servus community features: MEMESIS

Wednesday, 6 September, 2023 - 10:00 to Sunday, 10 September, 2023 - 19:00

Realized by the servus members Harald Purrer, Simone Boria, Pamela Neuwirth, we feature here the installation Memesis, exhibited at Ars Electronica Festival 2023.

MEMESIS refers to the pillars of robotics (Asimovs Robotic Laws), information theory (Claude Shannons “useless machine”) and cybernetics (Turing-Test): In hyper-communication with the machine, humans recognizes that their insight is limited, so that the machine seems to have a life of its own. In the discrete therapeutic situation of MEMESIS, illusion and reality collide.

Memesis is an oracle in the age of automation. Memesis simulates the topic of AI and provokes by means of a reverse Turing test: Are we already enough machine to deal with artificial intelligence? When you enter Memesis and switch on the "useless machine," you come into contact with the Oracle. The oracle is strange and speaks in the almost extinct language of the Pirahã, which works without recursion and thus seems to contradict universal grammar: this voice indicates the current state of the machine.

In the therapeutic setting of MEMESIS, the "useless machine" is the medium in the communication between human and machine: the machine thereby develops an apparent life of its own between utopia and dystopia. Irritated by the experimental set-up of the algorithm, the user of the "useless machine" does not pass the reverse Turing test, but the machine itself does, which leads to dadaistic situations.

A project by Harald Purrer, Simone Boria, Pamela Neuwirth.
Credits and special thanks to MC & Gregor Hagmüller.
Support: Ada Productions.
Thanks to dk & Net Culture Association, Linz.