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isthisit? issue 04

physical (UK postage)

limited edition of 100


physical (non UK postage)

limited edition of 100


Launched on the 22nd March 2018 in conjunction with the exhibition I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that at Arebyte Gallery, London.

Featuring contributions from


!Mediengruppe Bitnik, Aaron Vergult, Addie Wagenknecht, Anne De Boer, A. P. Vague, Ben Richards, Bob Bicknell-Knight, Bora Akinciturk, Constant Dullaart, Dominic Dispirito, Eleanor Hill, Elvira Højberg, Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion, Emma Stern, Erica Scourti, Eva & Franco Mattes, Harm van den Dorpel, Iain Ball, Jack Thurland, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Jamie Jenkinson, Jillian Mayer, Joachim Coucke, Joey Holder, Jonny Tanna, Joshua Citarella, Julia Faber, Marie Munk, Mathew Zefeldt, Mathias Jansson, Mit Borrás, Nina Coulson, Olga Fedorova, Pakui Hardware, Penny Rafferty, Sarah Derat & Rachel McRae, Sid & Jim, Stephan Backes, Stine Deja, Thomas Grogan, Thomas Hämén, Trystan Williams, Wade Wallerstein and Yuri Pattison.

‘I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that’, a statement of sorts almost ingrained into my mind from wielding an iPhone with the in-built Artificial Intelligence (AI) known as Siri for the past five years. This response, seemingly obtained by silently murmuring into your microphone, will soon become an announcement of the past, an anecdote that Millennials and early Generation Z’s will gleefully tell their screen obsessed children about through their hyper realistic virtual reality goggles, developed by Amazon and distributed via their nearest drone depot. Exaggerated encounters with early AI assistants will proliferate these virtual encounters, the augmented elderly telling of a time that saw Siri and Alexa unable to participate in any given social situation. Simultaneously the in-house AI will refill everyone’s digital glass, laugh politely at the gentle mockery of their ancestors and experience a thousand similar scenarios concurrently occurring across the globe. 

A stereotypical scenario akin to this one is inevitable. The introduction of industry 4.0 has seen a revolution in autonomous production, the Internet of Things continues to evolve, intent on establishing smart homes throughout the western world and our lives continue to be shaped and quietly adjusted by unclear algorithms. Will the autonomous world of the future be a utopian paradise, where intelligent AIs and augmented beings work side by side, enabling the widespread adoption of a universal basic income, freeing the world from jobs deemed repetitive and tedious? Alternatively will we as a race eventually become irrelevant, catering to our complicated human needs whilst mechanical robots rise up, 
conspiring to push us into a new age of mass unemployment? 

The upcoming book seeks to deconstruct these contemporary issues, featuring a range of artworks, essays and interviews exploring how AIs are currently utilised within society, from automated empathy to subtle photographic manipulation, investigating dystopic futures and utopian ideologies. 

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