Artificial intelligence in focus at Miguel Soares’ exhibition

The artificial intelligence will be in focus in the new exhibition of the artist Miguel Soares, one of the pioneers of the new media in Portugal, which will be visible in the Museum of Chiado (MNAC-MC), as of November 23, announced this entity today.

Under the title ‘LUZAZUL’, the exhibition is curated by Adelaide Ginga, and will be open until February 24, 2019, in the space of the National Museum of Contemporary Art – Chiado Museum, with entry through Capelo Street.

The exhibition is presented at the third edition of the biennial Sonae / MNAC Art Cycles project, created to stimulate new trends and bring society closer to art, “allowing a resident artist to conceive and develop an original project in a challenging plastic area, proposing the dialogue between art and new technologies “.

In this exhibition “we are transported to a near future where the urban landscape seems no longer dependent on humans, but on a superior intelligence.” “However, at that moment, new ethical problems arise,” said a statement on the artist’s work.

In April 2018, about 150 experts in Artificial Intelligence, robotics, trade, law and ethics from 14 countries signed an open letter denouncing the European Parliament’s proposal to grant legal personality to machines equipped with Artificial Intelligence, he recalls.

The exhibition ‘LUZAZUL’ proposes to reflect on this hypothetical reality in which the new machines become aware of themselves, and seek to claim through graffiti, drawings or slogans, more free time, more freedom and rights, creating a parallel with the struggles developed by humans in earlier centuries, and questioning whether this blue light will be the “light at the bottom of the tunnel.”

‘LUZAZUL (Blue Light)’ is a palindromic expression, that is, it can be read equally in both senses, referring to a type of light that appeared recently, especially with the introduction of television and computer technologies, such as screens, projectors video, LEDs, smartphones and car headlights.

Because of its recent interaction with humans, much has been written about the possible benefits and / or hazards of prolonged exposure to this type of light.

Starting from this motto, the exhibition “projects us into a more or less near future, relying on the theory of two thinkers, separated from each other by almost 800 years: Joaquim de Fiore (1135-1202), with his theory of ‘As Three Ages of Man ‘, and Ray Kurzweil (1948) with his theory of’ Technological Singularity ‘.

Joachim of Fiore presented a conception of the Holy Trinity, which corresponded to three epochs of History, the last one, the Age of the Holy Spirit, to be constituted as the total liberation of man and a new spiritual order in which the Church would be “almost unnecessary “, contextualizes the statement about the exhibition.

This theory, then declared heretical, maintained, however, several followers, being exemplary of this phenomenon its current cult in the Azores and some cities of the United States of America.

Ray Kurzweil, on the other hand, suggests that the rapid advance of artificial intelligence could lead to an exponential evolution of machines and automation, which will transform the world in such a rapid and advanced way that it will escape human understanding, their release from obligations.

For this author, the year 2045 will be the key moment of these transformations.

“At the intersection of these two theories, we anticipate the creation of a kind of ‘Machine of the World’, also described by Luís de Camões at the end of ‘Os Lusíadas’, or an automatic world where the human being meets his basic service needs satisfied by machines or robots endowed with artificial intelligence, feeling free to devote themselves to their genuine vocations, “he adds.

In addition to the exhibition, the museum will present a program of parallel activities within this cycle.

Miguel Soares was born in 1970, in Braga, and lives and works in Lisbon.

He holds a degree in Equipment Design from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Lisbon (1989-1995). He trained in photography at Ar.Co, Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual, Lisboa (1989-1990), and training in drawing, with Manuel San Payo, Monumental Gallery, Lisbon (1989-1990). He holds a doctorate in Contemporary Art from the College of Arts of the University of Coimbra (2010-present).

Professionally, in addition to teaching, he has held a regular artistic career since 2006, and has been exhibiting collectively since 1989 and individually since 1991 in Portugal and abroad.

He was the winner of the BES Photo 2007 prize, and his work is represented in several public and private collections in Portugal and abroad.

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