Arthur C. Clarke’s 2010: Odyssey Two predicted this was the year when humanity would make contact with an alien intelligence. But if you’ve seen the work of U-Ram Choe, you know the shocking truth: They’re already here.
The brainchild of the South Korean sculptor, “New Urban Species” is an art show disguised as a natural history exhibit from the future, and it’s one of the most engaging displays on tour this year.
U-Ram Choe builds art that comes from a not-to-distant-tomorrow, where organic life and mechanized objects have become one. His kinetic sculptures are not only creepy-fun marvels, they also create a compelling dialog about machine consciousness and the coming Singularity.
In his book Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology, brain researcher Valentino Braitenberg demonstrates how human beings invest the increasingly complex behaviors of mechanical devices with a range of values and abilities including aggression, creative thinking, personality and free will, and how we project ourselves into these moving forms. Chou plays on this tendency so expertly that his illusion holds up to repeated viewings – visitors even whisper in the galleries so as not to disturb the “sleeping” pieces on display.
Read more at Joe Nolan’s Insomnia