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Events 2018


Jeff Thompson. Parasitic Computer
digital spring festival „TRANSHUMANISM. Updates are available“

Opening: Tue, 13 March 2018, 6 pm

Followed by the 7.30 pm opening of the digital spring festival at ARGEkultur & subnet

Hours: 14 - 16 March, 12-7pm

The promise of transhumanism is one of human-centric positivity: our bodies will fuse seamlessly with networked computers and tiny machines will live in and flow through us. As computers shrink and multiply, this project seeks to explore what always emerges alongside human activity: bugs and parasites, feeding off our garbage and bodies. Ants, roaches, and ticks all live not so much with but in spite of us – as they become more intelligent, we have to assume that some computers will evolve to do the same.

Attached to my body and encased in an algorithmically-generated, 3D-printed metal “shell,” this parasitic computer slowly charges its battery using a device that generates electricity from the heat of my body. When charged, the computer turns itself on for a short period of time, runs, and turns itself off when it runs out of electricity, hibernating until its battery is charged again. Much of this project is inspired by biology: desert snakes that feed once every few months and pacemakers that convert glucose into fuel, and the form of mollusk shells, exoskeletons of insects, mineral deposits, and spiderwebs. The 3D-printed shell was “grown” using custom-written software, a typical part of my practice that merges art, research, and engineering.

Jeff Thompson (*1982, Minneapolis/USA) is an artist, programmer, and educator based in the NYC area. His work explores collaboration with, empathy for, and the poetics of computers and technological systems. Through code, sculpture, sound, and performance, Thompson's work uses conceptual processes like remix, translation, and visualization to physicalize and give materiality to otherwise invisible processes. He is currently Assistant Professor and Program Director of Visual Art & Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology, and co-founded the experimental curatorial project Drift Station.

Parasitic Computer

Parasitic Computer