November 22, 2017
From November 22 to December 17, 2017
Abgrund is a video piece by Stefano Testa that stems from the observation of an artificial intelligence learning to emulate the tone of a human voice, and then appropriating it. The artist fed a machine learning system – a branch of AI that, based on the use of neural networks, gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed – with a number of visual, sound and voiced elements, that the artist then animated digitally. The result is a disturbing visual jumble accompanied by a white noise, from which one can occasionally recognize some clear words, pronounced exploiting the artist own voice. In such a turmoil a sentence stands out: “I am alive and you are dead”. It is an infamous quote from Philip K. Dick that, pronounced by a machine, generates a further possible interpretation: the subversion of the relationship between machines and human beings, whose roles became entirely interchangeable, on an endless loop. With this work Testa investigates the uncanny effect connected to the outcomes of any advanced artificial intelligence that, exactly because of their increasing accuracy and perfection, become terribly gloomy and disturbing.
Stefano Testa is an experimental musician and digital artist. His work offers morbid perspectives in the contemporary media scenario, on its reshaping of social interactions and of the body. He explores technology’s power to evoke uncanny atmospheres, seeking to shake perception, and let sensations emerge from an unknown future/past. He is currently living in Milan, where he studies Net Art and Sound Art at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera.