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piotr kamler

︎Artist, Animation, Sci-fi, Technology   
︎ Ventral Is Golden

In comparison to more conventional, linear plot-lines and film narratives,  Kamler instead explores a series of occult, visual motifs, that typically embue his films with a tantalising, familiar obscurity.

︎Chronopolis, 1982

"The human condition is deeply problematic," says Ben Goertzel, the pioneering researcher in Robotics and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). "But as super-human intelligent AI’s become one billion-times smarter than humans, they will help us solve the world's biggest problems. Resources will be plentiful for all humans, work will be unnecessary and we will be forced to accept a universal basic income. All the status hierarchies will disappear and humans will be free from work and be able to move on up to a more meaningful existence."
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How this 'more meaningful existence' will manifest is an interesting scenario, and in some respects will rely on the human species largely remembering or reimagining the attributes of tribal, nomadic societies (such as limiting individual and group wastefulness of resources becasue of imposed food scarcity) that preceded the sedentary civilisations brought about by the intensive farming and industrail habits of the present day.

“This would stand in opposition to being motivated by things such as community-based projects, because having to worry about personal income wouldn’t be such an inhibiting factor for allowing a large number of the population to take innovative and creative risks.”

Chronopolis (Directed by Piotr Kamler in 1982), is an animated film that tells the story of an industrialised city in the sky, colonised by immortals who have become jaded with eternal life. Their main pass time is to construct mechanisms purely for their own amusement, whilst they await whatever comes next. Although the aesthetic of the film shares similar tropes of dark, Eastern European surrealism popularised by animators such as Jan Svankmajer, the film takes on a jovial, even light hearted parody of how the world might look after the break down of economically derived social hierarchy.

Alongside the currently exponential increases in AI Robots that already dominate large parts of industry, it is not such a large intellectual leap to assume that AGI will almost completely liberate us from the mental constraints of Capital Realism, (which marketises all aspects of governance) leading to an overhaul of our somewhat prosaic impulses of being motivated primarily by income.

I would also add that online cultural content such as Humans of Late Capitalism, further highlights the contradictions embedded within capitalist modes of production, whereby productivity is being confused with
‘the status driven appearence of productivity’.
This would stand in opposition to being motivated by things such as community-based projects, because having to worry about personal income wouldn’t be such an inhibiting factor for allowing a large number of the population to take innovative and creative risks.

As a mass meme pool showcasing the bizarre side effects of material overproduction, Humans of Late Capitalism does not highlight how humanity has regressed spiritually or intellectually, but instead shows how the current ideological tools we use to derive purpose and meaning are beginning to unravel. Capitalism's ability to create meaningless jobs and meaningless products, to the detriment of our spiritual health, is now being exposed through advances in AGI, and its implications on how we will have to restructure our personal, communal and global motivations are beginning to take shape.

The inhabitants of Chronopolis act as an analogy for the transition towards the mental attributes associated with a kind of free-thinking society, unbound by the demands of a political sphere who's power to elicit change has migrated to the sphere of economics. If, according to a World Economic Forum report from last January 2016, artificial intelligence will displace 7 million jobs and only create 2 million new jobs by 2020, will the creation of something entrepreneurial and of communal benefit take precidence over the importance of how many unfullfilling jobs that things creates?

Moreover, if the AGI workforce ever complete the tasks we have set them, or inevitably realise alternative solutions beyond our currently limited intellectual capacity, will it be such a dystopic vision to think that they will fill their idle time with artistic endeavours? Does it then follow that our primary motivations should also be guided by a sense of amusement, a creative work that overcomes the human need for algorithmic work, in preparation for a culture of sharing, within societies that produce collective wealth through endeavours inspired by personal amusement?

︎ Watch Chronopolis in full at Ubuweb

Further Reading ︎
Reincarnation in Robots - Thinking Allowed
Meet Sofia -
Non-local Minds and Reincarnation Machines
AGI to Cure Aging
Rise of the Machines, Martin Ford
Basic income as a Necessity, Yanis Varoufakis


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