Deep Feeling: AI and Emotions

Curator: Nohar Ben Asher 1.8.2019 - 28.12.2019

Maya Magnat examines the interrelations between performance, intimacy, and technology via social projects she initiates, such as the installation Intimake and performances such as The Purification (2017). In the interactive work AI Love U she performs as the branded sales woman of a fictitious company that sells an AI (artificial intelligence) software to participants and offers platonic and romantic friendship services to potential clients, who can design the programmed figure as they wish. Magnat does not strive for the posthuman model, whereby a man-machine will replace man, but rather tries, via performative means, to confront the participants with intimacy and introduce a shared space for contemplation of a possible future. In this sense she is influenced by performance artists such as Marina Abramović and Adrian Howells, who explore intimate situations in museum spaces.
The performance participants are asked to answer questions and choose the AI software most suited to them. The questions trigger moral and emotional dilemmas: Will we be interested in a friendly or a romantic software? One that is capable of fighting and getting hurt, or one that will never say "no"? The technological space in AI Love You mirrors back at us how we perceive love, partnership, and friendship, in the era of dating applications and reality shows on instant love.