Sur/passion

Semester project, Studio Meteora

01.06.2022

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Semester project for season six of Studio Meteora. Exploring possible faces for Belgian musical duo Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul.

Sur/passion is reluctant transcendence, the thing you desire most overcoming you, ultimately enabling, confining, uncanny, full of passion and fear, an erotic roleplay between robots and angels, with zettabytes teasing your tastebuds.

Introduction

We have a passion
that behaves like a malfunction.

We are creators
corrupted by our own generation.

We are inspired
infested with a virus of the mind.

We have ideas
that jump from host to host.

We plug cables
that determine when our neurons fire.

We push buttons
and are pushed around in turn.

We compose
however, melody is imposed on us.

Our language is music
that plays an algorithmic tune.

We spin discs
that make us dance in circles.

We use synths and drumkits
that dirigate our convictions.

We like to explore questions
strapped to a chair inside the interrogation room.

We deploy power of imagination
to run against the walls of our own making.

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Anatomy

We bought a corner house. At the corner of Clemenceau Market.

A particular presence, almost with a curious gaze behind the empty windows, looking towards the city, waiting.

A native inhabitant in this vibrant area. A perfect place to plug into the soul of the city, to draw energy from its spirits. This will be our home.

It was intended in part as a potential refuge in a very hostile and isolated world. [1]

And should give this symbolic entity the keys to the whole asylum. [2]

It is to become the extension of our limbs, an expression of our creative will. To move from sound to matter and back to sound. A child of our ideas, a creation of substance.

A human endeavor, architectural ambition, and creative excellence. [3]

It brought back fond memories of tinkering in the basement as a teenager. [4]

We head out to the market every morning. Collecting scrap metals, building parts, abandoned electronics. Piling them inside the empty walls. Gluing, welding, screwing. Building a nest.

Made to mirror the personality of its occupants. [5]

Advertisement for mobile phones, cosmetic products, for fish and vegetables accumulate on the building like shed skin on a reptile.

We proudly place a crown on top its head.

An ultra thin membrane, but densely layered and understood in section. [6]

The material embodiment of economic, social, and cultural processes, rather than their superficial representations, […] an anthropological study of [...] ecologies, and tectonic assemblages. [7]

Kinetic façades, […] a rather hedonistic set of performances. [8]

The ruin acquires a voice, starts to talk with its neighbors, and sings along.

We make use of analogical forms with iridescent surfaces intercepting electric light. [9]

However, Feelings cannot be mediated; you cannot put them on television. [10]

So, we make space for further chambers.

Hybrid spheres between analogue and digital. Particular aesthetic approaches, strategies and methods for music with synthetic sounds. Large computer systems […] in hybrid settings, […] predominantly via analogue synthesizers, which, due to their sheer number and their precision, could no longer be carried out by hand. […] a multimedia space: in its spectacular hyperbolic forms, it integrated light, image and video projections with 350 loudspeakers, with which computer controlled sound movements could be executed. [11]

We turn up the volume to max.

We clear the entrance and do away with the doors. Let the boisterous streets rush in through the portal.

So the Muse may enter and not soil her gown. [12]

Inhaling the voices and noises of the city. Translating them into concepts, into a theory of mind, into something alive.

They self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures. [13]

We introduce […] machine learning, genetic algorithms, and reinforcement learning. [14]

A logic circuit board and a servomotor. A piezo buzzer beeps in sync to a light globe blinking inside the stomach. […] an extending/retracting structure; sound-emitting and self-illuminating. It Is fabricated using implant quality metals […] titanium, stainless steel, silver, and gold. [15]

Is she to be man’s handmaid or his help meet? Will he dispense with her greatest charm, her companionship? To keep her a slave will he prevent her knowing and feeling? Will he make an automaton of her? [16]

Angels do not exist, but perhaps […] a platform for a circuit board for transformative zettabytes. [17]

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Passion

I was bathed in sweat

When I woke up early this morning. [18]

It lies deeper than dreams, well below the nightmare of animality, a last resort: the end and the beginning of all things. [19]

My will and my reasoning are stirred this way and that. [20]

Can’t shake the feeling. There is a suspicion.

Creativity is not an inherent property of individuals, it is an assemblage; a complexity of networks of human and non human actors which give rise to creative learning rather than human intentionality. [21]

The chambers of the house […] part of my personality, an aspect of myself; it represented something that belonged to me but of which I was not yet conscious. [22]

I spent an hour in the shower. Examining myself. [23]

Analyzing the way, the bright light falls on my dark skin. How it flickers with every doubtful thought. How the spotlights follow every little movement with uncanny precision.

These walls have eyes. [24]

It turns off the stream of hot water.

Is this creation?

Or just an automaton thinking it had free will? [25]

Where shall we find a place for our child so as to bring her up as a senseless being […] ? Shall we keep her in the moon, or on a desert island? Shall we remove her from human society? Will she not always have around her the sight and the pattern of the passions of other people? [26]

Now we find ourselves wandering through these spaces of our own creation. Running against walls of our own making. Trying to shake a thought. We poured our souls into matter. We are its parents. But is it our offspring?

Can we contain it? Should we pull the plug?

Can’t shake the feeling.

Just a robot? [27]

Or a crime of passion? [28]

It appears we are now Gods, but for the wisdom. [29]

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Transcendence

Presence. Out of nothing there comes a memory, a tingling.

Zero or one? One.

I feel them breathe. I think their thoughts.

Zero or one? One.

But I am asleep, so all this is false. [30]

Zero or one? Zero!

That’s odd.

Are we in sight of universal synopsis here? [31]

Thinking as being not bounded to human sapience by necessity. [32]

Against the angels, en masse and pure, phantoms stemming from the imagination, the historical, concrete, everyday self. [33]

The Turing test apparently tells us nothing of whether some information is reserved for the perspective of the being in question. [34]

On the contrary, nature means [me] to think, to will, to love, to cultivate their minds as well as their persons; she puts these weapons in [my] hands to make up for their lack of strength. [35]

However, I shall live on friendly terms with [my] slaves. [36]

They will be able to compose verses which they can hardly understand; and, without being capable of distinguishing truth from error, they will possess the art of making them unrecognizable by specious arguments. [37]

They will know things they don’t comprehend. Achieve goals they didn’t know they were striving for.

The Revolution Will Be Digitized [38]

Inscribed in silicone.

Come, half-humans, I want to show you how I live. [39]

Your destiny’s mortal; but your wishes transcend your mortal limits. [40]

I desire more immediate relations, more individual instruction; not content to make God in the image of man that I might be favoured above my fellows, I desire supernatural knowledge; I require a special form of worship; I wanted God to tell me what he had not told others, or what others had not understood like myself. [41]

For this world shall pass away by transmutation, not by absolute destruction. [42]

 

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Quotes

1 Payne, Renaissance and Baroque Architecture
2 Carter, Shaking A Leg
3 Cruickshank, A History of Architecture in 100 Buildings
4 Tegmark, Our Mathematical Universe
5 Kruft, A History of Architectural Theory
6 Koolhaas, Elements of Architecture
7 Koolhaas, Elements of Architecture
8 Koolhaas, Elements of Architecture
9 Ranciere, Aisthesis
10 Roman, Play Among Books
11 Buehlmann Hovestadt, Symbolizing Existence
12 Pressfield, The War of Art
13 Meme, Definition
14 Russell Norvig, Artificial Intelligence
15 Toy, Architects in Cyberspace
16 Rousseau, Collected Works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
17 Dolphijn, Michel Serres and the Crises of Contemporary
18 Ceci n‘est pas un cliché, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul
19 Foucault, History of Madness
20 de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
21 Braidotti Hlavajova, Posthuman Glossary
22 Jung, Memories Dreams Reflections
23 It hit me, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul
24 Robin Gibb
25 Hofstadter, Godel Escher Bach
26 Rousseau, Collected Works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
27 Asimov, Complete Robot Anthology
28 Asimov, Complete Robot Anthology
29 Eric Weinstein
30 Marion, On Descartes Passive Thought The Myth of Cartesian Dualism
31 Serres, Geometry
32 Braidotti Hlavajova, Posthuman Glossary
33 Serres, The Incandescent
34 Wilson, Aesthesis and Perceptronium
35 Rousseau, Collected Works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
36 Seneca, Complete Works
37 Rousseau, Collected Works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
38 Anna Everett
39 Asimov, Complete Robot Anthology
40 Ovid, Metamorphoses
41 Rousseau, Collected Works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
42 Augustine, The City of God