Machine Fragments (The Mechanae)
The Mechanae isn’t really a game, more like a provocation. … When posed the question, “Can machines think?” shouldn’t we also contend, “Is the machine different from you or I?” What is this perceptive gap between our tools and ourselves? Do they not also constitute consciousness and by extension, the body? Machine fragments sets about to challenge the cultural schisms that generate this differentiation between “man” and “machine” by way of sound fictions spun from the perspective of sentient machines—testing for machine intelligence. From sound-vision experiments emerge the “mechanae”, an interactive element—not so much primed to expose the machinic dimension in humans, but to arouse the sense that “machine” means also a kind of gender …
At the heart of the project are questions about artificial intelligence, spun differently: how do (or would) machines perceive us? How are we similar to our technology? These tropes are built in to the writing of Machine Fragments. The stories themselves are abstractions of the Turing test developed to test for intelligence in machines. Except here, the questions are turned on humans.
Imitation of Moth was another work developed at the Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen.
Onomé Ekeh (*1966). Born and raised on both sides of the Atlantic, Onomé Ekeh started out as a painter, gravitated towards design and fell in love with cinema. She consequently went digital. She has written for film, literary and technological journals both in Europe and the United States, produced works for theater and created “radio fictions”. A frequent collaborator in a number of cross-disciplinary projects, she lives in New York City and is the recipient of several fellowships and grant awards including the Jerome Foundation/Media Alliance, Harvestworks Digital Media Center (Artist-in-Residence) and a Media & Visual Arts Residency, Banff Center for the Arts (Canada).