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What does it mean to be intelligent and how can we change ourselves, our technologies, our societies, and our politics, to live better and more equitably with one another and the non-human world?
Join artist, technologist, and philosopher James Bridle’s who introduces their new book Ways of Being, a brilliant, searching exploration of different kinds of intelligence, plant, animal, human, artificial and how they transform our understanding of humans’ place in the cosmos.
The last few years have seen rapid advances in “artificial” intelligence. But as it approaches, it also gets weirder: rather than a friend or helpmate, AI increasingly appears as something stranger than we ever imagined, an alien invention that threatens to decentre and supplant us. In this talk Bridle draws attention to how the animals, plants, and natural systems that surround us are slowly revealing their complexity, agency, and knowledge. From biology and physics, to computation, literature, art, and philosophy, Bridle invites us to reflect on some of most urgent questions for our survival, as we are taking on a journey through Ways of Being, Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence.
To follow Bridle’s solo presentation, the artist, writer will be available for questions and answers with audience.
Talk + Discussion – James Bridle: 6.30pm
This talk is presented as part of IMMA Nights, where this summer IMMA opens the grounds of the RHK on Thursday and Friday evenings until 8.30pm, with a series of free events that includes talks, music, yoga, workshops and more.
Music in the Courtyard: 7.30 – 8.30pm
Featuring music and song by Emileo.
The Flying Dog cafe will open until 8pm.
James Bridle is a writer, artist and technologist and is a participant on the IMMA Residency programme. Their artworks have been commissioned by galleries and institutions and exhibited worldwide and on the internet. Their writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, the Guardian, and the Financial Times. They are the author of ‘New Dark Age’ (2018) and ‘Ways of Being’ (2022), and they wrote and presented “New Ways of Seeing” for BBC Radio 4 in 2019.
Their artworks and installations have been exhibited in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, and have been viewed by hundreds of thousands visitors online. They have been commissioned by organisations including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Barbican, Artangel, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Istanbul Design Biennial, and been honoured by Ars Electronica, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and the Design Museum, London.
Bridle’s writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the Guardian, Frieze, Wired, Domus, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, and many others, in print and online, and they have written a regular column for the Observer.
Birdle’s formulation of the New Aesthetic research project has spurred debate and creative work across multiple disciplines, and continues to inspire critical and artistic responses. Published work includes; New Dark Age, a book about technology, politics, and society, in 2018, with Verso (UK, US), which has been translated into over a dozen languages; New Ways of Seeing, a four-part series on art and technology for BBC Radio 4; Ways of Being (Penguin / FSG), about technology, ecology, and more-than-human intelligence, was published in 2022.
Bridle lectures regularly on radio, at conferences, universities, and other events, including SXSW, The Next Web, the Global Art Forum, Re:Publica and TED, and was an Adjunct Professor on the Interactive Telecommunications Programme at New York University, a Lecturer at the Dutch Art Institute, and a convenor of the School of Infinite Rehearsals, Onassis AIR, Athens. Bridle holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from University College, London, and wrote their dissertation on creative applications of Artificial Intelligence.
Ways of Being : Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence
Ways of Being, a new book about AI, non-human intelligence, ecology, biological computing, more-than-human relations, and much else, is published by Penguin Books (Allen Lane) in the UK, 2022, and will be published by Farrar, Strauss, Giroux in the US in June 2022.
What does it mean to be intelligent? Is it something unique to humans – or do we share it with other beings? – Recent years have seen rapid advances in ‘artificial’ intelligence, which increasingly appears to be something stranger than we ever imagined. At the same time, we are becoming more aware of the other intelligences which have been with us all along, unrecognized. These other beings are the animals, plants, and natural systems that surround us, and are slowly revealing their complexity and knowledge – just as the new technologies we’ve built are threatening to cause their extinction, and ours.
In Ways of Being, writer and artist James Bridle considers the fascinating, uncanny and multiple ways of existing on earth. What can we learn from these other forms of intelligence and personhood, and how can we change our societies to live more equitably with one another and the non-human world?
From Greek oracles to octopuses, forests to satellites, Bridle tells a radical new story about ecology, technology and intelligence. We must, they argue, expand our definition of these terms to build a meaningful and free relationship with the non-human, one based on solidarity and cognitive diversity. We have so much to learn, and many worlds to gain.
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