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mystics

Under the theme Mystics of the Chthulucene, a yearlong artistic research project for The Couch, we explore the uncanny affinities between Artificial Intelligence and magic. We acknowledge that AI and magic are both technologies and tools designed as an extension of human action, and at the same time they are precarious and unpredictable extensions of human creativity and worldbuilding. We find ourselves in a time when magic can be associated with AI and other digital technologies, but it is also being used to harness, confront, and even attack or defend from AI. We will work with artists who approach this entanglement from many angles in order to approach an answer to the question: Is Artificial Intelligence foretelling a new cosmology? Alongside artistic research essays by artists dealing with this topic, we will feature interviews, fiction, a podcast made in collaboration with Future Artefacts and more.

mystics

essay

Escape From the Internet

Eleni Maragkou    Milo Sharafeddine   

“Remember when on the internet no one knew you were a dog?"

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mystics

essay

Dasha’s Kitchen: My magical grilled cheese sandwich recipe

Dasha Ilina    Naomi Hettiarachchige–Hubèrt   

Dasha Ilina tricks the search algorithms that might read her essay about algorithmic surveillance into thinking it’s just a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich.

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mystics

music

Singing To The Machine: Orpheu The Wizard

Orpheu The Wizard    Rustan Söderling   

This mix by Orpheu The Wizard consists of a selection of songs loosely revolving around the themes of Mystics of the Chthulucene. First up in a new mix series, where artists, selectors, and music geeks connect sounds to a broader and recurring artistic research theme that weaves through The Couch.

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mystics

podcast

Future Artefacts Episode 4: David Blandy

Future Artefacts FM   

For the fourth episode of our collaboration with Future Artefacts FM, hosts Nina and Niamh talk with David Blandy. While revisiting his work, they explore the ends of multiple worlds, from family illness, the foundations of a political system shattering and the end of a 17 year old magical gaming world, Asheron’s Call.

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mystics

video

Androids Dream

David Blandy   

A temporary screening of a work by British artist David Blandy, the guest on the fourth episode of our collaboration with Future Artefacts FM.

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mystics

podcast

Future Artefacts Episode 3: Jan Berger

Future Artefacts FM   

For the 3rd episode of our collaboration with Future Artefacts FM, hosts Nina and Niamh talk with Jan Berger, the founder of Mythical Institution, about what magic looks like in game worlds and the limitations of magical tropes and expectations, such as their preference for mediaeval villages, steampunk gadgetry or queer-coded villains.

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mystics

podcast

Retrograde: An Outlook (Excerpt)

Jan Berger   

A temporary screening of a video by Jan Berger, the guest on the third episode of our collaboration with Future Artefacts FM.

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mystics

video

POV: Time To Influence Your Targeted Ads

Ginevra Petrozzi   

"Define your 'perfect future' in positive and using the present tense (ex: not ‘I would like to do’, but ‘I do’). Imagine that you have reached your goal overnight: tomorrow morning, how do you realise that the transformation has taken place?"

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mystics

essay

Are TikTok Healers Contemporary Quacks or Re-risen Witches*?

Fedora Boonaert    Rustan Söderling   

Are the countless self-proclaimed ‘healers’ giving medical advice on TikTok quacks? Or are they a sign that witches* have reclaimed their space in the health field, reviving lost knowledge and offering the care that mainstream healthcare still fails to provide?

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mystics

podcast

Future Artefacts Episode 2: Bea Xu

Future Artefacts FM   

For the second episode of Future Artefacts FM in collaboration with The Couch, hosts Nina and Niamh discuss Bea Xu's work which questions how rituals can guide, mislead or comfort us.

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mystics

fiction

The World Lasts 3 Hours

Patricia Domínguez    Emma Llorente Palacio   

"She just gave me access to terrestrial intelligence. My vagina is the key, I thought."

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mystics

essay

The mindless sc/troller

Blanka Gyulai    Rustan Söderling   

If the postmodern (digital) experience is a similarly disorienting experience to that of the modern flâneur, then is it possible to adopt the same approach to the web as to the city, where the mind can freely wander and transform? 

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mystics

interview

Terrestrial Technologies: An Interview with Patricia Domínguez

Mirla Klijn    Emma Llorente Palacio   

"If you look beyond their corporate functionality, these bodies are all going to the Earth to be repaired from damage by a system that never stops."

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mystics

essay

Mystics of the Chthulucene

Maia Kenney    Rustan Söderling   

Cthulhu – H.P. Lovecraft’s science fiction monster – lurks under the surface of the ocean as an elemental deity. We must wonder what lurks beneath the surface of the systems known as AI.

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mystics

essay

POV:

Ginevra Petrozzi    Rustan Söderling   

Ginevra Petrozzi makes the case for a complicated relationship between ourselves and the artificial intelligence tools that guide us through our lives. The stories and myths we construct around the technologies we don’t understand can help us navigate the obscure and even violent power of artificial intelligence.

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