Grey Goo

Venue: Flaca Gallery, London
Curators: Tom Humphreys
Date: 8th October 2004

Thomas Bayrle, Gordon Cheung, Tom Humphreys, Pil and Galia Kolletiv, Kinke Kooi, Tommy Stockel.

Exhibitions of international artists' works addressing issues of nanotechnology, viruses and dystopian scientific predictions.

Grey Goo presents works that, through a variety of media, speak to their audience about the rise of technology in contemporary life. Two of the works offer artists’ reactions to life in the information super-highway’s fast lane. Other pieces have been specifically commissioned by Flaca to deal with the ideas and questions surrounding nanotechnologies.

Debate about the implications of the ‘next big thing’ in our technological evolution is fierce: Eric Drexler’s The Engines of Creation (1986) champions the possible benefits of sub-microscopic machines, while Bill Joy’s ‘Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us’ (2000) offers a more chilling vision of a future in which humanity has become all but redundant. Michael Lewis’ The Future Just Happened (2001) suggests the dystopic predictions of Joy suggest more about a very personal mid-life fear of obsolescence than the reality of experimentation to come.

Either way, the ethical, religious, personal and professional opinions about the advent of nanotechnology offer a wealth of questions about our evolution over the next fifty years. Grey Goo attempts to address some of these ideas through the artists’ works and a publication, which will serve as both exhibition catalogue and a meditation on possible outcomes. With excerpts from some of the seminal texts in the field and a commissioned essay, ‘Loving the Alien: Resisting the Borg’ from Jordan Kaplan, the book will attempt to bring ideas about acts of creation (whether artistic or scientific) to an audience previously unfamiliar with this compelling debate.

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