Do Androids Dream of Pandemonium by Ami Clarke-high.gif

gif capture from inside the VR

(please note you are in a 3dimensional space in VR which is not like a video at all)

Pandemonium / Do Androids Dream of Pandemonium? (working title/s) by Ami Clarke

- VR work with live data and sound

(please view on desktop)

Pandemonium - Ami Clarke - not to be made public6.jpg

still image captures from player pov

Pandemonium / Do Androids Dream of Pandemonium? (working title/s) by Ami Clarke

- VR work with live data and sound

DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF PANDEMONIUM

produced during BEYOND MATTER residency 2021 - ZKM

Risk residency Radar, Loughborough University 2020

A new work by Ami Clarke for Beyond Matter, ZKM, considers the interdependencies that ripple through biomedia and the online mediasphere, as boundaries blur across the zoonotic spillover of the pandemic and epidemiologists advise economic strategies, and existing inequalities come to the fore fast.

An online dashboard informs the VR work that draws out the contradictions within data practice today, that come to light between the unprecedented, but potentially vital ‘surveillance’ of track and trace, designed to manage risk via modulating the flow of bodies within a viral environment, amid concerns regarding how the accompanying data analysis informs the state and other players, as well as the markets.

‘Pandemonium/Do Androids Dream of Pandemonium?’ nests like a bad weather gift shop snow globe in The Underlying and situates the viewer in the heart of a strangely familiar deserted city (London), inviting the participant to explore an eerily decimated financial district (around Bank) reclaimed by a virtual wilding, way too lively by far – a pandemonium - where the kinds of animal spirits often associated with the markets get re-calibrated to address the climate crisis.

A VR environment with accompanying twitter bot @trackntracer, deployed as a ‘research assistant’ taking the temperature of public debate, rt’ing mentions of track and trace since Nov 20.  What’s super interesting is how all these previously unspoken issues revealed by the app. are being spoken about in the public domain now, re privacy, agency, and trust, that crystallize around the new oil that is data data data – whether biomedical or behavioural analysis – with far greater understanding re how these datasets go on to inform the different realities that the future holds.

Animal behaviours have always been used to describe the ‘inexpressible’ drive, the life source, of the market. But, whilst the animal spirits of the economist Keynes ‘Low Animal Spirits’ drive the market through bullish opportunistic behaviours, these critters roaming the deserted financial district, speak of ‘zoonotic spillover’ – viral jumps between animal and human - that exemplify the interdependencies revealed by the pandemic.  That evade categorisation by almost becoming their own species, live as kin with their humanoid siblings, point to a nature that is naturally queer and to a synchronised desire to do things differently – that takes account of contingency to develop fluid data practices that are consensual and oscillate between being in/visible, as necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

more details:

‘Pandemonium / Do Androids Dream of Pandemonium?’ nests like a bad weathr gift shop snowglobe in The Underlying, developed during a Beyond Matter residency at art and media organisation: ZKM, Karlsruhe Germany, and a ‘risk’ related residency at Radar, Loughborough.

The work consists of a VR environment with an accompanying twitter bot @trackntracer, deployed as a ‘research assistant’ - taking the temperature of public debate, rt’ing mentions of track and trace since Nov 20 - and online dashboard that draws out issues to do with privacy, agency, and trust., revealed by the app.  The track and trace apps quite naturally exceed all previous anxieties regarding surveillance, reaching across bio-medical practice to behavioural analysis, and, at the same time, held the promise of a pragmatic approach, which, seemingly, when used in combination with measures such as mask wearing, social distancing protocols and an effective vaccination programme, promised a return to being able to co-mingle, once again. 

 

The often un-acknowledged role of data - the new oil - central to the dual requirements of these apps, where concerns re trust, privacy and agency are poorly addressed by current practices and legislation - result in a void quickly filled by conspiracy theories.  As a result, the twitter bot @trackntracer shows a volatile feed where concerns crystallize around biomedical data, privacy, personal freedoms, and a wild variety of conspiritualities, as conspiracy theories meet the wellness industry. Many of which relate to data management and analysis that raise security and privacy concerns, with worries about mission creep made possible by the financial underpinnings of the app (see my writing on this, residency on Risk, Radar, Loughborough University 2021.)  The online dashboard informs the VR work and draws out the contradictions within data practice today. It references the Epidemic Preparedness Index produced by virus hunters working with the re-insurance company Metabiota that naturally include socio-economic issues and levels of trust in government, as well as pollution of the mediasphere, in their appraisal of ‘preparedness’. It shows sentiment and emotion analysis of the twitter feed, with air pollution local to ZKM and Radar Loughborough, that in turn influences the VR environment.

I was interested in how animal behaviours have always been used to describe the ‘inexpressible’ drive, the élan vital, the life source, if you will, of the market. It speaks of the abstract violence of extractive relations where animal characteristics such as hawkish and more dovelike attributes are also used to describe character traits in politics. Writing in the Economist in November 2021 Mike Bird: Asia business and finance editor, mentions the “hyenas, vultures, lions and wildebeest featured in January 2021 in an imaginative description by Thomas Friedman, an American commentator, of the feeding frenzy over a handful of American stocks. Referring to GameStop, a consumer-electronics retailer at the centre of the frenzy, Mr Friedman said the stock would eventually go back to four to five dollars, perpetuating the myth of the market through naturalising it as “the circle of life.”  But, whilst the animal spirits of Keynes ‘Low Animal Spirits’ drive the market through bullish opportunistic behaviours, though, these critters roaming the deserted financial district speak of ‘zoonotic spillover’ – viral jumps between animal and human - that exemplify the interdependencies revealed by the pandemic.  These critters evade categorisation by almost becoming their own species, live as kin with their humanoid siblings, point to a nature that is naturally queer and to a synchronised desire to do things differently – that takes account of contingency to develop fluid data practices that are consensual and oscillate between being in/visible, as necessary.