Post-Human Prototype 02

Building on my previous project, my second iteration is called “Post-human Prototype 02” and is intended to expand on the original artwork for the series. The follow-up prototype is designed to expand on the idea of Technological Singularity developed by John von Neumann.

According to Neumann, “The accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, give the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, can not continue”. Science fiction author Vernor Vinge said in his essay The Coming Technological Singularity that this would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate.

In my artwork I am visually exploring the idea of singularity encapsulated in one “deconstructed” facial form that itself symbolically represents human senses and ways of human communication. The human face is partitioned in segments that all represent a multidimensional existence of human thought and consciousness that is connected to a computerized neuro-connected network of microchips and semiconductors representing a positronic or quantum computing brain. Each layer or the human face exposes the circuitry board that is an integral part of the human form as if he muscles, blood vessels, bone structures and the nervous system have been replaced by circuitry, metallic brackets and bolts, connected wires, resistors and blinking LEDs.

The intention is to get the viewers to feel that they are looking at an actual prototype of a humanoid robot in process of construction and prototyping. I am attempting to evoke a sense of wonder and surprise. The blinking lights on the computer boards attached to the back of the layered face are intended to create the impression of an active thinking machine. The idea of a single machine being able to sense and be present in multiple physical dimensions (layers) at the same time and connecting to a single electronic consciousness that can process and “upgrade itself” in order to achieve the Technological Singularity.

The artwork was developed using physical pieces of a facial mask and recycled computer boards as well as functional technology that is intended to create the responsive part of the sculpture. The LED lights are powered and managed by an Arduino Uno board running a simple script that lights the LEDs in a sequence. The lights were connected via a breadboard with extension wires and placed behind the computer parts of the sculpture. The presentation is using the same wooden platform with a centre rod that is the support system for all of the pieces assembled in this composition. A glass dome covers the entire sculpture as if it would be presented in a museum.