTOPUS MEDITATIONS
Becoming Octopus is a free weekly 8-session guided meditation experience, whose aim is to transport the meditator into the body, perception and liquid environment of a Common Octopus.
IF AI WERE CEPHALOPOD
Solo 0D installation at Telematic Gallery, San Francisco, 2019
At Goldsmiths University, 2019. 0D’s use of LIDAR.
MURMUR (SYZYGY) VIDEO IN STILL I RISE
Murmur 0D Syzygy video (1999) in in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender and Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary, 2018-2019
FICTIONING, THE MYTH-FUNCTIONS OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND PHILOSOPHY
0D featured in Fictioning, The Myth-Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy, by David Burrows and Simon O’Sullivan, Edinburgh University Press, 2019.
ETIC LAB KRAKEN COLLABORATION
Ongoing project with Etic Lab to develop an octopoid algorithm. Research with the Stazione Zoologica Napoli, 2019.
NONLOCAL RESEARCH & BASIC CHANNEL
0D recent octopus AI video screened at Non Local Research, Antwerp and Basic Channel, Sheffield, 2019.
CAT ICE TRICKSTER
2017 -2018 2 screen HD audio visual piece for Hyperdub’s Ø at Corsica Studios, 2017. And in ‘glimmer breach’ at IMT gallery, 2018.
Experimental audiovisual piece for Res Gallery, London’s Alembic II exhibition Chrominance, in response to the KRH Experimental Video Collection. 2018.
SKEEN NIGHT (COME)
Film and performance event with Plastique Fantastique, 2018.0D presents an Interspecies Disco with Kirsten Cooke and Etic Lab’s @alien_ontology.Screening the final Green Skeen.
MATTER FICTIONS CATALOGUE
2018 publication for the group exhibition at the Berardo Museum, Lisbon. 2016.
RITUALS IN LIQUIDITY
Goldsmiths University public talk, Visual Cultures Department 2017.
THE THINGS THAT KNOWLEDGE CANNOT EAT
Book chapter with Delphi Carstens for ‘Fiction As Method’, Sternberg Press 2017.
0D solo show at Dold Projects, Black Forest, Germany, 2016. OD ongoing collaboration, reimagines the urban as porous, interspecies and terraformed- both ancient and impossible.
EATEN BY CODE
at The Lomex Gallery, NYC. 2017
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