Are We Not Men?
Second Saturday Reception: January 14, 7-10pm
SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Root Division presents Are We Not Men? Curated by Amelia Sechman, exploring the widening disconnect between the two major players in the world of intelligence: humans and computers. Although humans created computers, the technological race is on to build a computer that can not only rival human intelligence and processing capabilities, but surpass it. The problem is that the language with which we and computers communicate is limited to the utmost simplicity - the binary code. Because of this, we continue to struggle to “humanize” computers to satisfy our philosophical and ontological questions regarding our relationships with the mighty processors. With increasing success, computers act as a way to reconsider our definitions of beauty and tragedy, friendship and loneliness, and all that makes us human. The title, in reference to H.G. Wells’ ‘Island of Dr. Moreau’ from 1896, in which beasts are given human-like, sentient qualities, proposes that the hybridization of human and computer sciences is the new ‘beast’ of the contemporary world.
The exhibition, Are We Not Men? will emphasize the failures of humans in their attempts to make humans and computers indistinguishable, revealing that ultimately the “perfect human,” whether it be made of flesh and bone, or circuits and algorithms, is the least human of all.