Andrew Newell BFA Sculpture Thesis Fall 2017
The Road to Singularity: The Rise of Artificial Divinity and the Fall of Human Agency
This work has been driven by the idea of the technological Singularity. Like science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s famous adage says, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Once humans build a self-improving intelligence we will have effectively created a machine god. This machine will be infinitely more intelligent and capable than humans. I believe this could result in the complete loss of human autonomy. This work uses religion to talk about the development of intelligences greater than our own and what effects they may have on humanity. It draws parallels between religion and humanity’s dependence on technology and points to both as means of social and moral control.
These sculptures are a cautionary tale, meant to make the viewer ask themselves about the future of humanity and its development of technology. These pieces are constructed primarily from discarded objects sourced from the refuse of everyday life and cheap or secondhand materials. By viewing these sculptures the audience is asked to look at the technological methods of control that have subtly affected their lives and to imagine futures where those methods are taken to an extreme. These works demonstrate that the road to Singularity will be a rocky one that poses risks to humanity’s future.