Monday, February 01, 2016

EXODUS

Mass Exodus Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


I've been thinking about the future. I know most people say we must live in the present, but I like to think about the far distant future too. 

I've previously painted images that 'speak' about an exodus of humanity from planet Earth.Whilst it does not take up all my thinking space, I do wonder about how, why and when exodus might take place...if at all. 

Some questions I ask are:
  • Will it be an exodus of necessity? If so, will it be because we humans have 'stuffed' planet Earth to the point of needing to escape it? Or, will there be an ordered and well thought through exodus to avoid the effects of the sun's demise and resultant solar system collapse?
  • If we need to escape before a planned and thought through process was undertaken, how do we choose who gets to go? Will a situation of 'the chosen' occur? That could get ugly!
  • If we escape in the far distant future will humans be recognisable as human or will we have morphed into posthuman modes of being either through biological mutation or assisted augmentation ie: artificial intelligence, downloading of minds and other introduced human-altering processes?
  • If and when we escape the demise of the Earth, how do we get to our chosen new planetary home in a far distant alternative solar system? I mean it will take a looooong time to get there, unless we've developed new speed-of-light transport systems. Or, maybe when we escape it's actually as some kind of mixture of DNA, and other additions deemed appropriate, that can be activated upon arrival at our new planetary home. Who or what would do the activating...robots of course! Then they'd be the nursemaids...just imagine!
  • What if other beings live on our chosen new home...and they don't want us? 
  • Or maybe as the sun starts its progressive deterioration, we develop extremophile   characteristics that prolong our habitation of planet Earth until it's just not viable. Then we return to the stars from which we came? 
 Now to my new painting Mass Exodus. 

So, what was I thinking about when I painted this image? All of the above actually. Plus, thoughts about the mass exodus of people from the Middle East and Africa. Yes, mass exodus here on Earth right now! 

Mass exodus is about life on the move, life escaping drastic situations, life trying to re-establish itself somewhere else, life severing ties to the known, homes left abandoned. It's about treacherous journeys. It's also about those who welcome or don't welcome strangers. It's about change.

In my new painting, I've taken  what is hopefully seen as positive spin on life leaving planet Earth...or maybe the small blue dot is symbolic of home, whether it be a house, a country or a planet? The colourful tree-of-life that emanates from the small blue dot signifies that leaving is perhaps part of the process of life. Like a tree in the forest, it reaches to it highest point. Over years its seeds are blown about in the wind, to land on new soil. Sometimes new growth occurs and sometimes not. I'll leave you there...I am sure you can see where my mind was going when I painted Mass Exodus.


NEWS
.......................................................

Reminder!

Thursday 4th February
'Space and Popular Culture'

Panel: Me, Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, Josh Richards 
with facilitator Dr. Alice Gorman
Public Event
Adelaide 
ALL INFO CLICK HERE

...........................................................................


A recent interview with me for the REMIX Project looking at Queensland ARI Heritage 1980 - 2000


Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

AUSTRALIA - ONLINE EXHIBITION


[1] From The Other Side Gouache and Watercolour on Paper 30 x 42 cm 2016




AUSTRALIA

ONLINE EXHIBITION

 An exhibition of twelve paintings
completed between 2010

and 

Australia Day 26 January 2016


A few weeks ago I realised that over the years I have included the continent of Australia in many of my paintings. So, unlike my many landscape paintings which have been inspired by the Australian landscape, the paintings in this online exhibition all depict the Australian continent...as the landscape.



[2] Verso Watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016 



[3] Our Bright Future Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016
This painting was inspired by watching Kevin Slavin's fabulous TED talk
  How Algorithms Shape Our World. At one point he says "It's a bright future if you're an algorithm."



GENERAL STATEMENT 
I have curated the exhibition with the latest paintings first. As you scroll down you will see how the images have reflected my thoughts, concerns and inspirations over time. 

Cosmology*, space, existential risk posed by emerging technologies *, age-old symbols [especially the tree-of-life] and associated themes are inspirational triggers for my paintings. However, underlying all of these is a desire to explore and re-negotiate concepts of landscape. 

Taking a cosmological point of view, I am particularly interested in un-tethering landscape from Earth-bound horizons to create what I call 'cosmic landscapes'. By doing this I propose that new perspectives of Earth, our Universal environment and humanity's place within it are revealed. 

We describe other planets, moons etc in landscape terms, so 'landscape' as a descriptor has already escaped Earth's horizons. 


* Cosmology is the scientific study of the Universe across all temporal and spatial scales.
* Existential risk posed by emerging technologies is a relatively new multi-disciplinary research area with aims to identify risks, develop mitigation strategies and ultimately ensure that technological development is for the benefit of humanity. 


[4] Simulated Landscape Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016
Binary code 'instructs' Australia! Welcome to the post 21st century! 



AUSTRALIA - UNLEASHED

In my very recent Australia paintings I have unleashed Australia from Earth! The continent seems to float in Space? By reversing Australia, filling it with binary code and extracting it from the globe I've attempted to reveal new perspectives which, I propose, provoke questions about what it means to be an Australian in the 21st century. Indeed, what does it mean to be a human, even an earthling, in this cosmological and technological 21st century?  

Stephen Hawking, in the lead up to this year's Reith Lecture, which he is giving on the 26 January, has commented that this century is significant, because exponential technological development presents not only amazing benefits, but also potentially apocalyptic possibilities. If we are to avoid the latter we need to be very careful now ie: this century. Hawking echoes the concerns of cosmologist Lord Martin Rees who made similar provocative comments in his 2003 book Our Final Century.  I have previously written about Rees's marvelous book where he goes into various apocalyptic scenarios, that could result in the annihilation of humanity and more. Sobering stuff, but also motivational.

I propose that Rees's and Hawking's concerns make it clear that whether we are Australian or not, we share a planet called Earth with all other humans and living creatures. It is our only home for the foreseeable future, so let's look after it and get on with each other. 



EARLIER AUSTRALIA PAINTINGS 

My earlier Australia paintings, whilst landscapes, are also statements about the Australian environment and how we commoditise it. Hence, I have used small $ signs to paint water and in the case of Commoditised [No: 7] I have used small red $ signs to paint the entire continent. The tree-of-life, which I have used in a number of paintings in this online exhibition, creates land, sea and sky as it cascades across paintings. By juxtaposing $ signs with the tree-of-life questions about how we think about 'value' are asked.

I grew up on a grain farm on the Darling Downs, Queensland and then spent many of my adult years further west, living in Goondiwindi, which is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. These earlier paintings reflect my observations, over many years, of water and associated issues.


 BUT

Whilst the paintings in this AUSTRALIA Online Exhibition have varying degrees of political agency they are not simply didactic. Why? Because, whether I have filled Australia with a tree-of-life, binary code, $ signs, turned it back to front, cut it out of the globe...I hope the paintings are open-ended enough to stir your wonder and imagine too.




[5] Privileged Landscape Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2015


PRIVILEGED LANDSCAPE
I have Privileged Landscape hanging in my dining area and I love it. I know I am the artist, but this one stops me in my tracks, even for an instant, every time I see it. Why? It's not only because of the arresting colour, it's because it makes me think...and laugh a bit. 

There is more than one landscape in Privileged Landscape. There's the whole painting...a cosmic landscape. And, there's the Australian continent floating in Space and then there's the cutout of Australia, with the Universe visible on the other side. The umbilical-like blue string conjures all sorts of thoughts about global relationships, historical connections, cosmological awareness and more... 



[6] Murray Darling Currency Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm  2012


MURRAY DARLING CURRENCY
A tree-of-life cascades across the painting creating Australia and the surrounding seas. The Murray Darling Basin is painted in small blue $ signs, to represent questions of value. I am also playing with the term 'currency' which can be applied to water and money, plus political cache. 

I grew up in rural Queensland and spent many of my adult years even further west. This painting and others like it, are inspired by decades living in the country and being acutely aware of water issues. 


[7] Lifeblood Oil on linen 70 x 140 cm 2011


LIFEBLOOD
In Lifeblood Australia is part of a world map created with the help of a tree-of-life. The red is symbolic of the fact that no matter what colour our skin is, or what religion we follow [or not], we all have red blood flowing through our veins. We all ultimately return to the Earth too. 



[8] Commoditised Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm 2011



COMMODITISED
This painting is self explanatory. However, like my other $ paintings, the viewer is not initially aware of the small $ signs. From a distance they are not discernible, but they are when viewed up close. This is a deliberate tactic on my part...



[9] From Another Perspective Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2011


FROM ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE
As often happens when an artist reviews a body of their own work, I noticed a painting from 2011 that seems to herald my recent works. From Another Perspective depicts the Australian continent from both front and behind, or above or below, mirrored and not mirrored. The tree-of-life stands as a beacon of life. This painting was certainly the precursor of paintings done 3-5 years later. I can see that now...



[10] Underground Currency Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2010


UNDERGROUND CURRENCY
The area of the Great Artesian Basin, Australia's magnificent underground system of aquifers is painted in small blue $ signs. The word 'currency' in the title plays with ideas of water flow, money and political 'currency'. It also signifies that issues of water, and how we 'value' water, are current...contemporary topics



[11] Murray Darling Currency Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm [52 x 63 Framed] 2010


MURRAY DARLING CURRENCY [Above]
GAB: GREAT ARTESIAN BASIN [Below]
The work on paper above inspired the larger painting with the same title [No. 5 Murray Darling Currency above]. It is part of a series of paintings themed on water issues. Not all of them had $ signs
However, the one below has small $ signs symbolising the 'currency' of the great Artesian Basin! This painting inspired the large oil painting above called Underground Currency [No.10].

These two paintings are framed and look great hanging together.


[12] GAB: Great Artesian Basin Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm [ 52 x 63 cm Framed] 2010



 I hope you have enjoyed this small exhibition:

All these paintings are available for purchase.

If you are interested please contact me through my webpage



..........................................................................................



REMINDER 


ADELAIDE
THURSDAY FEB 4 at 6 PM

at the University of South Australia
in conjunction with the International Space University, Strasbourg, France. 

'Space and Popular Culture'

Panel discussion 
With me, under-water performance artist and Everest mountaineer Dr. Sarah-Jane Pell and comedian and Mars One candidate Josh Richards with facilitator, space archaeologist Dr. Alice Gorman.
All the details and registration HERE

....................................................................................................................

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

SIMULATED LANDSCAPE

Simulated Landscape Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


Regular readers will know that I have been using binary code in some of my recent paintings. Here's another one. 

'INSTRUCTING' AUSTRALIA
Binary code 'instructing' Australia is repeated across the outline of the Australian continent. Yet, the 'instructions' are never completed because I could not fit the code for 'Australia' into Australia...maybe the ocean covers them up? But, I quite liked that this happened. I liked that it happened because it poses questions about simulation and simulated experiences, virtual worlds and computer modeling. 

WHAT DATA?
If you were to simulate Australia, what data would you include? When I mean simulate, I mean as another world where art, music, literature, politics, religion, history, people with all their foibles, create environment, culture, modes of being and more. So, a simulation that is not simply as a land mass on a habitable planet.

If you are Australian there is likely to be a reasonable amount of data overlap with other Australians. However, if you have never visited Australia your data would be quite different. A younger person might provide different data to an older person. An Australian who has only lived in the city would provide data that is quite different to someone who has always lived in the country. An Indigenous person, for many reasons, would provide data that's different to a non-Indigenous person. A migrant would also have different information to an Indigenous or a non-Indigenous person. But, Big Data means that everyone's data would be accessible and therefore could be used to simulate Australia...scientists, archaeologists, geologists, farmers, lawyers, historians, memoirs from people long dead, children, images from satellites in space, phone records, social media use and updates, art, animals too... and the list is endless. But, would it be enough? The answer is...It could never be enough!

Virtual worlds may entice, for a variety of reasons, but when you think about it, the real world is vastly more nuanced, complex ...even beautiful and imperfect.

SIMULATED LANDSCAPE
So, my painting Simulated Landscape could be exactly that...a simulated landscape. After all, any painting of a landscape is a kind of simulation! It could also be a cosmic landscape, where Australia has become untethered from Earth and is floating as some kind of entity in space. Why? Well, who knows?! Maybe it's the source-code landscape lying somewhere, even beyond space. Wherever this 'landscape' is, there are reverberations like signals that emanate from the Australia-shaped entity.

Maybe these signals are hints that echo the melodies of music and song across millennia, the rhythms of human and non-human hearts , the inflection of endless breath, the pulses of wonder and imagination...never to be captured in mere simulation?

AUSTRALIA DAY ONLINE EXHIBITION

Keep an eye out for my Australia Day Online Exhibition which I will launch here on this BLOG on the 24 th January, two days before Australia Day. 

I am doing this for a couple of reasons, one being that I realised, when I was recently going through my image data-base, that I actually have quite a few paintings depicting Australia. And, these depictions are not landscapes of scenes [I have heaps of them] but paintings where I depict the continent of Australia.  

I also do love Australia and consider myself lucky to be Australian, so it is an exhibition of homage too. 

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

MY LANDSCAPE AND SPAGETTIFICATION

 My Landscape Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2015


ME/YOU
Here's me, in the painting above, with my arms and legs stretched across a landscape, that could be read as an aerial view of the Australian outback...after some rain!

Or, it could be read as a cosmic view with me floating in an endless space....my arms and legs stretched to the edges of time and the universe.

Or, maybe I am in the process of spagettification as I enter the event horizon at the entrance of a black hole where gravity is so dense that time stops.

But maybe it's just a shadow of me where light is playing tricks with my body?

And, here's another possibility, it could be a posthuman me...my body simulated with some kind of code, so that 'I' feel like 'I' have a body...except the code may not have worked because 'I' am a stretched version of a human body, not really what the 'source code' ie: the real me looked like?

But, this figure does not have to be me. It could be you! It could be anyone or all of us. 


SPAGETTIFICATION VIDEO
Check out this video 'Are We Living Inside A Black Hole?' for more about spagettification. Yep! It's a real term used by astro-physicists for being stretched...






FLYING BRIDES
In the past I have painted many images of figures floating or flying above a landscape and even in space. Here's an example below, Living With Distance. A bride floats above the Earth, her veil sweeping across the atmosphere as if forming clouds. This painting plays with the word distance in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. I painted a number of flying brides a few years ago. You can see more HERE


Living With Distance Oil on linen 120 x 160 [diptych] 2001 - 2002


OUT NEAR THE MOON
And, the painting below is called When I Was A Child I Dreamt I could Fly. In this painting I am not merely flying above a known landscape, I am flying out near the Moon! Here's a link to a previous post called School Holidays where I write more about this painting. Yes, I actually did dream I could fly...and sometimes I was not asleep!

Actually, I've painted a few paintings where the Moon features...and with floating/flying human figures too. Here's a link to a post I wrote called Moon


When I Was A Child I Dreamt I Could Fly oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2003


REFLECTING ON MY PRACTICE AND CHILDHOOD LANDSCAPE
I have found writing this post to be very useful. Actually concentrating on a theme like flying has helped me see how my current work links with my previous work. It's not so surprising that I have gravitated towards cosmic landscapes and an interest in how humanity will navigate the future in this universe. 

I also am very aware of the influence of landscape, especially the distance in the Australian landscape AND especially the distance of my childhood landscape...the flat treeless Pirrinuan Plain, between Dalby and Jimbour, Queensland, Australia. It really provided the space for many launches!



REMINDER 


ADELAIDE
THURSDAY FEB 4 at 6 PM

at the University of South Australia
in conjunction with the International Space University, Strasbourg, France. 

'Space and Popular Culture'

Panel discussion 
With me, under-water performance artist and Everest mountaineer Sarah-Jane Pell and comedian and Mars One candidate Josh Richards with facilitator, space archaeologist Dr. Alice Gorman.
All the details and registration HERE




Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

POSTHUMAN MODES OF BEING?

Posthuman Modes Of Being? Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016 


Many Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2015


NEWS

ADELAIDE
THURSDAY FEB 4 at 6 PM

at the University of South Australia
in conjunction with the International Space University, Strasburg. 

'Space and Popular Culture'

Panel discussion 
With me, under-water performance artist and Everest mountaineer Sarah-Jane Pell and comedian and Mars One candidate Josh Richards with facilitator, space archaeologist Dr. Alice Gorman.
All the details and registration HERE



POSTHUMANIST INSPIRATION
Regular readers will note that I am on a roll with my posthumanist inspiration! 

My more recent inspirations are stimulated by my M. Phil research degree at the University of Queensland. My paintings are not part of the degree, but I am building a body of work reflecting upon my research. Early days.......................................

Existential risk posed by emerging technologies research, which I've previously mentioned many times is scientifically based, future focused and necessarily largely speculative. Given that existential risk means the potential for human species extinction, posthuman scenarios are part of the extended 'conversation'. Here are few reasons why. 

1. We may need to become posthuman in order to 'survive' cataclysmic events which are either human-made or other. 
2. Some people desire a posthuman existence to enable a possibly endless 'life', thus these people will aim to development pathways. 
3. We may morph into posthuman modes of being without really noticing eg: merging with artificial intelligence. The question being whether artificial intelligence or humans have actually orchestrated such an outcome. 
4. Other reasons that you may think of!

So, posthuman futures could occur out of necessity, desire or insidiousness...even accident?

MODES AND THEORIES
Philosopher and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, Nick Bostrom, writes copiously about various fascinating topics including existential risk, artificial intelligence and superintelligence, transhumanism and posthumanism...and more! In the 2003 Transhumanist FAQ: A General Introduction Bostrom provides three possible posthuman "modes of being":

1. "completely synthetic artificial intelligences"
2."enhanced uploads"
3. "the result of making many smaller but cumulatively porfound augmentations to a biological human"

But, Bostrom also has another tantalising theory, which I have referred to previously. His theory is that we already live in a posthuman future. Yes, all of existence is a simulation run by posthumans. You can read more about this HERE

Bostrom's number 2 posthuman " mode of being" is completely fascinating to me! That's not to say the others are not fascinating, but uploaded enhancements leads to uploaded minds, playing with reality and simulation, possibly outlasting Earth's demise as the Sun reaches its magnificent end...but, it could also explain how we may already 'exist' in a posthuman future! 

NEW PAINTINGS
Posthuman Modes Of Being? is similar to another recent painting A Posthuman Habitat. In both paintings a mesh of binary code seems to hover above a background that suggests a landscape, a past. The mesh is like an alternative 'habitat'. In both paintings I have painted binary code 'instructing' words I AM, I am, I am? and lots of question marks.Uploaded minds trying to work out who they are maybe? In both paintings the tree, my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life, acts as a beacon, which I argue, is a 'code' in itself. 

TREE - CODE - MY PREFERRED POSTHUMAN FUTURE
How is my tree a code? Well, let's imagine another kind of posthuman future. This is my preferred one. The sun dies, Earth is destroyed in the sun's death throes, Earth is scattered as dust and debris across space. BUT, we humans, possibly long extinct due to Earth's final eons with an inhospitable climate, lie as remains within Earth's dust. SO, we are scattered across space too! We return to the stars as star dust. ALL OF US! And, who knows as universal machinations occur another life-form similar to or possibly the same as humans, could somehow evolve from our 'dust'. Thus, my tree is the code-clue to the power of life and star dust...

I called the second painting Many because this painting could be many things! One is that all those coloured dots could be human star dust scattered across space after Earth is destroyed. Or, each dot could be another universe...idea...option... 

I like the way the two paintings play off each other...in many ways.

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 


Saturday, December 26, 2015

EXO

 Exo Gouache and watercolour on paper 21 x 30 cm 2015


EXOPLANET
'Exo' a prefix, has Greek origins. It means external, outside from. In the last few years I have been introduced to the word exoplanet, which is a planet that orbits another star ie: it is outside our solar system. Astronomers have discovered quite a number of exoplanet candidates, which then go through further analysis before they are confirmed as exoplanets. Of these a small number are considered to be orbiting in the habitable zone of their host suns. To be considered as potentially habitable, the planet must orbit in the Goldilock's Zone ie: not too hot nor too cold, thus the possibility of an environment that may support human life. Or, the other tantalising possibility is that an alien life may exist on these planets.

Previous exoplanet posts!
Super Earths
New World Habitability: Vacation Anyone?
Entrance

EXODUS
'Exodus' is a noun, again with Greek origins, that means a mass departure of people...to somewhere 'outside of' or 'external to' a place of origin. The discovery of exoplanets has some people dreaming of alternative planetary 'homes' for us humans. For example as the Earth tumbles towards its demise, whether human induced or not, maybe there are places we humans can escape to? The only problem is that identified potentially habitable exoplanets are a looooong way from Earth, with present propulsion technology delivering us there in multiple hundreds of thousands of years. We'd need to develop speed of light travel to drastically reduce travelling time...let alone various other issues.

Previous 'Exodus' post:
Home

EXO
My painting  Exo [above] could be of an exoplanet, but then again it could be something else that's outside or external...but from what? Maybe it is another universe? Maybe it's inspiration, freedom, a speck of dust, a thought...waiting to be grasped?

Yes, Exo it is one of my cosmic landscapes that can be 'read' as something vast at the same time as something intimate. By playing with perspective I try yo give a sense of movement or travelling...perhaps a speed of light kind of travel?


Exodus Gouache and watercolour on paper 34.5 x 44 cm 2015

EXODUS
In Exodus I imagine humans having to flee Earth to take up 'residence' on a distant planet....an exoplanet identified as welcoming! In this painting a person is glued to their computer, while a rocket takes off with a flight path that sees it traverse space before 'leaving' the known to venture into the unknown beyond the painting. 

Here's a 'haves and haves not' scenario for you! I imagine that some people will be chosen to leave and others will be convinced, through simulation, that they are also to leave. But, because life has become a simulated 'experience' they are unaware that mortal death actually awaits them. I wrote this short poem a couple of years ago for my Flick of a Switch post: 

It’s time for Earthlings to flee their dying planet. Another home had been prepared. The ships have been built and one by one the people come, ready to embark.
The nervous excitement soars as count-down is commenced.
The last few seconds... 3-2-1
Blast off!
A sensation of flight.
For some, the simulated experience is so comforting that mortal death arrives before they realise it.
For others ...a new life!

___________________________________________________

Exo and Exodus are part of my ongoing series looking into the future of humanity, ideas of untethering landscape from Earth-bound horizons, posthuman futures, age-old symbols and more....
Please check out some of my recent posts: 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A POSTHUMAN 'HABITAT'?

I am Am I? Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2015


This new painting [above] follows on from some other recent paintings where I have incorporated binary code. 

In I am Am I? I have repeated binary code 'instructing' the words I am, I AM, Am I?
These 'instructed' words exist outside some kind of portal which maybe a destination or possibly it's a place of departure...a place already left behind? Yet, you can still see, although faintly, the markings of this place under the dark blue. Maybe the blue is a sheath that co-exists in parallel with what seems to be a  more colourful world beyond? Maybe this sheath is another kind of 'habitat', one where downloaded minds, in a posthuman future, might 'exist'. This sheath could be some kind of a sophisticated superconductor, holding everything together? The small trees, my interpretations of the age-old transcultural/religious symbol of the tree-of-life, are reminders of human embodied existence. I have placed them alongside the binary code to indicate that they are also 'code'. In a posthuman future the tree symbol may embed  a  'code' that simulates human feelings, emotions, desires and more? 

If minds are downloaded for an 'existence' in a posthuman future surely questions about I would be significant...but then again maybe not...hence the ????

So...these downloaded minds may have 'left' the world glimpsed through the portal. Maybe it was the only way to escape some kind of apocalyptic situation that threatened the extinction of humanity and the annihilation of Earth? But...maybe this has already happened and Prof Nick Bostrom's theory that all of existence is a computer simulation run by posthumans is a realistic idea? You can read all about his theory HERE

The place seen through the portal maybe the past or possibly the future.

What do you think?

As you can tell, I am having fun with these new paintings. 

And, yes...this is another painting that I would call a cosmic landscapes!

Other recent posts and paintings are:

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

TWO HUMANS - UPLOADED

 Two Humans: Uploaded Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2015


NEWS

On February 4th 2016, in Adelaide, South Australia, I am part of a panel discussing 'Space and Popular Culture'.

This public event is being hosted by the International Space University and the University of South Australia’s ‘Southern Hemisphere Space Program’. It will be at 6 pm, at the BH2-09 Lecture Theatre, City West Campus, Adelaide. Click HERE to visit the public events page and register.


HUMANS - POSTHUMANS

I am having fun with my code paintings. Regular readers will know that a few of my recent posts have explored code and text in my work.

I was reading The Tranhumanist FAQ  by Prof Nick Bostrom, founding director of the the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford,  a couple of days ago. I was particularly interested in the section on Posthumanism ie: What is a Posthuman? This sentence grabbed my attention "Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or they could be enhanced uploads [see “What is uploading?”], or they could be the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound augmentations to a biological human."[1] When I read this pictures started popping into my head. I then went to What is uploading? and again pictures cascaded into my mind. [2] You do have to read What is uploading? because it is totally weird, interesting, mind boggling as well as scary. I first encountered the idea of uploading minds onto sophisticated computer systems a couple of years ago, when I heard the American futurist and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku speak. He postulated that an uploaded mind could travel through space and time on light beams...I suppose some kind of laser. Yep, when he said that guess what I saw in my head...congested space with uploaded minds tripping around on vacation-like jaunts.

In What is Uploading?  [page 17-18] various ways of mapping, scanning the brain and its components to enable uploading are discussed. Then there are questions about whether person-hood would be destroyed, whether the biological brain would be destroyed by a uploading process, whether a body is actually needed and much more...including the possibility of back-up copies! This next statement got me thinking "Tricky cases arise, however, if we imagine that several similar copies are made of your uploaded mind." [3]

Now...to my paintings. 

In Two Humans: Uploaded I've painted/instructed in the word Human in binary code, twice. I've used multiple colours to give my humans some kind of nuance, personality, individuality. Both of my humans seem to hover in space, but then again the background may be the inside of a computer or a generated simulated environment, which would require even more code. But, it could also be space too.

This painting could be one of my cosmic landscapes...maybe a posthuman landscape...a post Earth landscape. This sentence from What is uploading? really got me thinking Back-up copies of uploads could be created regularly so that you could be rebooted if something bad happened. (Thus your lifespan would potentially be as long as the universe’s.) [4] Why did it get me thinking [well apart from the obvious weirdness of it]? Because, if we could have a 'lifespan' as long as the universe's then Earth will have reached its demise in the death throes of our sun long before the universe reached its own ending. Thus, I imagine uploaded minds tripping around space, exploring its expanding parameters, long after our Earthly anchoring landscape no longer existed...except in the 'memories' of the uploaded minds [of course!]. I wonder if they'd 'feel' nostalgic, or a sense loss, anger, frustration...? Whatever, they might 'feel' I imagine them forming a kind of scape within the fabric of the universe!

But, my two humans are not necessarily two separate humans...for indeed one could be a backup! I know, I know... the colour sequence does not match/mirror, but maybe this is deliberate? Maybe its more like an upgrade potential?

My painting Two Humans [below] again has the instructing binary code. But, there is no atmospheric background, except for the smudging drifts created by water dragged through the paint. Does this mean some kind of corrosion or instability? Ye gads, imagine 'being' an uploaded mind that existed in a corroded or unstable manner with no backup or compromised ability to access backups, where 'consciousness' was still 'sensed' but nothing made sense. Would it mean an eternity of madness? Would there be safety switches, abort or self destruct mechanisms?

Ultimately endings cannot be avoided....................................................

But, I am having a contrary king of fun painting code.


Two Humans Gouache on paper 24 x 32 cm 2015


1. Bostrom, Nick. The Transhumanist FAQ http://www.nickbostrom.com/views/transhumanist.pdf  : 5.
2. Ibid. 17 - 18.
3. Ibid. 18.
4. Ibid. 18. 


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HUMAN LANDSCAPE


Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com