In 1897, H G Wells started to publish the serialisation of his seminal science fiction story ‘The War of the Worlds’, a battle between those of us on earth against invasion by the Martians. Looking to the future, will the battle be about humans and Artificial Intelligence’ (AI)?
German artist Lawrence Lek (born 1982), who has some architectural background as he studied at the Architectural Association in London, working with virtual reality and simulation, has created a film ‘AIDOL’, with no human actors, using all the tools of 21st century technology where a fading superstar, Diva, desperate to still be loved, has the opportunity for perhaps one last concert at the 2065 e-Sports Olympic final which itself comprises a contest between humans and AI creatures held in an arena floating in the sky, with the action controlled by three gamers on each side. Much of the film appears to be set against the traditional temples and houses of southeast Asia, reflecting the tension between past and future.
To complete her repertoire for the concert, Diva resorts to an alliance with a friendly robot from the world of AI which replicates her style to ghost write her final song for the concert which she, with writers block, was unable to do and which was in fact a compilation of all her music – no new innovation here, but the music which will not upset her fans, takes no risks and meets the commercial aspects of the Olympic final.
To view the film at Sadie Coles HQ, you enter through an ante-room furnished with white Le Corbusier armchairs. Why are Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe chairs so popular for futuristic films? Is this the film director’s office, or the office of the corporate sponsor or the financial backers, or perhaps even an architect’s office as there is an architectural model on the table?
The question remaining at the end is, of course, when does AI move from replicating and recreating, but when does it leap into innovation and imagination and put gamblers, philosophers, artists, musicians and architects out of a job…?