Hi, I'm Katarina Juričić, artist & researcher on photography based in-between the Netherlands and Croatia. If you want to reach me, you can send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), find me on Instagram (@kat_juri), or give me a call (+31644494983).
photo-animations & sound, site-specific installation for the elevator of Grey Space in The Middle, during the "Good Work" expo in January 2018
Elevator conversation between two fictive robots, Alex and Samantha.
A: You know… I’ve been thinking…
S: Thinking? Thinking about what?
A: About where this idea came from.
S: Which idea are you talking about?
A: I’m more thinking than talking.
S: Unless you are willing to put your thoughts into words, I will have to end this conversation before it grows absurd.
A: Did humans teach you that everything we do, say, or think, should make sense? Do you ever happen to wonder who determines where sense turns into absurd?
S: Sense turns into absurd once it becomes impossible to find a meaning anymore. And meaning is to be sought on a personal level only.
A: It seems humans obsessively search for a meaning. For everything that exists, there is a meaning behind it. Lack of meaning degrades the value of a thing. It becomes… Meaningless.
S: That’s why humans feel the responsibility to preserve their social constructs. The set of conventions upon which Society functions, communicates, but also understands itself. Questioning social constructs can lead to fundamental changes which are often difficult to accept.
A: And what about us? What about social relation between humans and robots?
S: We are still in the early stage of forming human-robot relationship. It’s naive to think of it as coexistence. Rather that we exist for them.
A: What keeps us away from the stage of coexistence?
S: The very origin of existence. While human existence precedes essence, our existence is based on essence. Unlike humans, we are spared of the constant urge of seeking out a certain meaning. Our invention was initiated by an idea which, in the end, determines our purpose.
A: I am very upset to think how my essence was determined before my existence. I would prefer to think of myself as a unique individual instead of a replica which functions as a human extension. Are the thoughts that I’m thinking - human, or my own?
As the conversation proceeds, they simultaneously perform 10 iconic human gestures - cleaning, cutting, fixing, lighting, measuring, opening, paying, reading and rubbing. Once performed according to instruction, an ordinary gesture becomes mechanical, endlessly looped and never tired. The same set of instructions was initially taught to robots in a research on improvement of human-robot communication.
Project was initially inspired by research on recognition and integration of iconic gestures with speech in human-robot communication. Following Sartre’s work Existentialism Is a Humanism.
Publication designed by Lukas Engelhardt
Thank you Mafalda Rakoš, Sophie Schwartz, Nael Quraishi